© 2013 David Crist
Later on, after the Soviet Union collapsed, there were moments that the United States and Iran might be able to build upon.The United States' growing commitment in the middle east, prompted by the Gulf War, created no small amount of resentment and fear in Iran, however. For decades, Iran had been the plaything of the British and Russian empires, then the target of both the American and Soviet spheres of influence, and now the Americans weren't even settling for fighting through proxies: their tanks were right there, in Saudi Arabia. Terrorism became an increasingly large factor in foreign relations, and the American commitment to both Saudi Arabia and Israel – Iran's most unfavorite neighbors – continues to be a barrier. More recently, through the Bush and Obama administrations, the prevailing official reason for Iran's designation as classroom pariah has been its pursuit of nuclear energy and the possibility of that pursuit also allowing Iran to manufacture nuclear arms. Frankly, I no longer trust the official reasoning of anyone coming out of D.C -- coming of political age in age of Iraq's phantom WMDs, and continuing to see the United States talk about both sides of its mouth in Syria -- but the growth of the genocide in a bottle club is a serious issue. Still, as Crist's account shows, there have been numerous instances when Iran and the United States were making headway, and then one party of the other decided not to follow through in good-faith arrangements.