15:19 | 28/ 03/ 2007



MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti political commentator Pyotr Goncharov) - There are many indications that in the past 12-13 months, Iran has been intentionally escalating the military tensions surrounding its nuclear program.

The rhetoric of the Iranian political and military elite has become much tougher; Tehran has been flexing its military muscle over the same issue, and has ostentatiously turned down the IAEA and UN Security Council proposals to return to the negotiating table in order to resolve the problem; and finally, the Iranian Navy captured 15 British sailors before the Security Council adopted its latest resolution on tougher sanctions against Tehran.

Many experts believe that Tehran unequivocally declared its claims to regional leadership after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected president in the summer of 2005. More than a year ago, he demanded that the world community recognize Iran as a "regional superpower." Positioning itself like this, Tehran placed its bets primarily on nuclear technologies, strong anti-Israeli rhetoric, and Arab support throughout the Middle East.

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