History’s Ghosts in Iran

Using historical analogies to interpret the present is both tempting and dangerous, for history never truly repeats itself. Yet, to understand the difficulty of responding to the problems that Iran’s nuclear ambition and anti-Israel obsession now pose, it might be helpful to analyze the three analogies that are most commonly used.

Some compare the Iranian regime to Nazi Germany. Others believe that the only useful analogy is to Europe’s old balance-of-power games. And still others combine the two, pointing to the “balance of terror” during the Cold War. In other words: is Iran to be treated as Hitler’s Germany in 1938, Prussia in 1756, or Stalin’s Soviet Union?

Each analogy contains an element of truth, but none, of course, corresponds to the realities of the challenges Iran represents. Above all, each analogy, if taken seriously, should lead to a specific course of action, and this is far from being the case today.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To access our archive, please log in or register now and read two articles from our archive every month for free. For unlimited access to our archive, as well as to the unrivaled analysis of PS On Point, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/ZmKmga7;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.