Thursday, November 30, 2006

Brief discussion and analysis of Talabani's Tehran trip

Iraqi President's three-day trip to the Iranian capital signaled a policy shift as it followed the recent restoration of ties between Iraq and Syria. For the first time since the liberation and the subsequent occupation of Iraq, its central government clearly showed some independence in its foreign policy.

The U.S. policy has either clearly failed or lacks the needed perseverance by the Iraqis, Americans and the countries surrounding Iraq. I personally believe in the former of the two. Iraq is in the midst of a civil war and in danger of being partitioned into three entities plus Baghdad.

This is neither in the interests of the Iraqis nor the Iranians, Syrians, Turks and even the Saudis. The region's stability is at stake and this may have been the single most important message delivered by Talabani to the Iranian government, the most influential neighbor of Iraq. The Iraqi government is not interested in the controlled violence directed from Iran and Syria. Instead, it is extending its hands to both neighbors, asking their assistance in preventing the break up of Iraq and making the case for a united Iraq being better for the region. Inevitably, Iraq has to make some concessions and assurances to both Iran and Syria. Some see this as appeasement, but I see it as diplomacy. The questions is, will the Syrians and the Iranians be satisfied with concessions and help stabilize Iraq? Will they have a positive influential role in Iraq? Or they will continue to use their influences only for their gains?

Let me know what you think?

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