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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

May 25, 2003

U.S. Eyes Pressing Uprising In Iran

See, too, the DEBKA article beneath this post. Whereas DEBKA suggests that there might be an attack to take out the nuclear facilities, WaPo, more conservative perhaps, does not suggest this.
The Bush administration, alarmed by intelligence suggesting that al Qaeda operatives in Iran had a role in the May 12 suicide bombings in Saudi Arabia, has suspended once-promising contacts with Iran and appears ready to embrace an aggressive policy of trying to destabilize the Iranian government, administration officials said.

Senior Bush administration officials will meet Tuesday at the White House to discuss the evolving strategy toward the Islamic republic, with Pentagon officials pressing hard for public and private actions that they believe could lead to the toppling of the government through a popular uprising, officials said.

The State Department, which had encouraged some form of engagement with the Iranians, appears inclined to accept such a policy, especially if Iran does not take any visible steps to deal with the suspected al Qaeda operatives before Tuesday, officials said. But State Department officials are concerned that the level of popular discontent there is much lower than Pentagon officials believe, leading to the possibility that U.S. efforts could ultimately discredit reformers in Iran.

In any case, the Saudi Arabia bombings have ended the tentative signs of engagement between Iran and the United States that had emerged during the wars against Afghanistan and Iraq.

U.S. and Iranian officials had met periodically to discuss issues of mutual concern, including search-and-rescue missions and the tracking down of al Qaeda operatives. But, after the suicide bombings at three residential compounds in Riyadh, the Bush administration canceled the next planned meeting.more