What kind of a country is Iran?

I am very pleased that a deal has been done on Iran’s nuclear programme.  As I explained in this blog posting, more than eight years ago some observers were insisting that Iran’s nuclear programme had reached “a point of no return” and Israel was contemplating bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities. The assessment was wrong and, had Israel launched a military attack, this week’s deal would never have happened and instead we could well have had a war in the Middle East that would have made the current conflicts look like bar room brawls.

Iran is not a democracy and it still represses citizens at home and supports terrorism aboard. But many of its citizens want an accommodation with the West and an improvement in living standards, as my wife and I found when we made a fascinating visit to Iran. The country has a long and impressive history – as I have explained in these two book reviews – and hopefully its future will see it reintegrated into the international community to benefits of its people and the world.


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