Bush administration members and other Capitol Hill denizens are puzzling over how to approach Iran — one currently circulating (so Cold War retro!) keyword is “containment,” says the BBC — and finding the situation to be increasingly perplexing in light of U.S. relationships with Iraq and other Mideast nations.


In dealing with Iran, the administration is handicapped by its difficulties in Iraq, where the Iranians have great influence.

It is not possible, says former State Department official James Dobbins, to stabilise Iraq and at the same time destabilise Iran.

There are some in Washington who think that, if diplomacy fails, the administration should resort to military action.

But the dangers of doing so are widely acknowledged.

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