Bravo, because Iran did not swallow the bait. Eye-witnesses report that life there remained perfectly normal. State-run television and radio continued working as usual. News reports in the early hours of April 6 informed the audience as usual about the situation in Iran and the rest of the world, and the latest events in sports and culture. Now, the Islamic Republic of Iran continues to live a normal life, as if the "Bite" had never been planned.
A whole army of military experts had swallowed the provocative misinformation, and Iran could have reacted in the same way, especially with the U.S. carrier-based naval force next door - the Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft-carrier in the Gulf, and the Stennis aircraft-carrier in the north of the Arabian Sea.
When all experts talked about the imminent military operation, it was hard to resist the temptation of a pre-emptive strike. But if Iran had gone for it, it would have made a priceless gift to the United States, and in this case April 6th would certainly have taken place.
Military experts have every reason to talk about Washington's readiness to resolve the Iranian problem by force, all the more so since it has had a plan for quite a long time now. This plan was drafted as soon as the first leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ayatollah Khomeini proclaimed a concept of exporting the Iranian-type revolution to the Middle East, and denied Israel the right to exist as a state. Khomeini did not conceal that one of the major motives of the Islamic revolution was to oppose the U.S. presence not only in Iran but also in the Middle East.
Although nothing terrible happened on April 6, the situation in Iran is closer to war than ever. Having adopted a tough stance on the UN Security Council sanctions, and refuting all Washington's demands to curtail its nuclear program, Tehran is actually precipitating the war. Numerous forecasts of a potential strike come in handy. They are invariably accompanied by reassurances that the U.S. has got stuck in Iraq and Afghanistan, that Iran is not Iraq, and that Washington is not likely to risk a military action.
But it can well risk it. Indeed, Iran is not Iraq, and for the U.S. this has both negative and positive implications. It is hard to say which are stronger. Besides, the U.S. and NATO are not so badly stuck in Afghanistan. Finally, the main point is that Washington will never leave Israel to face nuclear Iran single-handed.
The trouble is that Tehran can talk forever about its lack of ambition to produce its own nuclear bomb, or appeal to Islam and Khomeini's fetwa, which ostensibly prohibit the manufacture of weapons of mass destruction, but neither the U.S. nor Europe, nor even its Mid-Eastern neighbors will believe it. And there are grounds not to believe it but, regrettably, official Tehran does not want to consider them.
This is a stalemate. But if the U.S. has to make a choice between nuclear Iran and a military operation, it will undoubtedly opt for the latter.
But still Iran deserves a round of applause because it did not choose the move that suggested itself - to keep British seamen as hostages in the event of a strike. By letting them return home, Tehran made it clear that it is ready for constructive dialogue if its positions are considered.
Maybe, the European negotiators should meet Tehran halfway, and sit down at the negotiating table without the pre-condition of the cessation of uranium enrichment?
They could do that at least before a regular session of the UN Security Council. After all, the Iran-launched centrifuges will be enriching uranium in any case. Too much is at stake, and April 6 may still happen.
The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.