Iranians support a policy of deterrence because their perception of Iran's security is colored by historical experiences. For Iranians, geopolitical realities together with national psychology define national security. This article attempts to explain the national psychology, and in doing so point to a path of US-Iranian policy convergence. The United States should avoid making the mistake Britain made in 1951, making an oil royalty issue a matter of national pride for Iranians. The current nuclear dispute could turn into an object of Iranian national pride, liberty, and independence. The question whether a nation without access to a nuclear fuel cycle could be anything other than a dependent consumer, has already been posed.
The Middle East Institute has published The Middle East Journal quarterly since 1947. The Journal provides original and objective research and analysis, as well as source material, on the area from Morocco to Pakistan and including Central Asia. The Journal provides the background necessary for an understanding and appreciation of the region's political and economic development, cultural heritage, ethnic and religious diversity.