Yossi Melman at PostGlobal

Yossi Melman

Tel Aviv, Israel

Yossi Melman is a senior commentator for the Israeli daily Haaretz. He specializes in intelligence, security, terrorism and strategic issues. An author of seven books on these topics, his most recent book, The Nuclear Sphinx of Tehran: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the State of Iran was published recently by Carroll & Graf. Close.

Yossi Melman

Tel Aviv, Israel

Yossi Melman is a senior commentator for the Israeli daily Haaretz. He specializes in intelligence, security, terrorism and strategic issues. An author of seven books on these topics, his most recent book, The Nuclear Sphinx of Tehran: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the State of Iran was published recently by Carroll & Graf. more »

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U.S. Needs Help in Iraq, Iran Wants More

The Bush administration has come to an unfortunately late realization that without Iran, the chances of stabilizing Iraq are slim to none. But Iran has broader interests, for them these talks in Baghdad are only the start. The U.S. will have to give wider concessions, and should seek an agreement for securing the whole region.

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All Comments (73)

MMA:

I get so mad when I read things like this, opinions that have no regards for others people. It is unfortunate to see that most of the opinions stated by Israeli's or Jews all include hate and wanting war and killing poor Arabs and Moslems. Some one should tell them, hey stupid wake up, Moslems did not kill Jews, that happened in Germany.

What Israel has done to Arabs and Moslems is a lot worse than what Hitler did to Jews. Why don't they go back to Germany and look for their stupid "promised land" there and leave these poor people alone. Everyone is sick of it, Americans, Europeans, even Jews themselves are sick of Israel causing so much problem for everyone. Why did anyone want to "fabricate" such a stupid country and then go back and support it's existence….!?

I must say that in my pinion, Israeli government is the one "terrorizing" that area and causing all the problems. And, unfortunately, USA is backing their terrorist government. It is really a shame that we stick our head in the sand and pretend that we don't know what is going on.

speed123:

Hey Softwood,

Nice victim narrative there!

I heard small violins playing for the poor Israelis as they dominate and colonize the pals.

Gas chambers? Really? Or perhaps this is just an excuse to dominate another people like the in the fashion of the horrors that you recount.

PS - you obviously cant read and just believe what you rabbi tells you....in the paper "securing the realm" it realm IS Isreal.

Keep believing that everyone is out to get you and disrespecting other groups, and perhaps it will become a self fulfilling prophecy.

Hawkwood:

Dear Enemies of Israel and Zionism. You got me speedy. I like Israel ! Zionism is supporting a Jewish homeland in the former British mandate of Palestine. I am a Zionist. Notice I said IN the former mandate; the same as the same UN resolution creating the zillionth Arab state, also in the mandate. Now gang the USA gives Irael bucks because if it did't the gas chambers would be up and running in the Sinai pronto. You may not care, but I do. Frankly chumps the world does not like Israel because its not used to seeing Jews with guns. Their Used to seeing the little guys living in isolation and getting kicked in the butt all the time. I would be happy to cut off foreign aid to Israel if the US cuts it off to everyone.Muslims included. Now slowwit,I read your realm crap the first time you raised it 6 mo ago. At that time the topic was still unrealated. What is it you want to say;All neocons are Jewish?.. Their not. All Zionists are neocons ? Their not.That the realm is Israel ? Its not. Its the USA. That Jews have dual loyalities. No more than Irish Americans, Arab Americans, Polish Americans. Enough. Slow wit you will never understand. You still work at the aiport and this is still over your head. Get into the sunlight you chump !

wake up and smell:

Boys, boys boys. First of all, calling someone ANTI-SEMITIC is not slander. Most of the world is, unfortunately.
And, Hawkwood, are you under the impression that zionists are not universally detested?
Why, if not, does/did Israel need to be given someone else's space, in contra reason to every justice...why needs to be protected and subsidized by American taxpayers still? Why late polls by the BBC note that only 17% of the world's people have a favorable impression of Israel?
Was Wolfowitz treaded as a hero at the World Bank, for example? Just loved him, did they?
Everyone happy with the US because we support the savage Israelis?
Read the news much?

wake up and smell:

Boys, boys boys. First of all, calling someone ANTI-SEMITIC is not slander. Most of the world is, unfortunately.
And, Hawkwood, are you under the impression that zionists are not universally detested?
Why, if not, does/did Israel need to be given someone else's space, in contra reason to every justice...why needs to be protected and subsidized by American taxpayers still? Why late polls by the BBC note that only 17% of the world's people have a favorable impression of Israel?
Was Wolfowitz treaded as a hero at the World Bank, for example? Just loved him, did they?
Everyone happy with the US because we support the savage Israelis?
Read the news much?

speed123:

Softwoodzionist,

This matters because the middle east stability matters....can you get through your thick zionists head that there is more at stake than the state of Israel.

The conflict and in Palestine affects our standing with all Muslim countries and therefore needs to have an OBJECTIVE and ACTIVE broker in the US to work for a solution.

AIPAC does not promote objectivity and actively and unpatrioticly (unless you are Israeli) influences this extremely important policy issue.

I am done with this blockhead.

PS - did you even google/read "securing the realm"?

That paper will help answer your questions on the neo cons (feith, perle, wolfie) and zionism.

