Iran: The Price of Neglect

The ‘axis of evil’ is biting back. Bogged down in Iraq, the United States is discovering that Iran is increasing its influence there, perhaps even allowing weapons to reach opposition forces

The World Today
5 minute READ

Professor Ali Ansari

Professor of Iranian History and Founding Director, Institute for Iranian Studies at the University of St Andrews

The long resisted policy of constructive engagement with Tehran is the only alternative to a new war.

Despite the mounting tension with the European Union over allegations about uranium enrichment and other nuclear developments, the mood in Tehran appears to be remarkable buoyant. While western news organisations struggle to find positive things to say about the ongoing political trauma in Iraq, Iranian politicians have been looking forward to developments, including the referendum on the Iraqi constitution.

Despite downplaying the links between Iran and the new government in Iraq, the spokesman for the Majlis parliamentary Foreign Policy Commission, Kazem Jalali, said, ‘Naturally, Iran does have a certain influence in Iraq as a result of its influence with the different groups, namely the Shiites and Kurds’.

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