Nir Rosen on Iraq and Iran


My colleague and good friend Nir Rosen is turning into Mr. Q & A on the toughest parts of America’s foreign policy portfolio.
Previously, he did this candid back-and-forth, “The Case for Cutting and Running“, with the Atlantic Monthly.
Now, Foreign Policy magazine has just published this exchange with Nir on Iraq and Iran.
Read the whole thing, but read this bit on Christopher Hitchens’ comments on Iran. Just for the record, some of us — including General Wesley Clarkbeat Hitchens to that notion. But still, it’s progress.
Nir Rosen responds to FP on Iran:

FP: Christopher Hitchens has proposed a “Nixon goes to China” approach to Iran. What do you think of this idea?
NR: I think that’s probably the first intelligent thing I’ve heard Hitchens say in the past five years.
I think that’s very important. Had this happened earlier, perhaps Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would have not won the elections.
The Iranians have been speaking about a dialogue of civilizations for a long time, and Washington has responded only with threats and enmity, really.
I think increased business ties would certainly strengthen the U.S.-Iranian relations. I don’t think there’s any reason for the United States and Iran to be enemies, apart from the Iranian-Israeli hostility.
I think they are natural allies. It’s about time Washington made an overture to Iran. We certainly don’t want to miss the boat and let the Europeans make inroads economically in Iran, a market the United States needs.
The Iranian people have no inherent hostility toward the United States. I think such a move would work.

More soon.
— Steve Clemons