Hawkwood:

Gee speedo I can tell your on the verge of losing it. I see despicable is trying to ride to your rescue. As long as you desire to protect the USA from all foreign entangelments and all lobbies,I do not quarrel with you. But you single out Israel and AIPAC, and this tells me you are malovent against the latter or suffer from selective perception. Now, speedy I have read your Realm rant from previous tirades. I ask you again, what does it have to do with this topic ? Are you unhappy AIPAC is more efficent than its opposition ? Oh PHD of world affairs how do you know that Wolfie et all are Zionists? Do you even know the true meaning of Zionism ? The word is not intended to be used as a pejorative. Its clowns of your stature who do so. Now stupido--er,speedo,I still think yo mama is Jewish.

Despicable:

Does no one else WRETCH to read Yossi's little screed about how we should all get along, meet with Iran and talk, etc? HE of the defense establishement of ISRAEL with plots and tenacles of the vilest kind all over...which wants Iran either under domination by the jews (via the US), or at least torn up...so that Israel becomes dominant in the ME. But no one believes our yossi is a dove, does anyone? Do we not hate to be thought supid? When will we jettison those leeches...on our soul, on our taxes, on our
safety?

Despicable:

Does no one else WRETCH to read Yossi's little screed about how we should all get along, meet with Iran and talk, etc? HE of the defense establishement of ISRAEL with plots and tenacles of the vilest kind all over...which wants Iran either under domination by the jews (via the US), or at least torn up...so that Israel becomes dominant in the ME. But no one believes our yossi is a dove, does anyone? Do we not hate to be thought supid? When will we jetticon those leeches...on our soul, on our taxes, on our
safety?

joel:

We don't have a common interest with Iran. Iran wants a unitary Shia ruled Iraq the at the expense of the Kurds. US long term interest is in an independent Kurdistan.

We do need to set up a situation that will control their development of nuclear weapons. there isn't a sober person who things they won't develop nuclear weapons. there is no game theory paradigm that would give them an interest against it and no military force capable of stopping it. There is however engagement that could create consequences against their proliferation of any weapons.

speed123:

Talking to simptons makes me irritated...

Washington was speaking about ALL relationships to foreign powers, hardy. Yes, the French and British when the Atlantic relationships were most important for foreign policy and now concerning Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia etc. since the Middle East is the most important arena for policy.

Understand, hardy??? I suggest that you pick up a moniker called "blockheadzionisthawk"

Of course Israel should live in peace; however, so should the Palestinians and their treatment is nothing less than abominable.

30 year illegal occupation that is in violation of 30+ UN resolutions!

The uneven-handed US approach to the problem (siding almost completely with Israel on policy issues) is the result of power politics in Washington and the Israeli Lobby.

PS - dont think zionists Perle and Feith and Wolfie had Israeli concerns in mind when they fabricated the potenial threats of Iraq to the US .....google and read "securing the realm" by feith and perle and a varity of other American zionists.

Hawkwood:

Dimo123: Gee whiz Speedy are you angry ? Do you think Washington may have been concerned about Catholic-vatican relationships in the colonies; or loyalist affection for good King George; or the aims of the French ? Do you think he was contemplating the Irish lobby,Greek lobby,Italian lobby or just the Israel lobby and Aipac ? Does any of this relate to the topic at hand ? Why am I traitor speedo ? Why can't the US support Israel's right to live in peace ? Do you love Jews, speedy, but hate Israel ? Are some of your best friends Jewish, Dimo ? Are you opposed to all US relationships and entangelments with foreign countries or only with Israel ? Please help the forum speed--oo; we need your enlighted view of world affairs. Regards to yo mama.

speed123:

Hey softie...

Remember Washington:

"Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious"

I am not talking about the "Jews" I am talking about the STATE OF ISRAEL, you idiot.

You are obiviously too ignorant to see that Washington is warning of future interference from any foreign powers and this can now be applied to Israel and the Israeli lobby - AIPAC, PNAC, etc.

Only an idiot or a tratior could discount the statement as it does not apply to specific states but is to be heeded as a general warning and can be applied in this case.

Calling me an anti-semite?

That is slander and an attempt to end all RATIONAL discussion of foreign policy and our unrational support of a belligerant Israel.

I suppose you think Pres. Cater - the peace prize winner - is an anit Semite too, you fear monger.

Keep trying to silence opposition/criticism ofyour beloved tyrannt state of Israel and watch the backlash of the American people.

You can fool us once....

Hawkwood:

To Slowwitted123: Speed-o no matter what the topic of discussion you bring in Jew hating. The Jews cause hemroids, colds, aids, control the banks etc. Washington said nothing about Israel and you know it. What the hell does Pres. Carter and the religous faith of governmental officals have to with this topic ? Crap, Rumsfeld, Chaney, Bush and the gang were Catholic and Protestant. So what ? Only you won't tell us your mama is Jewish, and you have supressed pro- Israel emotions. Get a grip klutz-o.

speed123:

What a brilliant man Washington was - almost clarvoyant!!

"Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious"

Jimmy Carter - former President of the United States and Noble Peace Prize winner - spoke out against the injustice of the Israeli treatment of Palestinians and he was instantly attacked as "spspect and odious" by the Israeli lobby and Jewish groups.

Jimmy Carter is a real patriot.

Israeli-firsters and apologists are the true traitors....

speed123:

Hey SOFTwood,

Of Washington was talking about FUTURE attachments to ANY foreign powers and the distortion that it causes in our policy.

