Conflicting dynamics and power calculation: within the Bush administration have given rise to contradictory signals coming from Washington regarding how best to deal with the Iranian puzzle. The situation indicates a lack of strategic coherence that could tip the balance toward a military showdown with Iran. If anything, the 2001 and 2003 wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which have essentially altered the balance of power to Iran's advantage, represent a total disregard for the ensuing negative consequences for the region. Under such circumstances, the absence of serious, direct talks with Iran have the potential to lead to greater momentum for wan In this paper, we set out to examine the internal and regional consequences of a US. attack on Iran, while asserting that the benefits of cooperation outweigh the costs of military confrontation. Negotiating with Iran is the only reasonable solution to the crisis confronting these two powers, and U.S.-Iran rapprochement can have a stabilizing impact on the entire region. Conversely, the implications of confrontation will be horrendously costly and profound.