by John Turner

Three concerns confront policy makers and the international community in general when engaging with the Islamic Republic of Iran: Nuclear proliferation, the exportation of terrorism and the stability of Iraq. It may be reasonable, as many have done, to simply label Iran as a rogue state that defies the will of the international community, supports terror organisations and attempts to subvert the security of its neighbours. In fact Iran does indeed act in such a way. However, as much as contentious statements by Ahmadinejad and the fire brand speeches of the Ayatollahs may concern policy makers in the West and Arab world, these are not so much the boastings of a powerful regime. They are more reflective of the insecure actions of school yard bullies who are well aware that those around them may be catching on to the bluff. It is imperative to understand why Iran acts as it does. In doing so it may give clues as to how the international community should respond to the security questions that are posed when encountering Iran.

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