Is Iran Dangerous--or Desperate? Both

How Obama and the Israelis have backed Iran's leaders into a corner

Illustration by Oliver Munday for TIME; Khamenei: Reuters / Landov

How dangerous is Iran, really? Rick Santorum, who truly is a severe conservative, says, "The theocracy that runs Iran is the equivalent of having al-Qaeda in charge of a country." Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believes Iran is run by a theocratic death cult that will attack Israel as soon as it gets a nuclear weapon. And given Iran's twitchy, trigger-happy behavior this winter--the alleged "sticky bomb" attacks on Israeli diplomats in India and Georgia, the bomb factory that exploded in Thailand, the alleged plot to kill a Saudi diplomat in Washington, the threats to close the Strait of Hormuz, Mahmoud...

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