In what may be today’s silliest story out of Newsweek ( http://www.newsweek.com/id/164510 ), the magazine reports that Iran has scaled back its “militant” activity in both Iraq and Afghanistan. No one is exactly sure why.
The magazine seems to prefer the explanation (attributable, as usual, to an anonymous source) that Obama is leading in the polls, and
Iran’s theocrats fear an Obama presidency would greatly improve American esteem among European governments; the Iranians believe these leaders indulge Tehran now chiefly because of their disdain for President Bush.
…as if European governments weren’t coddling Iran’s nuclear ambitions even during the Clinton years.
I can think of two other possible explanations, one optimistic and one slightly more realistic. The optimistic one first: that the plunging price of oil is putting a crimp in Iran’s financial resources. The realistic one: Iran knows that a) they’re more likely to get what they want (nukes and a free hand in the middle east) with an Obama presidency, and b) the less people think about the threat Iran still presents, the more likely they are to vote for Obama.