Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Perspective: Iran’s Chance -- U.S. Troubles in Iraq Create Opening for Regional Shift

CAIRO, Feb. 17 — In recent weeks, President Bush and American military officials have increasingly accused Iran of meddling in Iraq’s affairs. But from Iran’s perspective, given its longstanding interests in Iraq, it is the United States that is meddling in its backyard, analysts inside and outside of Iran say.

From the very start of the American occupation of Iraq, at least some in the Bush administration saw an opportunity to curtail the influence of Iran’s radical Shiite leaders by producing an alternative, moderate center of Shiite Islam that would effectively neuter Tehran in ideological, political and strategic terms.

This was abundantly clear to Iran’s clerical rulers, whose paramount priority since they seized power in 1979 has been to preserve their revolution and their grip on their own country.

Read the rest at the NY Times