I cannot think of a foreign country with more clout and, therefore, relevance to this statement. While supporting Israel is romantic and was useful during the cold war, it is now a liability to national interest.

Washington states:

"Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests."

Are you a patriot, Softwood? Or are you a dual citizen with muddied loyalty?

Connections to Israel and the Jewish neo con architects for war (wolfowitz, perle, feith, abrhams, wurmser) were a MAJOR factor in the invasion and occupation of IRAQ and call for unecessary war with Iran. (only Israel and the Iraeli lobby see it as necessary)


Tarik:

Frank Collins:

You are lucid and clear headed.
Keep searching for the truth and justice, you will find it. Knowledge will make you wise. So read.
Read good books. Soon you will realise that,
"Wisdom lies in moderating mere impressions".

Hans:

More crud: I read that your poll was taken by Muslims, Jew haters and loonies; and that yo mama is Jewish. Give it a rest crud-o, Your world revolves around the shadows of the internet not the sunlight. You would shrivel up like a slug.

For 9:17 p.m.. above.:

DON'T YOU DARE APOLOGIZE IN THE NAME OF AMERICANS FOR THE COMMENTS LEFT BY OG. YOU DO NOT SPEAK FOR AMERICA. I think it's a great idea. You don't want a vote on how many others would, too.
And while we're at it...do the vile savage pro Israeli posters above, who want the US to bomb Iran, know that most of the world would like to see ISRAEL blown off the map? Do you read polls? Are you blind? Or go on, you just make yourselves more hated, and the inevitiable closer to fruition. It has always been so, and you are perfect examples of why. Barbarians.

more crud:

So now we're fed the crap that iraquis regard jews as just another tribe of Abraham? Surely even AIPAC and co. wouldn't try to foist that idiocy anywhere....

more crud:

So now we're fed the crap that iraquis regard jews as just another tribe of Abraham? Surely even AIPAC and co wouldn't try to foist that idiocy anywhere....

Anonymous:

Morocco:
Ahmadinejad got 60% of the votes but what was the turn out?
I have nothing against Islam and I also think that one does not need religion to be close to god.
But Islam was brought to Persia by FORCE
And all those people you see that show up to rallies in Iran are mostly government employees and if they don't show up they could lose their job.
People in Iran have so much problems that they could care less what happens to Palestinians (not that what is happenings to right by the Zionists)
And for Shah: if he was a good man why would people revolt against him?
He was as bad as or worst than the mullahs but he had a good image in the media.
I respect all faiths and the main message of all of them is to be good to the next person and to accept only god as the ultimate being

peace:

KA, Morocco:

Ahmadinejad got 60% of the votes but what was the turn out?
I have nothing against Islam and I also think that one does not need religion to be close to god.
But Islam was brought to Persia by FORCE
And all those people you see that show up to rallies in Iran are mostly government employees and if they don't show up they could lose their job.
People in Iran have so much problems that they could care less what happens to Palestinians (not that what is happenings to right by the Zionists)
And for Shah: if he was a good man why would people revolt against him?
He was as bad as or worst than the mullahs but he had a good image in the media.
I respect all faiths and the main message of all of them is to be good to the next person and to accept only god as the ultimate being

Hawkwood:

Speed123. You just got back right? We all missed you. Now, Washington did not say anything about Israel in his farewell address, did he ? Your flaming again, right speedo? Washington was really talking about yo sweet Jewish mama, right speedo ? Keep in touch, we dig your smooth approach to world affairs.

Mohamed MALLECK, Swift Current, Canada:

I wish to salute Yossi Melman's very lucid analysis, which sees clearly where the best interests of Israel, the Middle East region, the US, the 'West' in general, and the world lies.

In general, I must say, a few of the Haa'retz analysts are far more clear-signted than, say, Lebanon's Star Daily or Al Hayat on issues involving the nature of Iranian interests in the Gulf region, in the Middle East and broader West/Central Asia, and in the Islamic World. Iran does not want confrontation with the US or domination of Arabs or annihilation of Israel. It wants to be able to assert its dignity in the face of the whole world, its rightful place in the Muslim world (wiping out the stigma of an outcast and of the inferior consideration in which Shias are held, and, yes its influence, commensurate with the size of its population and economy, in the Persian Gulf Region.
Everyone would be better off if the US encouraged the fulfilment of these aspirations in treturn for the stabilization of Iraq and the Middle East.

There will be problems brewing in Central Asia soon, for which Iran's collaboration will be indispensable to the whole of West Asia and the West in general.

Thank you, Mr Yossi Melman, for a superbly lucid analysis.

enoughisnough:

'Frank Collins' and 'EretzIsrael' must be planted by Israel's foes.

No thinking person would follow their advice.

However, if they are genuine, the question may be asked,
"Quo vadis, Israel?"

Bush Ladin:

Foolish Collins!

"BRING IT ON" I am sure you remember that phrase from somewhere!

Bush Ladin:

Foolish Collins!

"BRING IT ON" I am sure remember that phrase from somewhere!

Anonymous:

The comments posted by the likes of 'Frank Collins' and 'EretzIsrael' remind me of the reasons some people gave to explain the rise of Hitler.

It is sad that some do not learn from the past. Apparently, just as some have 'forgotten the Armenians' they have also forgotten that reap what you sow.

speed123:

Read Washington's Farewell address and see what he says about our attachment to Israel:

Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.

