Dont' Panic: What's the next step in our confrontation with Iran?

I enjoy writing columns, but am nevertheless occasionally frustrated by the inherent limitations of written words.

Every couple of months, I think an audio recording of someone sighing in frustration, a video of someone pounding his head against a desk, or a photo of someone with her face buried in her hands would just as fully explain a foreign affairs conundrum as, say, actual words.

That's how I feel this week about the ongoing political confrontation between Iran and the United States – same crap, different month.

Sure, the details change, but we've essentially been in the midst of a frightening, confusing standoff since 2003. That's the year the International Atomic Energy Agency castigated Iran for failing to disclose all of its nuclear activities and materials, as Iran is required to do under the terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Ever since then, we've been stuck at the same point asking the same questions: Is Iran actually developing a nuclear weapon? If yes, when will it be armed and ready? Can the U.S. convince the European Union, China, Russia and the United Nations to put the squeeze on Iran until it gives up its nuclear fuel enrichment program? Will the U.S. attack Iran to slow its nuclear progress? Will Israel attack Iran to slow its nuclear progress?

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(Photo Illustration by Andisheh Nouraee)

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