From the outside looking in, you would never guess that Iran is a rich country. It's got sky-high unemployment, an atrocious poverty rate and no real economic growth to speak of. But in a matter of months, this cantankerous theocracy is going to turn the global energy market on its head.
This is probably not something that I should mention in polite company, but do you think the presidential election results in Iran last weekend just might have proved that international sanctions do work after all?
Economic sanctions incur significant economic losses for all parties. Provided they are successful, they nevertheless represent the least bad way forward in relation to Iran. And to give diplomacy a real chance of success, they have to be efficient and effective.
Forget Greece; what would you do about Iran? Behind the 'Eurosis' that currently churns the news-cycle, foreign policy experts are divided and fearful about a lurking problem that could arguably displace the Euro as the most pressing Western headache of 2012.
In the maelstrom of debate around Western oil sanctions on Iran, the impact on the two Asian giants, India and China, has inevitably figured. Commentators have pointed out that Asian markets are likely, in fact, to be the biggest beneficiaries of the EU's decision this week to impose oil sanctions.
Rattling a sabre whenever Washington says so is the most humiliating idiocy. Do any of Britain's leaders really think further economic sanctions will stop Iran's nuclear programme? I cannot believe it.