A Fragile Consensus

Unlike the Iraq War, the Iranian nuclear crisis will not convulse transatlantic relations--for the time being.

Issue: Spring 2006

OVER THE past 25 years, European and American perspectives toward the Islamic Republic of Iran have sometimes converged and sometimes diverged. Initially, Europeans, like Americans, were concerned that Iran would try to export its revolution throughout the Islamic world. France was the target of a vicious Hizballah attack against its peacekeeping forces in Lebanon in 1983, and later of Iranian-sponsored bombings in Paris. The United Kingdom was the victim of Iranian wrath during the Salman Rushdie affair. And many Europeans became hostages of Iranian-sponsored groups in Lebanon. This led the Europeans, in tune with Washington, to support Iraq in various ways during the 1980-88 war with Iran.

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