It sits between two giants… Iran and India. One is Shiite, the other Hindu… both hostile.

Currently this region is the current global hot seat. Some due because of Navy Seal Team 6, the rest due to Iran’s nukes.

However, as often happens when people get angry over a disturbance and hostile words begin to flow, if a member of the correct authority shows up, order is quickly re-established and no violence breaks out. On the other hand, if there is no authority intervening, words pile on words to create hostile feelings, and sooner or later, a physical threat provokes a defensive reaction and boom, a fight breaks out….

The US is the authority that can choose to make the difference.

A couple of things to note. Iran is rattling sabers rather loosely which means they are more worried over consequences within their country, than outside their country… If reading the Shiite tea leaves correctly, there is strong internal pressure within Iran to go tough against the outside.

The pressure is so strong, that Iran leadership seems to be flailing, … signing off on anything that could make it look like leadership was standing up for themselves and not being whooped on by the global community.

There is little Iran can do…

Here is what they’ve tried.

Three bombings. India, Georgia, and Thailand, aimed at Israel diplomats.

Boasting over a very difficult to believe breakthrough of their new technology. Such boasting is rather similar to those of Kim Jong-il….

Pre-empting the EU’s future cutoff, Iran cut off oil sales to 6 countries there.

But these threats seemed calculated for Iran’s domestic consumption. All three bombings were totally bungled, (perhaps by design). The countries cut off of oil, already had a ban in place of not buying any new Iranian oil since last month, and no oil is to be accepted by the EU after July 1st…. And the videos showing Mr. Ahmadinejad loading his new super de- duper nuclear fuel rods without radiation protection, strain belief…. (yeah right they were real)….

Elections are being held March 2nd and there are some serious domestic problems in Iran that warrant the distraction these foreign adventures cause.

In it’s own backyard, regional influence is running away from Iran. Perhaps it’s support for Syria has something to do with that. When the Assad regime fails, Iran will lose it’s supply line to the Hamas and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

No longer afraid of Iran, Saudi Arabia announced it would fill Iran’s vacuum with their oil. Even after Tehran called the Saudi move a hostile act, Saudi did not back down, but stuck to its guns in defiance of Iran.

Iran cannot do business with or obtain credit from any reputable international bank, nor can it easily insure its ships or find energy investors…

In the last six weeks, the Iranian rial has declined dramatically against the dollar, adding to the economic woes Iran is now confronting. This stems from America’s penalties on Iran’s Central Bank and on those dealing with it…..

Grain is sitting on ships that won’t unload their cargoes in Iranian ports because suppliers haven’t been paid.

Iranian oil is being stored on tankers as Iran’s buyers demand discounts to purchase it..

Those buying Iran’s oil, are not paying dollars. India is buying oil with rupees and barter, which means Iran might be receiving Indian goods it does not want or need….

All this with elections due in 16 days……

The Iranian problem is creating distance between the West and India. India has refuse to follow the West’s sanctions on Iran’s oil. That is understandable. When you exist in a land where your closest neighbors hate your friend, sometimes what is in your own best interest, is to put a little distance between you and your friend…. That is all India is doing. I mean even we would do that if we found ourselves in that same position…

And between these two I’s, lies Pakistan. A nation rebuffed that it’s ally didn’t confer and trust them and entered and captured Osama Bin Laden on their own. It appears Pakistan has gotten over that.

It is in the process of opening itself to India, creating another reason India would not want to appear too open to the West’s suggestion. Today three agreements on customs cooperation, mutual recognition and redressal of trade grievances were signed between India and Pakistan.

Pakistan is expected to add India to its most-favored status list, as India drops Pakistan from its own Negative List. In a huge trade agreement, Pakastani products will be open to market of 1.2 billion people. Both of India’s central banks have plans to open bank branches in Pakistan, and energy agreements that supply electricity to Pakistan and petroleum to India, are on the boards to be filled out and signed….

In the middle of all this, Afghanistan’s leader Karzai is visiting Pakistan to shore up relations. Sidelined by the US in its talks with the Taliban in Qatar, Karzai will attempt to shore up support in case a coalition government with the Taliban is forthcoming.

Soon a meeting will take place between Karzai, Pakistan, and the Iranian President, just two weeks before his election in which it is expected to create a joint communique demanding that the Taliban come to the negotiation table, so that region can get over conflict for a while, and get down to the business of rebuilding through trade among its neighbors.