Ka, Morocco:

FRANK COLLINS:

The fact that you call for a genocide of that magnitude for oil tells about your ethical/moral standards.

Ka, Morocco:

Peace:

I agree with what you said in the first paragraphs, however:

"as for Iran being shia ,for people that know a little history ,it is for persian to be diffrent for arabs and in todays Iran religon is almost dead.
people stop giving arab name to thier kids.....
Iran is the super power in the region and the world should deal with it."

Can you then explain why Ahmadinegad got 60% of the votes?

It is funny how some delusional people think that Iranians who adopted Islam 1400 years ago are going to let it go in 2007 because America exists.

Hostility towards Arabs in Iran is exaggerated in the US (for the usual reasons), but in reality there is no such thing. Or else, why would Iranians flood the streets of Tehran to protest the Israeli occupation of Arab Palestinian lands? Do you really think the Iranian government forces people to do it?

Today, many Iranians go to Dubai for business AND leisure (something the US media isn't interested in). When the Shah fled Iran, he first went to Morocco, an Arab country.

There are tensions between Iran and some Gulf states but it is mainly due to the Gulf states cowardliness and their alliance with the US government.

We Arabs have so much to exploit and share with Iranians in our region.

It was not Arabs who brought the Shah to power though a coup; it was the CIA of the United States of America.


Tarik:

The future as I see it is with USA.
The richest and the (militarily) strongest nation in the world will continue to grow stronger.
If Bush had not gone to war USA would have crumpled and flaked with its own internal problems.
USA will establish a permanent presence in Iraq.
Who cares if a few thousand die. The number will get smaller as time goes by.
Already 4 million have fled Iraq. In another 10 years we can have an American majority in Iraq or in some part of it and declare it to be an eternal part of USA based on the Bible (same strategy as the one that justified the Jewish homeland).
Why can't the Christians have a country in the holy land. They have the wealth.They have the military power no less than the Jews.
Sure we will find scholars who can prove that the martyred Hussain (at Karbala) was actually a diciple of Jesus and Christ like in his character. And Najaf belongs to Christians as well. We can prove it. We are masters of spin.
Wake up Fukiyama, History starts now.

gaspar:


The world does not revolve around any particular ethnic group or country, even though some in America would like to make
the populace think so.

It´s time to talk to Iran- and if this doesn´t please the pro-Israel lobby...........................TOO BAD!

peace:

for anyone that is been to Iran it's clear that the persian culture is so strong that it is almost impossible to escape from it.
breaking it up in secterian lines is just a neocon or neocon wanna be dream.
even the persian jews have persian names follow persian tradition.
as for Iran being shia ,for people that know a little history ,it is for persian to be diffrent for arabs and in todays Iran religon is almost dead.
people stop giving arab name to thier kids.....
Iran is the super power in the region and the world should deal with it.

eretzisrael:

Xerxes,
You must know Israelis like Uri Avnery etc. We have our misguided softy-lefties.
I'm sure you don't consider Moshe Sharrat, Sharon, Olmert, Nathanyahu of sound mind do you?

Xerxes husband of Ester:

Eretzisrael your comments are so outrageous that i almost think you are pretending to be israeli and on purpose are trying to make people hate you and therefore everyone from your nation. I happen to know many israeli's of sound mind and with much better understanding of the ancient ties that exist between the jews and the persians(iranians). Twenty five hundred years you had a homeland because of the blessing of a persian king, and once again today you will accepted among the people of the middle east only with blessing of the iranian nation. No matter how much financial and military support you get from the US you still have live in our neighberhood.

eretzisrael:

Cyrus the Great,
Live and learn. You see what we did to Iraqis for launching scuds against us in Gulf-war I, and paying the families of the suicide bombers?
Iraq is devasted for generaltions to come.

Soon your country will face similar situation. MK, baloch tribesmen, Kurds will all be fighting to break away from you.
Further, if we play our cards right, Pakistan will be destablized enough to get a sunni, pro-taliban ruler.

Contrary to what dumb americans think, the number one enemy of Taliban/Wahabis are not American/Jews, its the heretic shiate.

So how would you feel with a nuclear armed taliban in Pakistan? Remember how Taliban slaughtered your diplomats when the took over Afghanistan? That will be your fate soon.

Cyrus The Graet....:

To YELLOW jews

You people should kiss the ground of Cyrus the great King of Kings, because of him you people are still around otherwise, you'd been dead in slavery long ago, so stop your evile deeds, if the first bomb hit the persion ground all hell will break lose and israel will be no more and like your ancesters before you all of you have to pack up and become refugees once again for another thousand years, so if you are man enough stop hiding behind americans and start fighting your own battles.

DONT MESS WITH IRANIANS WE HATE OUR GOVERNMENT BUT WE HATE OUR ENEMIES EVEN MORE. WE'LL BE YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE!!

ka, Morocco:

EA:

you wrote:

"I'm under the impression that the Mullahs that run Iran fear a
velvet revolution more than invasion. "

Based on what sources? The US government?

Iran unlike other countries in the Middle East is not a dictatorship.

Iran elects directly its president (every 4 years) and its representatives in parliament.

No independent organization has ever disputed the transparency of Iranian elections.

The last election's voter's turned out was 50% (no one is forced to vote).

The Iranian president Ahmadanejad won by 19% in the first around and by 60% in the second (Iran like France has a 2-round presidential elections).

Contrast these results with most Arab dictatorship that pretends to have elections (99% of votes).

