IT doesn’t matter how Iran sees its own potential or how it handles the situation in the region. It doesn’t matter how Iran feels about American strength. What does matter is that the Tehran leadership stops deluding its people with false slogans, and that it begin looking at things realistically. Because even from a purely economic point of view, the security of the Gulf region - through which 20 percent of the world's oil passes - is of paramount importance.

Based on this more realistic perspective, Iran wouldn't have to suffer its situation alone. But by drawing a line in the sand and defining its policies without taking into account the opinions of neighboring states, Iran could lead us to war.

Given the dramatic changes in the balance of power around the Gulf, Iran will get nowhere by maintaining its stubborn policies. If President Ahmadinejad continues his rhetoric, saying things like, "We’ve reached a point of no return;" if Iran insists on going ahead with its nuclear program and if it continues to challenge the world community and to resist a diplomatic solution, Iran will set the region aflame, because the world is determined not to be cowed by threats involving oil.

We and Iran sail in the same boat. No neighboring country wants anything to happen - either to the boat or to Iran - but if Tehran insists on challenging the international community, then the future of us all is at stake. Iran knows full well that it must consult and coordinate its moves with other countries before deciding to fight a war.

In regard to whether China and Russia will fill the power vacuum in the Gulf, Tehran is no doubt aware that while these countries sympathize with it, they too have interests and their support could evaporate in seconds. North Korea, for example, has acted quite wisely in abandoning its nuclear program in exchange for a million tons of energy [heavy crude] per year.

We concede that Iran has the right to benefit from the peaceful use of nuclear power, but right now it must first prove its peaceful intentions. This is especially true, after it so blatantly challenged the international community, closing the door to diplomacy and in effect, declaring an end to politics and the beginning of war.

We believe there is little time left for Tehran to come to its senses, because everyone will be against it in this war …

The Iranian regime is trying to export its domestic problems to the outside world, while neighboring countries battle to keep their own boats afloat.