, “A Persian puzzle”

February 25, 2009

Dennis Ross becomes Barack Obama’s adviser on Iran. How will America now approach Iran?

“One view is that America and Iran should start small. They could, for example, limit first contacts to how America and Iran might work together in two countries of common (if not exactly mutual) interest, Iraq and Afghanistan. America has talked to Iran over Iraq, and America’s incoming ambassador to Iraq, Christopher Hill, is experienced at dealing with difficult regimes, having been a negotiator with North Korea. Afghanistan is another area of common concern; Iran will not want it to be dominated again by fanatical Sunnis, having nearly gone to war with the Taliban regime in 1998 over a massacre of Iranian diplomats