Unlike most Arabs, Iranians are smart enough to make sure that whatever leadership is ruling the country, it does have a solid backing from the population.

mohammad allam :

it is nice to see the two country to meet together to settle their dispute and help to each other in iraqi swamp.but this is very tough job.the first question that comes in mind that is america lost the war?as alqaedist claimed .other hand is there any moral policy in american and iranian foreign policy as both used to claim.
the talk will prove that how much both of these two powers give concession to each other. iran will look for more concession and america will talk about iraq.but it is certain fact that america cannot expect only helping hand from iran witout compromising the interest of allies.i.e the concern of sunni world about the iran nuclear power and domiannace of iran on iarq.other hand america cannot accpet a nuclear iran to threat israel.the alquedist,baathist and saddamist is real probelm for america and want a crushing hand from iran.other point of talk cannot be easily about the stay of america in iraq.america cannot hope early exit demand of iran anad iran cannot accept america to stay in iraq for long period of time to jeopadise the security of iran.
the talk will also benefit israel by delinking the support of iran to palestine which started after saddma hussain so earnestly.and the present onslaught against hamas and palestianian people is that direction by assuming by the israel authority that iran will keep quote during talk.

Roger:

We (the U.S.) need to concentrate with the Iranians (and the Syrians and Turks) on one thing: reducing the strife and horror in Iraq. All of the governments in the area, and the overwhelming majority of Arabs, Iranians and Kurds want the same as we should: a stable, safe Iraq with a government friendly to its neighbors. Unfortunately, the Bush admininstration has for too long listened to the forces in the U.S. and Israel (c.f.: the posts by Eretzisrael in this blog) that want internecine fighting between the various racial and religious groups in the Middle East as a way to protect Israel from its neighbors. But this has backfired: as a result of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Israel is doomed - the two-state solution is dead, and the U.S. is too weakened and demoralized to do anything about it. Nor should we. Iran is no threat to the U.S., and anything we do to destabilize it creates support for the most reactionary forces in the next Iranian elections. They have been very helpful in the fight against the Taliban because their interests are the same as ours. We should honestly and forthrightly enlist their help in Iraq, and assure them that we will drop the Cheney-Rumsfeld plan for using Iraq as a base for attacks on their country.

Kevin M.:

Iraq has many destabilizing factors, the least of which is Iranian influence. The threat Iran poses in Iraq is that a majority of the new Iraqi government are Shiite and so they have naturally aligned themselves with Iran. This is unacceptable to the US because if Iran were a greatter influence on the direction of a new Iraq than we are, we would quickly lose the ability to dominate their oil supply. Bush is only feigning diplomacy now so that when he attacks them, the US population can't say that he rushed to war. Those are war ships in the gulf, not bargaining chips.
Bush will say that he attacked becasue of their influence in Iraq, and because of their enrichment program. He is a liar.
Regarding claims of Irans influence in Iraq, CIA has yet to produce any evidence outside of an Iranian made explosive device. All that proves is that someone got their hands on Iranian munitions. Iran's nuclear program is a long way from producing weapons. If Bush were truly concerned with future nuclear threats, he would be threatening Pakistan with urgency. No...its none of the publicised reasons as usual. Its about the oil.

eretzisrael:

The only thing that matters in middle-east is to guarantee that what happened to Jews in WW2 never happens again.

How do we achieve that? We need to completely destroy the will of the arab/moslems that one day they could reclaim Israel from us.
This can only be done if we keep these arab/moslems fragmented and instigate infighting.

Iraq is a great success if we look at the situation there based on the objective as I described above. Israel shall not be facing any direct threat from Iraq for a long time.

In Israel, we have discussed this strategy of 'divide and conquer' for a long time. Moshe Sharett was a proponent of this strategy. Why do you think US/Israel provided arms to both Iraq and Iran during their wars in the 80s?

The idea that all the Arab states should be broken down, by Israel/US, into small units, occurs again and again in Israeli strategic thinking. For example, Ze'ev Schiff, the military correspondent of Ha'aretz (and probably the most knowledgeable in Israel, on this topic) writes about the "best" that can happen for Israeli interests in Iraq: "The dissolution of Iraq into a Shi'ite state, a Sunni state and the separation of the Kurdish part" (Ha'aretz 6/2/1982).

This is no time to act weak. We are 1/2 way through our goal (Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon). Iraq is devasted and divided, Lebanon has been destroyed,and now we can see the start of sectarian/ethnic conflict in Lebanon. Syria isn't really a threat.
So all we have to deal with is Iran.

Ardeshir:

Yossi Melman's advice is realistic & prudent.
As an Iranian scholar, I believe in the enormous potentials that exist in possible cooperation among all the so called adversaries in the Middle east equation.
For the sake of being naive, look at this plausible scenario:
United States & Iran will reach understanding on Iraq situation, and they will expand this cooperation with Syria & saudi Arabia. U.S & Iran will also make progress on the nuclear issue, by allowing IAEA, the United Nations & western countries participate in Iran's nuclear fuel production as partners. US & European companies through their direct access will ensure the safety & security of the nuclear reactors, fuel processing, etc., and also alleviate Israel's fears about any weaponization of this industry in Iran.
Israel will engage in genuine peace talks with the Palestinians, and will finally reach a lasting comprehensive peace with 2-state solution. Israel will be integrated into the league of Middle East nations economically, where its High-tech companies along with Iranian counterparts can build the infrastructure in many countries, build agricultural industry, pharmaceutical industry, desalination projects, dams, Electrical power plants, and make the middle east a wonderful & prosperous area for all its inhabitants, jews, muslims, christians, atheists, & the rest.
It is plausible & possible only if GREEDY, SELFISH, Power-Hungry, & those who preach Hate in the name of religion are somehow gone from the picture.
It is my wish to see that day, but I know that I will not live that long. Let's make this dream a reality, one person at a time.

