At the rate President Bush is going, Iran will soon become a superpower. The Bush administration has done more to empower Iran than its most ambitious ayatollah could have dared. Tehran will be able to look back at the Bush years as a golden era.

Before Iraq invasion, Bush gave lip service to the idea that Iran and Iraq were both threats to its security. But his advisers gave scant thought to what might happen if their plans did not lead to the peaceful and pro-Western democracy of their imaginings. The answer is apparent: a squabbling, divided country in which the Shiite majority in the south finds much more in common with its fellow Shiites in Iran than with the Sunni Muslims with whom it needs to form Iraqi government. The US depends on Shiite parties’ goodwill that Iran sheltered. There is a risk that Iraq could become an Iranian-aligned fundamentalist theocracy.

Fast-forward to deal with India in which Bush agreed to share civilian nuclear technology with India despite its weapons plan and refusal to sign the NPT. The India deal is the wrong

message to send right now, just days before Washington and its European allies will be asking the IAEA to refer Iran to the Security Council. Iran’s hopes of preventing this depend on convincing the world that the West is guilty of double standards. — The New York Times