By Jim Lobe
"There has been a lot of connecting of the dots back to Iran," said retired Colonel August Richard Norton, who teaches international relations at Boston University. "This goes well beyond the [neo-conservative] Weekly Standard crowd; we've seen the major newspapers all accept the premise that what happened July 12 was engineered in some way by Iran as a way of undermining efforts to impede its nuclear program." Graham Fuller, a former top Central Intelligence Agency and RAND Corporation Middle East expert, noted that there has been a "buildup of domestic forces that now see Iran as inexorably at the center of the entire regional spider web".
In much the same way that Saddam Hussein was depicted, particularly by neo-conservatives, as the strategic domino whose fall would unleash a process of democratization, de-radicalization, moderation and modernization throughout the Middle East, so now Iran is portrayed as the "Gordian Knot" whose cutting would not only redress many of Washington's recent setbacks, but also renew prospects for regional "transformation" in the way that it was originally intended. "