daniel:

Neo-conservative and their, "We know who” supporters talking about making a division(s) among Iranian people and make it like Iraq.
I would say that to you? The best way to make you guys happy is, (to drop a bomb on every single country that is against (your country and United States)
If people are not agree with your policy, that doesn't mean they hate you!
How narrow minded are you to talk about division and killing of million people.
Hitler went to hell long time ago. Don't be another a. hole with your evil mentality.

George Robertson:

The mistake in the Middle East that the US keeps making, over and over again, is assuming that only one party can speak for the resolution of some situation. This would be like the British agreeing to speak only to the Northern Irish Unionists, and not also the IRA, because the Unionists represented the legally constituted government. In these situations, all major factions must have a seat at the negotiating table, because any faction can undermine the negotiated results afterward. In the situation with Iran, we should not only be negotiating with the official government but we should insist upon there being a representative at the table of the clerics, the Revolutionary Guards, the Armed Services and the intelligence services. Otherwise, we're just wasting our time, because only when all of the above named groups are involved could there be a binding agreement with this particular government. Conversely, if I were the Iranians, I would insist on having not only the US administration being represented, but also having a representative of the Congress and AIPAC present as well, since either of these groups could separately or together torpedo a negotiated agreement made by this administration.

kambiz:

I think , there is one way to solve many of middle east problems: certainly, Iranian people dont want their government but they cant do anything because of dictatorship. US gov should help iranian opposition to rejim change in Iran with Iranian people. Not War , No Attack , But help to change rejim...

kambiz:

I think , there is one way to solve many of middle east problems: certainly, Iranian people dont want their government but they cant do anything because of dictatorship. US gov should help iranian opposition to rejim change in Iran with Iranian people. Not War , No Attack , But help to change rejim...

newageblues:

EretzIsrael says: "We should use the Salvadoran option (80's policy by Reagan admin to support right-wing death-squads).This is our best strategy in bringing Iran down to its knees."
I don't know about that, it could easily backfire as spectacularly as the Iraq occupation, but it's a good strategy to commit Nazi style crimes against humanity. I know one is supposed to be careful using the Nazi analogy and I am being careful. The Reagan supported death/torture (they liked to gouge out eyes) squads in El Salvador didn't only kill armed resistors, anyone with left of center political views was fair prey for them.
I read a lot of hateful pro and anti Israel rants online, this is as bad as anything I've read.

GivePeaceaChance:

if the US is truly concerned with creating democracy in Iran they should just let nature take its course. Over the next 15-20 years Iran will see dramatic democratic changes because of the large liberal (and i mean that in relation to the mentality that exists today in Iran) youth population in Iran. They fight everyday for basic freedoms that Americans enjoy and I believe that they will create a cultural revolution in Iran that will save the future of Iran in the next couple of decades. Unfortunately those in power are obsessed with achieving results immediately and ultimately that leads our beautiful country (USA) down a difficult path. Each day those in power make crucial decisions that will affect the future of the world and that scares the ever living crap out of me. In conclusion, Barack Obama 08'...let's make it happen America!

Anonymous:

I apologize on behalf of the rest of the American people for the antisemetic comment left by O.G.

Scott Sullivan:

The Bush Administration is surrendering to Iran across the board, even to isolating Assad and Sadr on Iran's behalf. Assad and Sadr will still prevail over Nazi Iran. Too bad for Bush.

Scott Sullivan
Iran-Watch.com

Scott Sullivan:

The Bush Administration is surrendering to Iran across the board, even to isolating Assad and Sadr on Iran's behalf. Assad and Sadr will still prevail over Nazi Iran. Too bad for Bush.

Scott Sullivan
Iran-Watch.com

Scott Sullivan:

The Bush Administration is surrendering to Iran across the board, even to isolating Assad and Sadr on Iran's behalf. Assad and Sadr will still prevail over Nazi Iran. Too bad for Bush.

Scott Sullivan
Iran-Watch.com

Mike in CA:

Anyone who seriously thinks the Iranians want a bomb simply to bomb others is ignorant, ridiculous and absurd. We need to distance ourselves from Israel (who can certainly take care of itself) and do all we can to mend fences with all of the middle eastern countries not yet under the sway of Al-Qaeda. Anyone with any bit of sense knows the Bush Doctrine in the Middle East is completely dead, including the Administation itself.

O.G:

ERETZISRAEL:
This is our best strategy in bringing Iran down to its knees.

How about you get down on your knees with your mouth open.....while the Arabs unzip! Go fight your own wars.

We Americans need to stop fighting for these JEWS...let them defend there own self.

O.G:

ERETZISRAEL:
This is our best strategy in bringing Iran down to its knees.

How about you get down on your knees with your mouth open.....while the Arabs unzip! Go fight your own wars you sissy JEW.

