US Foreign Policy

What an attack on Syria will mean for US-Iran relations

in Program

If President Barack Obama does indeed attack Syria, with or without congressional approval, he will forfeit an opportunity to make headway with Iran over its nuclear programme and risk allowing Tehran once again to reap the greatest benefit from Washington’s military excesses in the Middle East.

The more reasonable minds among Iranian political elites, including former President Hashemi Rafsanjani and his protege, President Hassan Rouhani, have publicly condemned Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons. In doing so, they have become targets of Iranian hardliners, who voice unconditional support for Bashar al-Assad and his regime. Even though Rouhani’s rare, pragmatic messages from Tehran have caught the attention of the US, they should not be interpreted to mean that Iran would sit on the fence, if a strike is launched at Damascus.

To read the full op-ed, click here.


This op-ed was first published in Al Jazeera on September 10, 2013

Photo by Toban B. via flickr


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