For a while, the US and many in the West were hoping that the 'Arab Spring' would spread to Iran, but instead it caught fire in Israel and US. Given that internal turmoil has not shaken the Islamic Republic, what does the US do now? More sanctions, let Israel engage in surgical strikes against Iran's nuclear facilities, continue with the policy of encirclement, try to convince the Russians and the Chinese to go along with US containment policy? How would the global balance of power change if the US ended its cold war with Iran?
The US spends almost as much on its defense as the rest of world combine. With the world's largest military arsenal, nuclear and conventional weapons, with the ability to blow up the planet several times, the US, which is the only country in the world that has used nuclear weapons. The US has a long history of military interventions in Islamic countries, and a long record of a bogus war on terror that singles out Muslims.
Despite this reality, the US government wants the world to believe that Iran is the real threat to global security. While China, India and North Korea have agreed to a no-first use strike, the US refuses to take the same pledge, resorting instead to the doctrine of "Nuclear Posture Review" (April 2010) intended as a deterrent against all nations. Moreover, the US is not at all bothered that Israel is a nuclear power, but it is bothered that Iran has been trying to develop a nuclear energy program, one that could at some point in the future be converted for military uses.
On 9 November 2011, the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) published a report alleging that Iran has taken new steps toward the development of a nuclear weapons program. The evidence that the agency provides is mostly old and about the only new element if how it synthesized them to draw conclusions tailored made for the US to use in order to call on the Europeans for new sanctions. Neither the Russians nor the Chinese accepted the IAEA report as evidence of anything new in Iran, while the US and Israel used the report to call on nations to punish Iran.
On 8 November 2011, I wrote that the Sarkozy-Obama off-the-record comments about Israel's Prime Minister, caaling him a liar and difficult to deal with, were intended to undermine his policies specially with regard to Iran that Tel Aviv had expressed an interest in hitting to set back its nuclear program. On 11 November 2011, US Defense Secreatry Leon Panetta stated that military action against Iran could have "unintended consequences" in the region, and it would only delay not stop its nuclear program. Panetta is concerned about US forces in the region, but also because Iran has the capability to disrupt oil traffic in the Straits of Hormuz, thus causing a major shock in the world economy.
The US prefers to work with the European Union to impose new sanctions against Iran, although history has shown that sanctions have not worked. Beyond the question of sanctions that simply indicate that the US is only interested in pursuing the Cold War against Iran that it intends to keep encircled, there is also the question of whether the US can or should stop Iran from pursuing its nuclear program, a program that in the future can be converted to serve military purposes.
If the US is to continue to play the world's policeman because it is the world's preeminent military power, should it not at least concede that China and Russia, which enjoy balance of payments surpluses and have the ability to help debtor nations, including the US and EU members, should be the world's monetary policemen? If it does not agree with that suggestion, then why did the IMF chief go to Moscow and Beijing asking them to help the debtor nations so that the world economy can maintain its balance?
Is it not the case the nuclear weapons in the post-Cold War era are not nearly as significant as achieving global financial equilibrium? Why should China and Russia go along with the US in undermining Iran nuclear energy program so that the US and Israel maintain a hegemonic military role that determines the balance of power in the Middle East? Why should China and Russia go out their way to help with debtor problems in the West that has a history of using its economic power to subjugate the East in the post-Communist era, during the Cold War era, and in the pre-Communist (old Imperialism) era? Although it is entirely up to the US to take the initiative to ameliorate relations with Iran and to work toward rapprochement, there are corporate interests that include defense contractors, as well as right-wing ideologues, Israel, a number of Arab states that do not wish for the US to end the cold war with Iran.