We Americans need to stop fighting for these JEWS...let them defend there own self.

kurdistan:

IF THE USA WANTS TO COMPLETE THE PROCESS IN IRAQ, FIRST OF ALL THEY SHOULD REMOVE ALL THE CABINET MINISTER WHO HAS A LINK DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY WITH IRAN AND SYRIA...IT IS OBVIOUS IRAQI PEOPLE HAVE NO FRIEND EVEN USA IS NOT THEIR REAL FRIEND, BUT WHAT WE COULD SEE IS SHARED INTEREST IN IRAQ, IRAQI POLITICIAN PREFER CURRENT SITUATION AND ALLIES WANTS TO KEEP THEIR MILITARY BASE IN IRAQ AND PERSIAN GULF , NOT BECAUSE OF IRANIAN GOVERNMENT, CHINA NEW SUPER POWER COUNTRY WORRYING ALLIES......IT IS POSSIBLE FOR THE USA TO REMOVE ISLAMIC REGIME VERY EASILY, BUT UP TO NOW THEY HAVE NOT FOUND SOME ELSE, WHICH CAN SERVE WESTERN INTEREST IN IRAN AS THEY WANT. THUS, IT IS NOT IN ADVANTAGE OF WESTERN COUNTRIES TO TAKE ACTION QUICKLY, " WESTERN,,, THEY HAVE NO REGULAR FRIENDS, NO REGULAR ENEMIES, BUT THEY HAVE REGULAR INTEREST". SO, WE SHOULD NOT EXPECT BETTER REGIME IN IRAN,,,, THEY REPLACE IT IN DIFFERENT STYLE, BUT SAME AUTHORITY AND DICTATORSHIP..

HN DC:

I have to wonder where the Kool-Aid is?
I'm stunned by the stupidity (and I really hate using that word) of people who think that by bombing a country and killing 100,000+ people will somehow lead to peace. Keep in mind they have today the capacity to build a dirty device and detonate it in one of our cities. If we bomb them, I suspect they won't hesitate to do this . . .

I don't believe there is going to be a velvet revolution but I think form a negotiation standpoint the dollar for dollar it makes sense.

Ultimately the US and Britain are very much responsible for the Middle East as it stands today. I don't tend to believe that causing more disruption and chaos will lead to an improvement.

Regarding Israel, they are just as responsible and have as horrible as any country in the Middle East. If we do decide to do some bombing lets get them out of there to. They aren't good allies!


eretzisrael:

Eclectic:
US is already instigating sectarian/ethnic conflict within Iran by funding Mujahedin Khalq (MK) and the Baloch tribes on Iran-Pak border, with some success.
Instigating the Kurdish minority is a bigger problem 'cause that would piss Turkey off, which is not happy with the resurgence of the Iraqi Kurds.

In any case, West/US/Israel's best hope of subjugating the moslem world is by creating/exploiting ethnic/sectarian divisions within all of these countries.

I would not recommend direct bombing as it exposes us to the rest of the world. We should use the Salvadoran option (80's policy by Reagan admin to support right-wing death-squads).
This is our best strategy in bringing Iran down to its knees.

EA:

I'm under the impression that the Mullahs that run Iran fear a
velvet revolution more than invasion. We could should offer a
deal (they won't take it) to stop funding democracy movements
in Iran IF they stop funding Islamic groups outside of Iran. Be it in
Iraq, Gaza, Lebanon, etc. Old fashioned quid pro quo. Let it be
know that for every dollar or bullet that Iran supplies to these
groups we will give one dollar to support Iranian democracy.
If they agree to the deal, we would expect to see such groups
wither away w/o funds. That means no funds what so ever. Those
so called social support funds simply prop up these groups.

eclectic:

EretzIsrael: I think there is a great opportunity to create division among the Iranians along ethnic and sectarian lines, just as it has been done in Iraq

The Bush administration is trying, which is one of the reasons Iran feels threatened and sees a need for an aggressive defence. But my sense is that the ethnic and sectarian divisions in Iran are not nearly as deep as in Iraq, and the threat of invasion drives the general population into closer solidarity with the government and military. Moreover, the Bush administration is too impatient for this tactic to produce results.

Annonymous: the truth is - if iran stayed out of it iraq would be stable now.

Where did you find this truth? Do you really think the Shia would capitulate to the ex-Bathist resistance if Iran stayed out?

But maybe it doesn't really matter to you - Iran opposes Bush's grand designs it the Middle East and that's enough for you. Bomb the heck out of them. So, what price are you willing to pay for the privilege? $10/ga gas? 10 thousand US casualties? How many hundreds of billions of dollars? How about the formation of a Shia version of Al Qaeda? Do you really want to go into Iran the way we went into Iraq, full of bluster, but with little regard for the consequences?

ka, Morocco:


The "Shia vs Sunni" issue is a convenient excuse for the US government and the cheer-leading US media (including the Washington Post) to escape responsibility for the disaster of Iraq.

There is no available poll/data in the Sunni Arab world that can indicate hostility towards Shia (or Iran) the way US media misrepresents it to Americans. Most Sunni-Arabs would side with Iran and most Arabs know quite well about the support Iran gives to Palestinians.

US media prefers to blame us Arabs rather than its government for all these reckless policies.

The pro-US puppet Arab governments do not represent the people's views in anyway.

Iran should do what it takes to protect its oil resources. The only thing that will deter another US invasion are nuclear weapons unless Iranians want to see another "liberated Iran".

