Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Iran's Islamic Influence in the Mideast

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Iran's Islamic Influence in the Mideast

Article excerpt

Call it the Pyongyang ploy.

Hold out for direct talks with America and its allies, thus bolstering your international position, while budging not an inch on your nuclear aspirations.

If North Korea seemed unimpressed by a package of inducements and unfazed by the threat of United Nations sanctions, Iran seems to be even less so.

The reason is not hard to find. Iran sees itself at the forefront of a new pan-Islamic movement.

The day of pan-Arabism, when a secular Syria joined with Egypt in a United Arab Republic, is long since gone. A young Egyptian is quoted by The New York Times as saying, "I have more faith in Islam than in my state."

A Congressional report says, "There is a lot about Iran that we do not know." That's for sure. But we do know that the Iranian mullahs, flush with oil revenues, are putting their imprint on a large part of the Middle East.

There is reason to believe that Iran encouraged Hizbullah to open hostilities against the Israelis. …

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