The bi-lateral meetings of mid-May and last Tuesday in Baghdad between U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, and Iran’s ambassador to that country, Hassan Kazemi-Qumi, were the sole talks at the ambassadorial level in more than two decades. This could be viewed as a change of attitude, however temporary, in the Bush Administration.
If in the aftermath of the first meeting Crocker was cautiously upbeat about the outcome, in the press conference following the second he unleashed a salvo of unfounded claims that Iran is funding, arming, training and even planning the operations of the Iraqi militia against the U.S. and Iraqi troops. Moreover, the White House charges that Iran is providing cover for Al-Qaeda high-ranking cadres in Iran or closes its eyes to their activities in Iran-Pakistan border regions, which are utterly preposterous – an “up-dated version of WMD’s!
Although the meeting was characterized by the major media in the U.S. as “something of a shouting match”, the two delegations agreed to form a security committee “that would address at an expert or technical level some issues relating to security, be that support to violent militias, Al Qaeda or border security,” Crocker said.
On his part, Iran’s ambassador to Iraq, Kazemi-Qumi, emphatically denied that Iran was supporting anti-U.S. militias in Iraq. A foreign ministry spokesman’s response to the U.S. charges was that “It is crystal clear that the main objective behind repetition of such baseless accusations against Iran is to pursue the U.S. propaganda fuss and psychological warfare against the country.” Dismissing arrogantly, Crocker declared “This is not something we’re trying to, or we need to, prove in a court of law.”
His belligerent tone appears to reflect a shift in the balance of forces within the U.S. administration in favor of waging a war against Iran, rather than using the channel of diplomacy and holding talks to resolve the differences between the two countries over the miserable situation in Iraq. U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, the State Dept. and even the CIA emphasizes on punitive sanctions, political and diplomatic isolation, and bolstering opposition groups to force Iran to capitulate to U.S. dictates, but in no way none of them rule out the military option.
In contrast, Vice President Dick Cheney, not to mention Presidential candidate Mitch Romney, Senator Joe Lieberman and all of the neo-conservatives of the Bush Administration, in league with the Zionist state of Israel reject “diplomacy” and the UN involvement in the issue as counter-productive and continue to push their agenda of bombarding Iran’s nuclear facilities, its administrative and security headquarters and water and power stations, just as in Iraq, but on a much larger scale.
The splits within the administration, the U.S. Congress, the American people as a whole, and on the international level (IAEA & EU) are the result of the valiant resistance of the people of Iraq to the criminal U.S. occupation and not to forget the U.S. public pressure on Washington to extract itself from the Iraq quagmire, which would be impossible to achieve without Iranian cooperation in helping to stabilize the country. But as long as Iran fears the possibility of U.S. military aggression against it, Tehran feels a lot safer with the U.S. bogged down and desperate in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Therefore, Iran is unlikely to help the U.S. in the region in the absence of any quid pro quo on a much wider range of other issues such as Iran’s nuclear program, short-leashing Israel and changing its attitude towards Iran’s status in the M.E.
Therefore, Iran cannot afford to deal with Iraq’s insecurity separate from other issues involving the U.S.