March 30, 2007

The Price of Not Talking to Iran

Tehran is waiting to strike a strategic deal with the West, particularly on Iraq. The Iranian foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, said as much on Al Jazeera Television when discussing the Iraq Study Group report. The U.S. needs an “honorable way out of Iraq,” he said, and Iran “is in a position to help.” In a statement published by an Iranian news agency, he added that “Iran will support any policies returning security, stability and territorial integrity to Iraq,” and that it “considers withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq and leaving security to the Iraqi government as the most suitable option.”14 Tehran seeks a relationship that, at a minimum, near eliminates the risk for a military confrontation and recognizes Iran’s
legitimate security interests and regional aspirations.

In return, the West should demand extensive policy modifications from Iran, including respect for human rights and a modus vivendi with Israel


Trita Parsi is the author of Treacherous Triangle - The Secret Dealings of Iran, Israel and the United States (Yale University Press, 2007.) He wrote his Doctoral thesis on Israeli-Iranian relations under Professor Francis Fukuyama (and Drs. Zbigniew Brzezinski, R. K. Ramazani, Jakub Grygiel, Charles Doran) at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in 2006

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