How to deal with Iran: Support the people
Iranian supporters of defeated reformist presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi carry a large green flag through the crowd as they demonstrate in the streets on June 15, 2009 in Tehran, Iran. Crowds of people gathered to protest the re-election of Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who won a second four-year term in a landslide election victory on June 12. (Getty Images)
January 17th, 2012
05:00 PM ET

How to deal with Iran: Support the people

Editor's Note: Rob Sobhani is the President of Caspian Energy Consulting, a group with interests in energy and infrastructure projects. He engages extensively with heads of state in the broader Middle East for work and wrote the book, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia: A Leader of Consequence. He holds a PhD from Georgetown University.

By Rob Sobhani – Special to CNN

The Iranian regime's threat to shut the Strait of Hormuz should not come as a surprise to those who have followed Tehran's policy towards the U.S. since the late Ayatollah Khomeini called America "the Great Satan." Since the clerical regime's declaration of war against the U.S. 32 years ago - starting with the take-over of the American Embassy in Tehran by students loyal to Khomeini - and over six different administrations, the official U.S. political and diplomatic response to Iran has vacillated between engagement, appeasement and containment while the potential threat from Iran to the U.S. has increased exponentially. Current American policy is a mix of economic sanctions and covert attempts to slowdown Iran's nuclear ambitions in the hopes that the regime in Tehran will change its behavior and abandon its pursuit of a nuclear weapon. The history of Iranian actions suggest that even the Obama Administration's tougher sanctions policy may not succeed.

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Topics: Iran
October 12th, 2011
04:10 PM ET

The cold war between Saudi Arabia and Iran

Editor's Note: Rob Sobhani is the President of Caspian Energy Consulting, a group with interests in energy and infrastructure projects. He engages extensively with heads of state in the broader Middle East for work and wrote the book, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia: A Leader of Consequence. He holds a PhD from Georgetown University.

By Rob Sobhani - Special to CNN

The announcement by the Department of Justice that the Iranian regime had attempted to assassinate Saudi Ambassador to the United States Adel Al-Jubeir should not come as a surprise. Irrespective of whether “reformers” or “hard-liners” are running the theocracy in Iran, the foreign policy goals of the regime since its inception have remained the same: pursue weapons of mass destruction for regional domination; create an Islamic Republic inside countries like Bahrain; drive the United States out of the Persian Gulf and broader Middle East; continue to support terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah; work with its allies in the region to eliminate Israel; sabotage any attempt by Washington to establish formal diplomatic relations; sabotage any resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict and use every means possible to overthrow the monarchy of Saudi Arabia. FULL POST

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Topics: Iran • Saudi Arabia • Terrorism