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  1. curtis November 19, 2014 @ 3:16 am

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Is US Iran Policy Moderating?

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Intelligence report from Swoop:

In May 2006 the US offered conditional talks with Iran, the condition being that Iran agreed to suspend its uranium enrichment activities. Our Administration contacts now tell us that an active debate is underway about whether to soften that condition so as to allow direct talks with Tehran. The publication in December 2007 of the National Intelligence Estimate has created what one State Department official called “powerful new dynamics” inside the Administration. Officials who advocate engaging Iran in a more wide-ranging dialogue have gained influence. This new approach shaped the US response to the January 6th incident in the Strait of Hormuz in which US and Iranian naval vessels confronted each other. While US officials used tough words to criticize what they called the “provocative actions” of Iran, they were privately relieved that the US rules of engagement devised by CENTCOM Commander Admiral Fallon had prevented an exchange of fire. They stressed that the incident did not entail a breakdown in Washington’s relations with Tehran. However, during his visit to the Middle East on January 8th, President Bush maintained a critical tone against Tehran. In parallel, the Treasury has imposed financial sanctions against a top Iranian general. Nonetheless, with US military officers in Baghdad reporting a substantial drop in Iranian assistance to anti-US elements in Iraq, the sources of tension are moderating. Bush was more open in private discussions with his hosts in the Gulf that US policy toward Iran needs rethinking. The timing of any change remains unclear. A National Security Council official commented to us: “No decisive breakthrough is likely in this Administration. However, the next president will inherit a more promising base to make progress with Tehran.”

Irancove @ January 13, 2008

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