Thursday, November 16, 2006

Talks with Iran and Syria will get US nowhere

Kash Kheirkhah

Mounting public and international pressure to find a way out of Iraq has made many US political experts see holding direct talks with Iran and Syria as the "magic bullet" to fix the situation in Iraq. That is nothing but deceiving the American public.

Talks with Iran and Syria under the current circumstances will yield no result for the US for some very simple reasons:

1) Iran and Syria both know that by helping stabilize Iraq, they would put the US back in the position of strength, thus hurting their own chances of survival.

2) Coming from a position of strength, both Iran and Syria are going to make outrageous demands for any probable cooperation with the US. Syrian leadership, implicated in the bombing that killed Lebanese Prime minister Rafiq Hariri in February 2005 and facing UN prosecution, will sure demand that the US intervene to stop the UN plan for an international tribunal for the suspected killers of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. As for the Iranian leaders, they will repeat their demands for security guarantees which will--in their simplistic view--ensure their survival.

3) Talks with Iran about Iraq can not be held and expected to be fruitful while Iran is forging full steam ahead with its suspicious nuclear program, human rights violations, torture and killings of its dissidents and funding Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists. But these are the areas Iranian leadership wants the United States to stay out of if it expects any cooperation from Iran. Even a school by knows that these are the things no US administration--Republican or Democrat-- is going to acquiesce to.

Talks with Iran and Syria at this juncture will be a strategic defeat for the US and its allies in their war against terror since no amount of dialogue can lead to these two regimes changing their scorpion-like nature. What’s more, such talks would reward these two regimes with the ultimate prize for their killing campaign in Iraq in the past three years and set a disastrous precedent for other rogue states in the world to follow.

Iran and Syria have now been emboldened by the US missteps in Iraq. If the United States really wants to achieve anything out of talks with them, it should first find a way to improve the situation in Iraq so that it will rob both Iranian and Syrian leaderships of their present trump cards, otherwise any talks will not only be doomed even before they start, but will be a win for these two rogue regimes and their ideology of terror and that's the last thing the free world needs.

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