Iran Pushes for Talks With US on Nukes, Security

Iranian leaders have been signaling to Washington since late 2005 that Iran wanted direct negotiations with the United States on Tehran’s nuclear program and other outstanding issues between the two countries. The campaign began with private talks between Iranian officials and foreign visitors in the country, and has included public suggestions by members of the … Continue reading “Iran Pushes for Talks With US on Nukes, Security”

Top Iraq War Commander Reveals Rift with Rumsfeld on Insurgents

Top Iraq War Commander Reveals Rift with Rumsfeld on Insurgents Gareth Porter A military assessment of the Iraqi insurgency in late 2004 concluded that it had the active support of millions of Sunnis who rejected the legitimacy of a U.S. installed government, according to Lt. Gen. John R. Vines, who led all coalition forces in … Continue reading “Top Iraq War Commander Reveals Rift with Rumsfeld on Insurgents”

US Wonks Warming to Iran, Arab Roles in Peace Talks

Foreign policy circles in Washington, including some figures considered close to the George W. Bush administration, have begun talking privately and in off-the-record meetings about the need to give both Iran and Iraq’s Arab neighbors key roles in peace negotiations, according to Middle East experts. This new support for Iranian-Arab participation in negotiations on Iraq … Continue reading “US Wonks Warming to Iran, Arab Roles in Peace Talks”

Is US Planning More Attacks on Shi’ite Militias?

Last week’s attack by U.S.-led Iraqi paramilitary forces on a building that Shi’ite leaders claim was a mosque may have marked the beginning of a new stage of U.S. policy in which Iraqi forces are used to carry out military operations against Shi’ite militia forces – especially those loyal to Moqtada al-Sadr. However, such a … Continue reading “Is US Planning More Attacks on Shi’ite Militias?”

Neocons Blocked 2003 Nuclear Talks With Iran

The George W. Bush administration failed to enter into negotiations with Iran on its nuclear program in May 2003 because neoconservative zealots who advocated destabilization and regime change were able to block any serious diplomatic engagement with Tehran, according to former administration officials. The same neoconservative veto power also prevented the administration from adopting any … Continue reading “Neocons Blocked 2003 Nuclear Talks With Iran”

Iran, Iraq Crises Converge Despite US Hardliners

The agreement last week between Washington and Iran to hold direct talks on Iraq has forged a new linkage between the Iraq and Iran crises. Hardliners in the George W. Bush administration are resisting any linkage between the two crises, because they want to avoid pressure for a broader settlement with Iran. But they have … Continue reading “Iran, Iraq Crises Converge Despite US Hardliners”

How Neocons Sabotaged Iran’s Help on al-Qaeda

The United States and Iran were on a course to work closely together on the war against al-Qaeda and its Taliban sponsors in Afghanistan in late 2001 and early 2002 – until Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld stepped in to scuttle that cooperation, according to officials who were involved at the time. After the Sept. 11 … Continue reading “How Neocons Sabotaged Iran’s Help on al-Qaeda”

US Risks Reporter’s Life to Strike Tough Pose

The George W. Bush administration went well beyond refusing to negotiate with terrorists in its handling of the threat by freelance journalist Jill Carroll‘s abductors to kill her if all female detainees were not released from U.S.-run prisons in Iraq. According to Iraqi officials, U.S. officials delayed the scheduled release of six female prisoners whom … Continue reading “US Risks Reporter’s Life to Strike Tough Pose”

Analysts: Fear of US Drove Iran’s Nuclear Policy

The George W. Bush administration’s adoption of a policy of threatening to use military force against Iran disregarded a series of official intelligence estimates going back many years that consistently judged Iran’s fear of a U.S. attack to be a major motivating factor in its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Two former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) … Continue reading “Analysts: Fear of US Drove Iran’s Nuclear Policy”

US Realignment With Sunnis Is Far Advanced

Two major revelations this past week show how far the George W. Bush administration has already shifted its policy toward realignment with Sunni forces to balance the influence of pro-Iranian Shi’ites in Iraq. U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad revealed in an interview with Washington Post columnist David Ignatius that he has put the future of military … Continue reading “US Realignment With Sunnis Is Far Advanced”