Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Inconvenient Truth About U.S.-Iran Shared Interests in Iraq

In a new opinion article for, Gary Kamiya interviews Juan Cole and Gregory Gause (who testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 3) for their response to the Petraeus-Crocker/Bush Administration claims on Iran’s role in Iraq.

“In short, the truth about Iraq, which the Bush administration has withheld from the American people, is that Iran and the United States have an alliance of convenience in Iraq. Both support ISCI and Maliki. Iran does give limited support to the nationalist firebrand Sadr, but the significance of that pales in comparison to the two countries' shared interests. The Bush administration has concealed that inconvenient truth and pushed its good guys-bad guys narrative on the American people because that narrative is needed to sell the war.

“In a larger sense, both Cole and Gause said it would make no sense for the Iranians to try to destabilize the Maliki regime…In short, Iran wants the status quo -- which is pretty much what the United States wants, too. So why shouldn't the U.S. just work out the most harmonious way of achieving that goal by talking to the Iranians? That, in fact, is just what Gause argued the United States should do in his testimony before Congress. But the Bush administration, in thrall to its neoconservative ideology, will never conduct serious negotiations with Iran. Indeed, it seems to be too ideologically blinkered, or incompetent, even to realize that Iran and the United States have a significant shared interest in Iraq.”

Read the full article for more about claims and recent events in Iraq.

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