Iran, epicenter of inefficiency, unable to produce a kilowatt of electricity through its Bushehr nuclear reactor despite decades of effort, is still doing its old brinkmanship number.
Remember, Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader, is the guardian of the revolution. That is a conservative business. Breakout, let alone a bomb, is a bridge too far if the Islamic Republic is what you’ve vowed to preserve. Much better to gain leverage by producing low-enriched uranium — far from weapons grade — under International Atomic Energy Agency inspection and allow rumors to swirl.
So Iran, long at the top of the Washington agenda, has slid down. It’s partly the Arab Spring. It’s partly that you can’t keep saying the same thing. People do begin to remember the refrain, although nobody in the large Iran-the-clear-and-present-danger school ever seems to get called to account.
They should be. The nuclear bogeyman obsession has been a distraction from the need to try to tease out a relationship with Tehran, see Iran as it is.