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US and Iran could become strategic allies – with India's help

Tighter sanctions and military threats haven't swayed Iran over its nuclear program. What the West really needs is genuine rapprochement – the kind that India is especially suited to facilitate.

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The standoff with Iran over its suspected nuclear weapons program continues. While Washington is arming its Gulf Arab allies in a process of ‘strategic containment,’ hardliners are seeking tighter sanctions and even military options to coerce Iran into compliance.

But these options remain untenable. The "Gulf Security Dialogue" simply postpones the inevitable, neglecting Iran’s unconventional strengths. Sanctions antagonize Tehran, while Russia, Turkmenistan, China, and even smugglers fill the void in Iran’s energy sector. Military strikes and sabotage may set-back but not end Iran’s nuclear program, and provoke Iran to take countermeasures like mining the Strait of Hormuz – not to mention the political backlash. Regime change by support for anti-Tehran militant groups only aggravates Iran, while Iran's democracy movements are calling for civil rights, not government overthrow. And with America trapped in Iraq and Afghanistan, Tehran could easily play spoiler.

There is a better option: a genuine rapprochement.

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