Fans of the extremely popular series of computer games called Civilization will recall the strange acts of diplomacy in the beforehand iterations of the game. For instance, anytime a rival world joined the nuclear club, it would always mention that truth at the start of any kind of negotiation. This would an outcome in fairly awkward situations, such as Gandhi casually stating that he"s packing some major heat.

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Diplomacy in succeeding editions became much more sophisticated and also realistic, but even this primitive kind of diplomat carries a hint of fact about contemporary international relations: countries seek nuclear tools not necessarily because they plan to usage them, but since they believe it offers them leverage.

That"s why every the issue over Iran"s atom program, mostly from neoconservatives, is greatly misplaced. The agreement in the international policy community is that Iran is one aggressive, rational actor. Uneven al-Qaeda or various other terrorists, lock aren"t suicidal. The Persians desire power and influence, specifically in the middle East, and nuclear weapons are a means to achieve that end. As Barry Rubin writes because that the Jerusalem Post:

simple goal was and also is to be as an effective a regional hegemon as possible - including manage over Syria and Lebanon. It would like to take leadership of every Muslims in the area...

Nuclear weapons are for this reason for Iran primarily a defensive shield permitting it to lug out standard aggression with impunity.


This is additionally why "Rouhanimania," overly confident enthusiasm about Iran"s new president, is likewise misplaced. Like previous President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mr. Rouhani additionally wants Iran to be a powerful country, and also he really likely believes that nuclear weapons space an suitable avenue to achieve that end. Therefore, the just real difference between Mr. Rouhani and Mr. Ahmadinejad is the the previous has a more thick beard and friendlier rhetoric. Iran"s local ambitions, however, haven"t changed much.

Besides, also if Mr. Rouhani dear doesn"t want nuclear weapons, supreme Leader Ali Khamenei (despite his alleged fatwa) probably does. And, as we learned recently, Mr. Rouhani shows up not to also have the government to shake president Obama"s hand.

One is left to wonder exactly how much power, if any, Mr. Rouhani in reality possesses.

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Regardless of the price to that question, one thing is absolutely clear: Mr. Rouhani will be taken far more seriously if his words are backed through nuclear weapons.