"In recent days Iran has begun ten days of naval games in the Straits of Hormuz while warning that it would close those straits to oil shipments if it is attacked. It has warned Turkey that, if attacked, it will respond by attacking NATO facilities on Turkish soil. It has announced the successful construction of its first nuclear fuel rod. It has tested a medium range missile".
"This looks like the defiance of a cornered animal rather than the insolence of a rising power. Iran’s chief regional ally, Syria, continues to disintegrate. Hamas, the radical Palestinian group whose previous links with Iran gave the unpopular Shiite Persians greater standing in the mostly Sunni Arab world, is shifting from a Syria-Iran alliance toward one with Turkey and possibly Egypt. The rial continues to fall as sanctions hit the weak economy."As Mead writes elsewhere: Bad News for Assad: Putin Too Busy To Take His Calls Syria is the conduit for Iran's mischief with Hizbollah and Hamas. This corner of the world will be safer when Assad leaves.