A.I.:

Iran is a major problem. They should be taken care of with bombs and cruise missiles, not high level talks. Talking rarely accomplishes much in that region of the world. Why should we sit down and talk with them when they continue to defy international law and imprison innocent American citizens (I count 3)on made-up charges?

A.I.:

Iran is a major problem. They should be taken care of with bombs and cruise missiles, not high level talks. Talking rarely accomplishes much in that region of the world. Why should we sit down and talk with them when they continue to defy international law and imprison innocent American citizens (I count 3)on made-up charges?

EretzIsrael:

Iran is a threat to the security of Israel, and it needs to be dealt with.
I think there is a great opportunity to create division among the Iranians along ethnic and sectarian lines, just as it has been done in Iraq. No Iraqi dictator would dare threatened Israel or pay the families of the suicide bombers now, that Iraq has been divided into small groups fighting amongst themselves.

To achieve the same goal in Iran, Cheney needs to out-flank Condi who has the ear of the President.

We don't need talks with the Iranians, we only need to internally weaken and divide them up.

Randall:

While I agree that the Americans should engage Iran diplomatically it seems unlikely that a peace dictated from above will work on the ground. Diplomatic agreements would certainly make the area less violent but the chess board like manipulation the author suggests of using often only leads to more anger and violence in the long run.

HN DC:

The real solution WAS to have meaningful dialog with the Iranians two years ago. We have lost valuable time, and lives, and face. It was a decision made in ignorance. It seemed that the current administration believed that the Iranians would cave having seen both its neighbors attacked . . .clearly not the case

That being said, now we really need to talk. Our arrogance will cost us not only economically, but will give added value to the administration in Iran (calling it a regime would be unfair at this point).

As the famous saying goes ignorance got us here, let's just hope arrogance doesn't keep us here. The fact is the Iranians will have a nuclear weapon by 2009 or 2010 at the very latest (my common sense guess.) Concurrently they will be building missile systems that will be able to strike any where in the Middle East certainly, and most likely Western Europe!

Things to watch out for:
- Letting Israel attack Iran. Aside from the annoying World War that would certainly follow, this would send the world economy into a tail spin.
- Destroying physical structures at this point would be at best inconvenient for the Iranians. They already possess the knowledge!
- Trying to start a bloodless revolution. In my mind we would have been better off taking the 70$ million that we are throwing at promoting democracy in Iran and helping them find jobs. Its amazing how that helps!

Here are the headline:
- US talk to Iran
- Iran come to the table with substantial and realistic expectations
- Israel mind your own business for another 12 months and keep your mouth shut.
- And all three of you stop with the rhetoric . . it gets us no where.

commentator:

well, thank you for this article. i do believe however that israel and the US are in a lose lose stiuation, if Iran is attacked isreal will be attcked..and Iran will not go down that easily, and will cause so much choas in middle east and around the globe that will mean the last military intervention for the US army outside of the 50 states. if not attacked Iran will get stronger and and will develope whatever they wish to do without any reprecussions.

Mithras:

"We know why the U.S. decided to meet the Iranians: it is out of despair for the mess in Iraq."

The underlying dynamic here is oil security and the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia. The Saudis have lost confidence in the ability of the Americans to ward off the Iranians, and so are funding Sunni militants, some of whom are al Qaeda affiliates, from Syria to Iran. The real disaster would be if Saudi Arabia legimitizes al Qaeda or if a regional Sunni/Shia conflict impinges on oil production.

One possible way out is to recognize that it is in Iran's interest not to have those disasters materialize, either. Thus, while they know how valuable a deal is to the Americans, and will wish to drive a hard bargain, they are motivated negotiators, too. I imagine some elements in the Kingdom realize this and have warned the Americans to sit down with the Iranians. If this is true, then the reason the U.S. is negotiating now is simply to stay relevant.

lonewolf:

the time has come to talk openly and frankly with the iranians. there can be no other way. to attack them in any meaningful way will require a draft. this will not fly today in american after the iraq debacle. we have played our hand out. it's time to cut our losses before all is lost; not just in iraq but on the wider global stage as well.

Floyd R:

While serving in Iraq, a British First Secretary once told me, "There are no friends amongst nations, there are only shared interests." Maybe linear-thinking politicians are just beginning to understand the term Center(s) of Gravity. BTW, in that part of the world, it's the sheiks and their tribes and Islam. The Iraqis refer to Iranians as Persians and regard Israelis/Jews as another tribe of Abraham. Most of the thousands of Iraqis I've met just want a sense of normalcy, which is a daunting goal whilst they sit atop the world's third largest oil reserve. It's a shame noboby teaches that the Brits were in Iraq surveying for oil in 1870, nor did they teach that one can walk from Western China through India and former Soviet Republics ending in -stan, through the ME, along southern Med, around the Atlantic beyond Senegal, and speak one language: Arabic. Even if the Iraqi situation pipes down, the balloon will bulge somewhere else. The key is to focus on the resources necessary to sustain exisiting/emerging technologies and that which will be required to sustain them. Respecting the influence of big money, here's a vital resource-related suggestion for Israel, that might provide for traction in the peace process: To compliment the 10 Billion dollar pipeline project, that may bring water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea, and existing desalinization, invest in wastewater remediation and clean up three (3) acquifers and leverage water for peace with the Palestinians. Check with your DC delegation regarding a 2001 meeting at Commerce in Arlington. S/F GWM


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