Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Iran, the United States and Potential Iraq Deal-Spoilers

From Reva Bhalla at Stratfor

As the leader of the Sunni Arabs, the Saudis believe they have every right to be part of the formal negotiating process ... Meanwhile, the Iranians evidently are working to allay Sunni Arab fears by publicizing Tehran's Iraq proposal (with considerable concessions to Iraq's Sunnis) in the mainstream Arab press and stepping up diplomatic engagements with Sunni governments. The House of Saud does not want U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq while Iran uses its proxies to create an excuse to intervene militarily. The Saudis also do not want Iraq war-hardened Saudi jihadist veterans to return home and attack the kingdom. Though the Saudis might see an Iran-U.S. deal as inevitable, they will keep their ties to the full spectrum of Sunni militants to use as their main deal-breaker should an Iraq settlement fail to address their interests.

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