US Mixed Message to Iran
By Micah Halpern
Saturday January 14, 2012
I've Been Thinking:
US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was quoted in the NYTIMES as saying that the United States is using back channels to tell Iran that closing the Straits of Hormuz is crossing a red line.
The message sounded extremely strong and unambiguous.
The message said that there are two red lines that the United States will not permit Iran to cross. The first was closing the Straits of Hormuz. The second was advancing nuclear technology.
Iran knows full well that the US is unclear about the nuclear issue and that the United States has done nothing to aggressively curb their nuclear development other than demanding IAEA inspections.
Odds are the Iranians will recognize the US sensitivity to Hormuz and heed the warning. But they will not focus at all on the nuclear warning.
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