Happy 2016 to anyone who comes across this blog, I wanted to welcome the new year with a tribute to the past, and especially our recently-departed annum by noting that the Islamic Republic of Iran’s tradition of deceit regarding its nuclear program still remains unperturbed, “landmark deals” or not, like the pyramids at Giza a still-constant monument of past ages.

The continuing farce that is the one-sided rapprochement with a “defiant” Iran (interesting choice of adjectives on the part of Reuters, apparently the Iranians are “boldly” challenging the U.S. or even “daring” in their reading of this situation) has reached an almost supra-comical stage at this point with the recent Iranian taunting of the United States after the pathetic acquiescence displayed to the latest ballistic missile tests. Washington’s ongoing self-debasement before a “rising” Tehran, especially on the nuclear issue, is also one of the prime motivations behind the latest immediate crisis in the Mideast. The simple threat of a stronger, nuclear-armed Iran has already inflamed the region to an alarming degree, it will be considerably more dangerous if and when the Islamic Republic possesses working nuclear weapons.

Also, on another ominous, and related, note for the future as Iran pushes towards regional dominance (with assistance from Russia and the other factions of the “Shi’a faith tradition”) and amid Sunni Arab impotence and disunity the other major non-Arab, Sunni Muslim state in the Near East, Turkey, continues its descent into an Anatolian version of Sudan, a process both of the other trends and especially the former will only help accelerate. The future of the Near East might be a modified republican form of the Ottoman-Persian rivalry in the early modern era.