The U.S. is a global military superpower that spends more on defense than the rest of the world combined. Iran, by contrast, is a third-rate military power with an economy that is one forty-fifth the size of the U.S. economy. This is hardly a formidable threat.
The recent election of Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, has been called “a major potential opportunity” to revive diplomacy and “resolve” longstanding tensions. Unfortunately, America’s purported friends don’t want rapprochement.
The U.S. has built up various alliances in the Middle East since WWII in order to fulfill a larger strategy of controlling the flow of oil and preventing the emergence of another power in the region that would threaten U.S. dominance.