June 17, 2014
Obama Courting Iran for Help in Iraq Risks Backlash
Journalist Terry Atlas
President Barack Obama’s outreach to Iran to help thwart Sunni militants in Iraqmay upset regional allies and risk a domestic political backlash.
The U.S. began the discussion with a brief meeting yesterday between American and Iranian officials on the sidelines of talks in Vienna over Iran’s nuclear program, according to a State Department official who wasn’t permitted to be quoted by name.
The contacts may open the door for what would be the first regional security cooperation since Iran helped the U.S. take on the Taliban in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The Obama administration wants to see whether Iran, which has close ties to Iraq’s Shiite-dominated government, will support political changes to weaken the Sunni militants threatening to split apart the country.