Monday, June 28, 2004

Duluth News Tribune | 06/28/2004 | Big winner in Iraq may be Iran

Duluth News Tribune | 06/28/2004 | Big winner in Iraq may be Iran: "Big winner in Iraq may be Iran

MIDEAST:Iran may dominate the Persian Gulf region after the U.S. defeated two of its enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan.

BY SORAYA SARHADDI NELSON

KNIGHT RIDDER NEWSPAPERS


ANALYSIS
TEHRAN, Iran - President Bush freed Afghanistan from the Taliban and toppled Saddam Hussein in Iraq, but in doing so he also may have unshackled an even more dangerous foe: Iran.
Western diplomats and local officials in the Middle East say Iran, widely considered a supporter of international terrorism that's trying to develop nuclear weapons, is emerging as the unintended winner of Bush's war on terrorism.
Iran's rise as a key power broker in the Persian Gulf is an alarming prospect for the United States, which has used political and economic sanctions to contain the Islamic Republic and its radical government for a quarter century, since Iranian radicals seized the American Embassy in Tehran.
'Iran has definitely come to be a major beneficiary' of U.S. policy since Sept. 11, 2001, said Mohammed Hadi Semati, a political scientist from Tehran University now at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington. 'With the exception of the current chaos, everything that comes out of the Iraqi operation is good for Iran's national interests.'
The logic of Iran's ascendance is simple. Iran sat back as the United States launched expensive wars and defeated Iranian enemies on two of its borders, in Afghanistan and Iraq. Iran's population is predominantly Shiite Muslim, and with Iraq's Shiite majority certain to dominate any new Iraqi government, the two nations will share cultural and religious ties that will probably bring the formerly warring neighbors closer.
Senior U.S. officials in..."

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