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Future Iranian intervention

Reader comment on item: Civil War in Iraq?

Submitted by Thomas Haidon (New Zealand), Feb 28, 2006 at 22:53

I somewhat disagree with John Negroponte's rather bleak assessment of the potential regional spill over effect that civil war in Iraq may have. Undoubtedly Tehran is watching the matter closely, not only because of the significant Shi'a population and holy sites, but because of the strategic implications. Iran is the natural ally to the Shi'a led government. Would anyone rule out a possible Iranian military intervention to combat Sunni insurgents if Shi'a continue to suffer? If this ocurred, the Sunni Arab world would likely turn against Iran. This would have direct implications also in terms of the capability of Al Qaeda, who would be required to focus more resources on fighting the Shi'a. With Iran, and Al Qaeda's attentions turned inward, this leaves an optimal space for US intervention.

The administration undoubtedly expected this outcome. A divided enemy is much easier to fight and destroy. With both Iran and Al Qaeda's capability stressed, pushing them into conflict would seem good strategy.
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