The Bush administration, distressed by intelligence suggesting that al Qaeda operatives in Iran played a role in the recent suicide bombings in the Saudi kingdom, has suspended contacts with Iran and appears prepared to embrace an aggressive policy of trying to destabilize the Iranian government, administration officials said, according to a newspaper report.
The Washington Post, in its Sunday edition, said top Bush administration officials are to meet on Tuesday to review the strategy toward Tehran, with Pentagon officials pushing 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, for its part, had encouraged some form of engagement with the Iranians, appears likely to accept such a policy, officials stated.
However, State Department officials are worried that the level of popular discontent there is much lower than Pentagon officials believe, leading to the possibility that American efforts could ultimately discredit reformers in the Islamic Republic.
It seems that the Saudi Arabia bombings have ended the tentative signs of engagement between Tehran and Washington that had emerged during the wars against Afghanistan and Iraq. "We're headed down the same path of the last 20 years," the Post cited a State Department official as saying. "An inflexible, unimaginative policy of just say no." (Albawaba.com)
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