Marwan Bishara
Al Jazeera English
March 29, 2010

After year-long optimism that the three decade old US-Iran standoff might finally come to an accommodation, the two sides are ratcheting up their rhetoric and in the process risk new escalation with unpredictable consequences.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t
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This weekend’s leaked US intelligence reports about Iran’s plans to build new nuclear reactors are adding urgency to already tense relations.

Washington has taken advantage of Tehran’s nuclear programme and regional ambitions to portray Iran as a dangerous regional power that must be contained, deterred, and if/when necessary, confronted sooner rather than later.

Washington’s ‘psychological warfare’ against Tehran has been fought in the diplomatic and public opinion arenas, as well as in the Gulf where the US military has been parading it war ships.

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