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IRAN - The Campaign Against Terror - Part 5.

Caught in the middle of America's global war against terror, Iran is poised in between major opportunities and risks. The strategic balance can swing either in favour of opportunities or in the direction of great risk, depending on the decisions made by the Iranian leadership in the coming months and years.

Iran now has the opportunity to benefit from the defeat of the Taliban movement in Afghanistan and from the ouster ouster n. 1) the wrongful dispossession (putting out) of a rightful owner or tenant of real property, forcing the party pushed out of the premises to bring a lawsuit to regain possession.  of Saddam Hussein Saddam Hussein

(born April 28, 1937, Tikrit, Iraq—died Dec. 30, 2006, Baghdad) President of Iraq (1979–2003). He joined the Ba'th Party in 1957. Following participation in a failed attempt to assassinate Iraqi Pres.
, if US President George W. Bush Jr has his way on Iraq. Alternatively, Iran could itself become a high-profile target in the war against terror. The challenge for the theologians leading the country is to benefit from the opportunities without appearing to compromise on the principles of the 1979 revolution.

The impact on Iran of the war against terror will be defined by its relationship with the US, which is evolving in very subtle way. There are both positive and negative signals, and it is never clear whether relations have improved since Sept. 11, 2001 or have become worse. It is clear that the dynamic between the two countries is changing, and will continue to change based on domestic developments in both states as well as on regional factors.

Iran was seen as one of the key winners in Phase One of the US war against terror, i.e. specifically the ouster of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Phase One has not yet been completed, as it would end only with the capture of Osama Bin Ladin, Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar Noun 1. Mullah Mohammed Omar - reclusive Afghanistani politician and leader of the Taliban who imposed a strict interpretation of shariah law on Afghanistan (born in 1960)
Mullah Omar
 and the top cadre of both the Taliban movement and the Al Qaida group. Some of the benefits have already become obvious. Iran's ally in Afghanistan, warlord warlord, in modern Chinese history, autonomous regional military commander. In the political chaos following the death (1916) of republican China's first president and commander in chief, Yüan Shih-kai, central authority fell to the provincial military governors  Ismail Khan Ismail Khan (b. 1947), an ethnic Tajik from Herat, Afghanistan, was a powerful Mujahedeen commander in the Soviet War in Afghanistan, and then a key member of the Northern Alliance, later the Governor of Herat Province and is now the Minister of Energy for the country. , is already in control of Herat province and looks well established there. Business opportunities have increased and Iranian companies This is a selected list of Iranian companies. Holding & Conglomerate
  • Industrial Development and Renovation Organization of Iran (IDRO)
  • Heavy Equipment Production Company (HEPCO)
 are among those favoured by the interim government in the award of new contracts.

Phase Two of the anti-terror war has already begun, however, and the implications are more ambiguous for Iran - especially in view of Bush's decision to name the country as part of the "axis of evil". Moderates in Iran as well as in the US see a unique opportunity for breaking out of the stalemate stale¬∑mate ¬†
1. A situation in which further action is blocked; a deadlock.

2. A drawing position in chess in which the king, although not in check, can move only into check and no other piece can move.

 in bilateral ties which has been in place since 1979, with US Secretary of State Colin Powell Noun 1. Colin Powell - United States general who was the first African American to serve as chief of staff; later served as Secretary of State under President George W. Bush (born 1937)
Colin luther Powell, Powell
 and his Iranian counterpart Kamal Kharrazi being ideal candidates to move things forward.

The two sides were quick to see the convergence of interests in the campaign against the Taliban movement, for example. Behind the scenes co-operation since the US started bombing Afghanistan in October 2001, played a role in the rapid advance of Afghan Northern Alliance forces on the ground. Kharrazi's speech at the swearing in of the Karzai administration on Dec. 22, 2001 - with US diplomats present - was another reflection of the underlying convergent interests.

A similar convergence will become evident if, or when, the US begins to widen its war against terror to Iraq. In that case, Iran's position will be even more important. In view of the predominantly Shiite community in southern Iraq, Tehran is in a good position to influence events in that area. If the US decides to push from the northern Kurdish region, along with Turkish soldiers, Iran could well back a rebellion in the south - a move that will have a direct positive impact on the American campaign to get rid of Saddam.

The question is whether the US would be willing to share the spoils thereafter. Iranian officials his is a list of Iranian officials with their titles, last checked and updated on September 28, 2005. For a list of ministers suggested to the parliament by President Ahmadinejad, see the presidency section in Ahmadinejad's biography.  are upset that, after Tehran played a key role in rallying the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, the US showed no real appreciation of Iran's efforts but rather levelled accusations that Iranian intelligence was trying to undermine the Karzai regime by supporting warlords Warlords may refer to:
  • The plural of Warlord, a name for a figure who has military authority but not legal authority over a subnational region.
  • Warlords (arcade game) is also an arcade video game.
 in western Afghanistan.
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Publication:APS Diplomat Strategic Balance in the Middle East
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:May 20, 2002
Previous Article:EGYPT - Domestic Dimension Of The War Against Terror.
Next Article:IRAN - Domestic Factors.

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