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Should the US Pursue a Diplomatic Surge Which Includes Iran?


Yesterday Senator Barack Obama called for a different kind of surge in Iraq. During the first day of hearings with General Patraeus, Obama said:

Nobody's asking for a precipitous withdrawal, but I do think that it has to be a measured but increased pressure; and a diplomatic surge that includes Iran. Because if Maliki can tolerate as normal neighbor-to-neighbor relations in Iran, then we should be talking to them as well. I do not believe we're going to be able to stabilize the position without them.

Obama's call for a more temperate approach toward Iran departs from the confrontational and apocalyptic rhetoric that has dominated the Iran narrative.

If the Iraqi government, one that is held up by US treasure and blood, can engage Iran, is it in the US interest to do so as well? By threatening Iran, the US may give the country an incentive to cause us trouble in Iraq and the Middle East in general.

Is it in the interest of the US to open even a minimal dialog with Iran? Or, does Iran's dangerous defiance make the idea of a diplomatic surge a non-starter?

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