First, this article came across the news wires:
After another temblor decimated parts of Pakistan earlier this month, the second-largest Muslim nation in the world agreed to accept help from the Jewish nation, setting the stage for boxes marked with the Star of David to begin heading east as soon as this week. In a region where small gestures can mark the start of something much larger, Pakistan’s decision to take Israel’s aid is a political tremor that could shake up the Middle East landscape. …
In the weeks since Israel ended 38 years of military rule over the Gaza Strip by forcibly removing thousands of Jewish settlers who had lived amid 1.3 million Palestinians, it has racked up significant political rewards. First came a long-planned public handshake in Istanbul, Turkey, between the foreign ministers of Israel and Pakistan, marking the first official contacts between the Jewish and Muslim nations.
Unfortunately, it was followed a few days later by this:
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [of Iran] declared Wednesday that Israel is a "disgraceful blot" that should be "wiped off the map" — fiery words that Washington said underscores its concern over Iran’s nuclear program. Ahmadinejad’s speech to thousands of students at a "World without Zionism" conference set a hard-line foreign policy course sharply at odds with that of his moderate predecessor.
So much for olive branches and creative diplomacy on Iran’s part. But unfortunately, the destruction of Israel is one of the linchpins of Iran’s national security policy. Should someone a little more pragmatic come along and say, "well… Israel ain’t all that bad," you’d here the swooshing noise of Iran’s internal credibility collapsing.
Of course, many, many folks would find that a good thing… but before you start cheering at the thought, take a good long look at the historical record of states where the governments fail. I don’t mean PM Blair or Pres. Bush falling out of favor, but rather states like Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, your Balkans state of choice…
If you don’t see the common theme, allow me to explain: failed or failing states are bad juju, for both the international community (can you say, "peacekeeping operation?") and the states immediately adjacent to the problem area. A weak state is like a black hole, with the gravitational pull to drag in and crush anything nearby.
With that, should Iran’s government evolve over time into a moderate and open minded Islamic state, that would be a good thing; should Iran fall swiftly and violently, we’d have three states in a row (Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan) riding the bleeding edge of domestic catastrophe.
Thus although I don’t agree with Iran’s stance and thinkit would move forward as a nation by showing some good old-fashioned acceptance, I’m not in a hurry to see the Iranian government shift so radically and swiftly that it collapses from overextending.