The new Middle East and Iran.

Mideast

Turkey and Egypt dominates, as do Israel/Palestine. Iran in new context.

From one of the best commentators on the Middle East, Rami Khouri:

I get the impression after a month in the United States and many public and private discussions on the Middle East that the issue of Iran – or the Iranian “threat” as it has long been called in many quarters in the U.S. – is no longer as pressing or threatening a matter as it has been in recent years. The main reason perhaps is that when it comes to the Middle East, the United States generally finds it hard to walk and chew gum at the same time; in other words, it has trouble dealing with more than one major issue at a time.

[..] Today, though, three other major issues seem to have relegated Iran to the background of the foreign policy scene in Washington, at least for now. These are the American withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan, the Arab citizen revolts and uprisings across the region, and the renewed focus on the Palestinian quest for statehood at the U.N. and its diplomatic reverberations.

Iran itself has not changed very much in the past year or two vis-à-vis relations with the U.S. However, American perception of Iran and its dangers seems to have softened a bit, as the U.S. finds itself with its hands full trying to deal with the three other issues mentioned above.

Full story, recommended.

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