After the advent of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Iran-US relations underwent a major change. Iran became the main US adversary in the Middle East and the US tried to contain it. Some recent developments in the region have brought up new variables in Iran-US relations and complicated them in some cases. Iraq’s occupation is one of these variables. The Iraqi issue has created some important common grounds as well as some differences between the two countries. Iran has a remarkable influence on Iraqi militants who govern the country at the present time. Due to Iran’s influence on political forces in Iraq, negotiations with Iran to reduce political strife in this country were deemed necessary in US political circles. But there are too many obstacles in the way of the continuation of these negotiations. One of these obstacles is the opposition of the Israeli lobby to holding any negotiations with Iran. Moreover, most Sunni Arab countries do not evaluate closer relationship between Iran and the US in line with their interests. They are not interested in the consolidation of Shia power in Iraqi politics.

In addition to the external factors, some internal elements in the domestic politics of both countries are influencing the process of negotiations including the upcoming US presidential elections. This book tries to study Iran-US interaction in Iraq considering international and regional situation.

The first article, “Iran and US Interaction in Iraq” studies the present situation in Iraq and US policy toward this country. The author tries to show Iran’s role in changing US policies. With the continuation of instability in Iraq, the occurrence of a civil war in the country has become more likely. As a result of this, the US has decided to revise its policies and to get in contact with Iran to reduce tensions in Iraq.

The second article, “Cooperation between Iran and the US for Establishing Peace in Iraq” poses four questions about the critical situation in Iraq, roots of crisis in the country, future scenarios, and how to control the insurgency. Then, the author argues that the turmoil could spill over the region and for that reason cooperation between Iran and the US is essential for bringing out peace in Iraq.

The third article “The Theory of Iran’s Rising Regional Role” addresses Iran’s role in Iran and evaluates the impact of the US Middle East policy and regional situation on strengthening or weakening Iran’s role. Furthermore, the author addresses the issue that whether Iran’s policies toward Iraq are mostly defensive aiming at fending off security threats resulting from US military presence or they pursue long-term interests.

The fourth article “US Approach in Iraq and Iran’s Position” studies the reasons for the failure of US strategies and policies in Iraq. The author also analyzes the new policies adopted by the US towards Iraq; especially the policy of arming Sunni groups and considers it as a factor leading to new crises in Iraq and even in the whole region.

The fifth article, “US public Diplomacy and Iran’s Soft Power in Iraq” studies the use of public diplomacy by the US for furthering its policies in Iraq. However, the US has not been successful in this. On the other hand, Iran has proved more successful in shaping political and social structure in Iraq.

The sixth article “Two Questions: Issues Related to Iran and the US in Iraq’s Political Scene” poses two key questions about the likelihood of a limited military operation against Iran by the US, and the real intentions of the US in Iraq. The author argues that the commonalities between Iran and the US in Iraq’s context are more prominent than their differences.

The seventh article “Iraq Experience and the US National Security” is a translated version of an article written by Stephen Miller. The author studies in detail strategies pursued by the Bush Administration, especially regarding the struggle against terrorism. Moreover, the article addresses Iran’s nuclear issue and how the US will deal with this problem.

The last article “US Strategy towards Iraq: Strategic Considerations of the Islamic Republic of Iran” Consists of a summary of discussions conducted during a roundtable held in the Foreign Policy Research Department.


_ Preface

_ Iran and US Interaction in Iraq /Dr Mahmood Vaezi

_ Cooperation between Iran and the United States for Establishing Peace in Iraq / Nasser Saghafi Ameri

_ The Theory of Iran’s Rising Regional Role /Dr Kayhan Barzegar

_ US Approach to Iraq and Iran’s Position /Ali Akbar Asadi

_ US Public Diplomacy and Iran’s Soft Power in Iraq /Afsaneh Ahadi

_ Two Questions: Issues Related to Iran and the US in Iraq’s Political Scene / Seyed Javad Tahaii

_ Iraq Experience and the US National Security / Stephen Miller

_ Roundtable: US Strategy towards Iraq