The Trouble With Iran

When it comes to information on Iran, avoid at all costs the murky paranoia and the colloidal stodge oozing from the blogs and columns of the weird-nasties of the ‘decent-left’ persuasion.

If you read one article to inform you about the state of affairs in Iran, make sure it’s Fred Halliday’s authoritative overview published in openDemocracy. It’s all you’ll need.

100 Responses to “The Trouble With Iran”

  1. andrew morris Says:

    Dead right Sid. I wonder how many of the paranoiamongers on the right OR the left have ever been to Iran, met an Iranian, or have any idea of the sophistication of Tehran society. And have you heard Melanie Philips on Iran? She outdoes her normal shrillness and squeals at a pitch audible only to pit bulls. Enjoying these analyses. Keep it up.

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  3. sid arthur Says:

    Yes, notice how the paranoia is pinned on one bogeyman figure, as if when considering Iran, it’s Ahmadinejad that looms in the horizon and nothing else. Bombing Iran is all about “getting” Ahmadinejad. Just like when it was about attacking Iraq, it was all about Saddam (WMDs and the later democracy project was little more than an afterthought). You’d think the pro-war liberals would be less credulous about Iran. Doesn’t look likely though.

  4. Fugstar Says:

    blogs are atrocious reality warping creatures.
    people are better.

    Fred Halliday isnt a neutral fellow. best try iranian scholars like

  5. Halima Says:


    Great to see others also read my man on this topic ….

    There are a number of articles on by Halliday which trail the regional issues in the middle east - sure he’s not neutral - slightly left leaning academic, but by far the longest and consistent UK academics on the topic. There was a slight blimp after the first Gulf War where he lost some credibility but I forget why , I was too young to care.

    Yes, Iranian scholars would have a more closer take , I guess from the perspective of a country that’s being so bashed by a western led alliance on the security council.

    About how many people have been to Iran… It’s known as the nose job capital in the world. Next is Lebanon and then Syria. Sorry unrelated point - but I was nevertheless intrigued. I consider that a level of sophistication but more importantly a sign that Iranian women are as mad as women in Venice Beach - i.e. as my male mates remark - women are the same everywhere - as vain as the next. hmmmm.

  6. Mash Says:

    Sid, thanks for the great link to the article - it provides much needed context and nuance to a highly polarized debate.

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    However, the US is already getting a bloody face in Iraq and the notion of a further unwinnable military campaign in Iran is unthinkable. What is more likley is that the Israeli’s bomb Iran….perhaps even a nuclear strike. The timeline for this war or one-off strike against Iran will be just whenever Mossad decide that the Iranians are on the verge of putting together a nuclear weapon that could be succesfully deployed against Israel.

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