Iran And The Us
by Rupali Gaurav
Israel thinks that Iran poses an existential threat to it. The various statements by the Iranian President and the Iranian quest for a nuclear capability are the obvious reasons for the Israeli determination. The US agrees with Israel but it also thinks that in a wider context Middle East peace is important for US interests. This is the reason why the US is likely to push for a two state solution on Palestine. Much will depend on how the Prime Minister Netanyahu reacts. The US National Security Adviser has already voiced his country's support for the two state tracks.
Several developments in Iran are relevant. The Iranian President started the fast track process that led to the swift release of jailed journalist Roxana Saberi. She had been jailed for having classified Iranian documents. Iran obviously did not want the negative publicity that it routinely gets from the West. Iranian Presidential elections are due in June and the Guardian Council will select the final candidates from among the over 400 who have applied. This system of selection has served Iran well in the past.
Iran is reaching out to China for an advanced Air Defence Weapons system. In the past it has been going to Russia and it wanted the S300—a hybrid of the US Patriot and S300. Now it is after China's Hongeli-9/ FD 2000 system. Iran has also asserted itself with Iraq over incursions by Iraq's northern Kurds and has indicated a red line beyond which it will not stay inactive.
There are two views in the US on interaction with Iran. Both views are a legacy of the Bush years. There are some who advocate action against Iran and others who favor diplomatic negotiations no matter how long drawn out or complicated. The Obama administration, unlike their predecessors, is not likely to opt for an option that creates more problems than it solves. It is important that the US pursues diplomacy. Rash unilateral decisions based on inaccurate and fudged intelligence have led the Us to the morass in Iraq and Afghanistan.