European countries are imposing unprecedented sanctions against Iran in part in hopes of preventing an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear installations that could further destabilise the Middle East and wreak havoc on the global economy.
A former senior adviser on the Middle East to the last four U.S. presidents says that "the negatives far outweigh the positives" of war with Iran and the United States should augment Israel's nuclear weapons delivery systems to dissuade it from attacking the Islamic Republic.
The postponement of a massive joint U.S.-Israeli military exercise appears to be the culmination of a series of events that has impelled the Barack Obama administration to put more distance between the United States and aggressive Israeli policies toward Iran.
Saudi Arabia will make up for any shortfall in world oil supply caused by sanctions against Iran, the country's oil minister has said, despite warnings from Iran that such a move would provoke unspecified "consequences".
Its economy hurting from sanctions imposed by the United States and Europe, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been making a show of bolstering its ties to Latin America, with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad this past week making his sixth official visit to the region since taking office in 2005.
Massive uncertainty, severe sanctions on its economy and a diminishing supply of hard currency have sent the Iranian currency, the rial, into a tailspin that appears unlikely to stabilise anytime soon.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's charge Tuesday that Iran had intended to keep the Fordow site secret until it was revealed by Western intelligence revived a claim the Barack Obama administration made in September 2009.
The Barack Obama administration is increasingly giving the impression that it supports a policy of regime change against Iran - a policy that could backfire and convince Iran to build nuclear weapons.
Less than two months before Iran's parliamentary elections, as much of the opposition mounts a boycott of the polls, a wave of arrests and lengthy prison sentences for political activists and journalists appears to herald a renewed crackdown in the Iranian capital.
Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who 24 years ago performed dismally as the standard-bearer of the Libertarian Party, has begun making waves in the 2012 presidential campaign, to the extreme discomfort of neo-conservatives and aggressive nationalists who dominate the foreign policy rosters of most of his Republican rivals.
The recent escalation in Iranian threats to blockade oil shipments and attack U.S. Navy vessels are meant to push up the price of oil and divert domestic opinion from an economic crisis but are not likely to lead to a war in the Persian Gulf, in the view of Iran experts.
President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are engaged in intense maneuvering over Netanyahu's aim of entangling the United States in an Israeli war against Iran.
Veteran observers of U.S.-Iran relations know better than to be optimistic about the chances for reconciliation between the two countries. It has long been the pattern - indeed the curse - that when one side was ready to engage, the other was not.