Rethinking Iran

The U.S. needs a sustainable policy for dealing with the Islamic republic. Here's what it would look like

Illustration by Alex Nabaum for TIME

Earlier the month, the U.S. Navy reported that five Iranian speedboats had approached a U.S. convoy in the Strait of Hormuz and radioed the threat "You will explode." President Bush promptly warned that an expansionist, fundamentalist Iran was up to its old tricks and that "all options are on the table to protect our assets." For a moment, the stage was set for confrontation. There was one problem: Pentagon officials noticed the recording was suspect and had to move quickly away from their initial claim that Iranian naval officers had issued the threat.

The war scare that wasn't stands as a...

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