Iran has more or less stopped looking west. That is what has made it look so dangerous. That's why it's been able to more or less shrug off the fear of sanctions. It recognises that it has far more to gain by simply strengthening ties with Russia, China, India and even Pakistan (as evidenced by its recent $7 billion oil pipeline deal with Islamabad and New Delhi). That's why it stopped trading in dollars. There used to be a time when the US could maintain control over Iran through the purse string. Those days are gone. Iran is saying to Europe and the United States, "Who needs you? We've got China, Russia, India." That is a great fear for the United States, and it underlines the growing power of Iran.
Rather than recognise the reality and treat Iran like the regional power that it has become (as a direct result of US actions), the US is still treating Iran like some petty state teetering on the verge of another popular revolution.
United Nations Resolution 1737 was a useless idea, a total waste of time. The plan that the Europeans are floating around – that there would be a symbolic halt to uranium enrichment that would coincide with the beginning of negotiations – seems more productive. But the Bush administration has no interest in speaking to Iran. It feels quite rightly that it cannot negotiate from a position of strength, so it feels obliged to ratchet up the military option, its only recourse.
And on that note:
Iran and South Korea sign $500m Liquefied Natural Gas contract
Iranian politicians are welcoming proposals to form an international natural-gas producers' organization -- similar to oil's OPEC -- allowing members to exercise greater control over natural-gas prices
Nokia, LG to launch cell phone production in Iran
Iran's auto production hits 891,000 in ten months (Iran is the first largest car manufacturer in the middle east and the 12th in the world see Wikipedia's entry on Iran Khodro)
Iran tests modern air defense shield
mobility ... modernity ... phones ... cars ... mind wonders in the alleyways of the early 20th century ... end of daily digest of Iran news ... all that thinking and writing for later ... back to the safe bubble of work