One Cheer for Iran


Writing in the Wash Times, Arnaud de Borchgrave suggests that Iran may be the U.S.'s best bet for a speedy and non-destabilizing (?) withdrawal from Iraq:

Iran can either facilitate or humiliate a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. Key mullahs now say Iran should assist a U.S. exit that would enhance Iran's regional power. The argument, put forward by Moshen Rezai, secretary of the government's "Expediency Council," states that "America's arrival in the region presented Iran with an historic opportunity."

"The kind of service that the Americans, with all their hatred, have done us," said Mr. Rezai, "no superpower has ever done anything similar. America destroyed all our enemies in the region. It destroyed the Taliban. It destroyed Saddam Hussein. … It did all this in order to confront us face to face, and in order to place us under siege. But the American teeth got so stuck in the soil of Iraq and Afghanistan that if they manage to drag themselves back to Washington in one piece, they should thank Allah."

America, therefore, "presents us with an opportunity rather than a threat—not because it intended to, but because its estimates were wrong and made many mistakes," argued Mr. Rezai. Washington, he said, "has now despaired of toppling the Islamic Republic. The threats we face… are about blocking Iran's influence in the region. This is a vital national interest and the entire nuclear dispute revolves around it."

Mr. Rezai said, "now that the Democrats have both houses of Congress," it was incumbent upon Iran to "behave reasonably." America's policies and goals in the Middle East won't change, he concluded, but methods will and "put aside Bush's warmongering methods," and both countries "will stay clear of aggressive confrontations."

This is not exactly a get-out-Iraq-free card. Iran is not about to forgo its nuclear ambitions. But there is plenty to talk about. Muzzling Sheik Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi army and continuing to help, as Iran has, the al-Maliki government is a good place to start.

More here.