Tehran's crunch time

December 15 is the outer time limit of a decision window for Tehran and the West. That is the date for the mullahs' "Assembly of Experts" to decide whether to choose  a new Supreme Leader. The most nuke—happy candidate for the top job is  Ayatollah Yazdi, Ahmadinejad's personal guru. If Yazdi becomes Supreme Leader, with Ahmadinejad as President and his Islamic Revolutionary Guards now purging the universities and ministries, the most dangerous faction will monopolize all positions of power in Iran.  These are people who thirst for martyrdom. Give the radicals their own nukes, and all bets are off. Can the rational world influence the regime? Oddly enough, it may be Israel that has the necessary carrot and stick. Europe is a fake power; nobody takes it seriously.  The mere existence of a vast US nuclear array does not intimidate Ahmadinejad, because the US is not directly threatened. He also knows that conventional US strikes are time—limited by...(Read Full Article)

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