Analysis: Mixed Prospects for Iraq Regional Conference
Council on Foreign Relations
March 7, 2007
Prepared by: Lionel Beehner
The conference comes amid escalating tensions between Tehran and Washington over Iran's involvement in Iraq, its defiance of UN Security Council resolutions to suspend its nuclear program, and its support for organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah. But some, including CFR Adjunct Senior Fellow Vali R. Nasr, argue that Iran's and the United States' goals in Iraq overlap. “Iran still doesn't want a civil war there, doesn't want a failed state,” he tells CFR.org's Bernard Gwertzman. “And Iran wants the same government as we're working with in Baghdad to succeed.”
CFR Fellow Steven Cook applauds the White House's about-face on Iran. “It should be part of our foreign policy to be talking to the Iranians and the Syrians,” he tells Gwertzman. Still, neither Tehran nor Washington says it will seek direct talks on the sidelines of the meeting. But experts are not ruling out the possibility (Tehran Times). In this new interview, CFR Senior Fellow Steven Simon says the talks may “build some trust” between the United States and Iran, “but frankly I think that the suspicion on both sides is so deep right now that that sort of thing seems highly unlikely.”
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Copyright 2007 by the Council on Foreign Relations. This material is republished on GlobalSecurity.org with specific permission from the cfr.org. Reprint and republication queries for this article should be directed to cfr.org.
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