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09 August 2005


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Nice points by Mr Davis. Putting forward an actual alliance with the Islamic Republic will obviously be a hard sale, both in the US and Iran. The US is still considered "The Great Satan" in the most extreme circles, and undoubtedly there would be fierce competition from within ultra-conservative circles and vast portions of the IRGC for such an idea. Then again, Hizbollah was able to normalize relations with an apostate government in Lebanon following the Taif Accords without completely alienating its core and losing influence, so it is possible, although Iran is obviously on a completely different level.

I wrote recently on establishing closer ties to Syria for basically the same reasons as Mr Davis has put forward on Iran. Syria, however, seems like an easier target currently for cooperation on both sides. Working with Assad wouldn't be directly aiding the vast Shi'ite conspiracy, and increased engagement with Damascus would allow for more sway on the Hizbollah issue, perhaps, instead of forcing Syria into a box where it would become more hostile and less conciliatory to Western interests.

It all comes down to which is more important in regards to American foreign policy: aiding Israel by placing wedges between Iran, Iraq, and Syria, or striking at the heart of Salafist and Deobandi Sunni Islam to dismantle al Qaedaism in its numerous forms. A sort of balance between the two would be desirable, but considering the Cowboy Diplomat currently at Crawford, that's not going to be possible.

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