Global Issues, US Politics

Could this be one of the ‘mistakes’ Bush was talking about?

So it turns out that in 2003, Iran offered the following to the US – ending support for Lebanese and Palestinian militant groups, helping to stabilize Iraq following the US-led invasion and making its nuclear programme more transparent. This in return for Washington to end its hostility, to end sanctions, and to disband the Iranian rebel group the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (operating in Iraq) and repatriate its members. Not ideal, but seeing as though they had been helping considerably in Afghanistan, this seems like a pretty good offer. Perhaps at the least a dialogue starter?

One of the then Secretary of State Colin Powell’s top aides told the BBC the state department was keen on the plan – but was over-ruled.

“We thought it was a very propitious moment to do that,” Lawrence Wilkerson told Newsnight.

“But as soon as it got to the White House, and as soon as it got to the Vice-President’s office, the old mantra of ‘We don’t talk to evil’… reasserted itself.”

Observers say the Iranian offer as outlined nearly four years ago corresponds pretty closely to what Washington is demanding from Tehran now. (emph mine)

So how has that rejection turned out?

Since that time, Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah inflicted significant military losses on the major US ally in the region, Israel, in the 2006 conflict and is now claiming increased political power in Lebanon.

Palestinian militant group Hamas won power in parliamentary elections a year ago, opening a new chapter of conflict in Gaza and the West Bank.

And Iraq?…

PS: Will the axis of evil line be seen as one of the single most damaging things ever said by (or written for) a president?

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