Iran er et land på randen af et demografisk og økonomisk kollaps, befolkningen aldres og de lette olieindtægter forsvinder snart. Derfor er det nu eller aldrig for Iran, hvis landet skal udleve dets ambitioner om at være en stormagt. Det er også nu eller aldrig for den nuværende ledelse. Sanktionerne kan tilmed i sidste instans ende med at give Iran et kraftigt skub i den forkerte retning.
Spengler trækker en parallel til Hitler, der også følte et behov for at accelerere hans dystre planer af to årsager, der var :
An important insight into the character of the Iranian leadership can be gained from Adolf Hitler’s speech to the German army’s top commanders at Obersalzberg on Aug. 22, 1939, a week before the invasion of Poland. Hitler began by explaining that he initially had wanted to attack the Allies in the West but that circumstances compelled him to take Poland out first. The question, then, was why begin war at that particular moment. And the answer had two parts: economic weakness and the threat of regime change:
"We have nothing to lose, but much indeed to gain. As a result of the constraints forced upon us, our economic position is such that we cannot hold out for more than a few years. [Hermann] Goering can confirm this. We have no other choice, we must act. … At no point in the future will Germany have a man with more authority than I. But I could be replaced at any moment by some idiot or criminal. … The morale of the German people is excellent. It can only worsen from here."
Hitler, by his own account, acted out of fear: fear that the German economy would collapse under the burden of his military expansion, and fear that he “could be replaced at any moment.” I quoted this speech in a 2005 essay, adding, “Within a generation, both Iran’s oil and demographic resources will be exhausted. Impending demographic collapse, I have argued in the past, impels Iran towards an imperial design (Demographics and Iran’s imperial design, September 13). Iran’s elderly dependent population will soar to nearly 30% from just 7% today by mid-century, the consequence of the country’s collapsing birth rate. The demographic disaster will hit just as oil exports dry up during the 2020s. To break out of the trap, Iran must make an all-or-nothing bet during the present generation.”