Iran was once known in the West by its Greek name, Persia. “Iran” means the land of the Aryans. Iran has been one of the leading Muslim countries down through history just as France has been a leading country in the West.
Iran is attempting to build the bomb. It says it will use it to kill the Jews in Israel.
It seems that it now seeks to lead the Muslim world against the West. Iran, however, follows Shia Islam – it is the largest such country that does – while most Muslim countries follow Sunni Islam. This makes it hard (but not impossible) for Iran to gain their trust.
From 1980 to 1988 Iran fought Iraq in the largest land war in history. A million men died and the war ended in a draw. Then a few years later in 1991 it saw the American military defeat the same Iraqi army with ease in a matter of months. America did the same thing again in 2003, this time in a matter of weeks.
Iran could conclude only one thing: if Iraq could fall that easily, so could Iran. To protect itself from America it must build the bomb..
America, of course, objects but it has no way to stop it short of war. It can only slow it down. America is unlikely to make war on Iran – it already has its hands full in trying to bring peace to Iraq.
The other arm of Iranian foreign policy is the war in Lebanon. Its dog in that fight is Hezbollah, the state within a state in the south of Lebanon. Iran has been arming Hezbollah, pouring in rockets and missiles. Hezbollah is fighting Israel, which America has been arming. So it becomes in effect a proxy war between Iran and America.
Unlike most countries that try to oppose America, Iran has money. It still has huge reserves of oil, which it threatens to use it as a weapon against America.
The government is an enemy of America, but the people are not. Although they hated the shah that once ruled as a king with American support, they have grown to hate their present pack of rulers – religious scholars who try to bring back the strict old days of Islam that probably never were.
The religious leaders came to power when Ayotallah Khomeini overthrew the shah in 1979. They did not like the shah because he was turning Iran into a kind of France, where money was everything and God was nothing.
Although the people hated the shah, they did not know what to do. With the army on the side of the shah, the religious leaders were the only ones left who had the power to overthrow him. They staged an ever-growing uprising. In the end the uprising became too widespread. The army could not shoot on its own people, so the shah fell.