KUALA LUMPUR -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice couldn't possibly have been more accurate when she accused Iran of "playing games" with the international community.

Rice was specifically referring to an announcement made April 30, by the deputy head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Agency Muhammad Saeedi, that his country is willing to allow "snap inspections" by the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency on the condition that the U.N. Security Council is excluded from any involvement in inspecting Iran's nuclear-enrichment facilities.

Iran is playing games in the sense that it is repeatedly testing U.S. resolve to see how far the Bush administration is willing to go to escalate the conflict. Naturally, the outcomes of Iran's political experimentations help adjust -- escalate or downgrade -- the government's political attitude toward the issue.