The Iran Factor

The new crisis in the Middle East shows how a major consequence of Bush's disastrous foreign policy has been an emboldened Tehran

When I visited Iran a few years ago, my favorite question was, "Who runs this country?" The response often was nervous laughter, followed by a raised eyebrow, a shrug and a stage whisper: "The dark forces." My next question—"The dark forces?"—would elicit the weaving of my interlocutor's own fabulously intricate conspiracy theory. "It's very Persian," a young businessman told me. "We're very conspiracy-minded." So let's indulge ourselves and think like Persians about recent events in the Middle East. Here's my conspiracy theory: It...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!