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New US policy on Iran encourages bad behaviour

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Letter

New US policy on Iran encourages bad behaviour

From Najmedin Meshkati, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, US

I would like to commend the Financial Times for Roula Khalaf’s column about US policy towards Iran (“The US goes to Warsaw to build an anti-Iran coalition”, Feb 6). Ms Khalaf provided perceptive warnings and echoed what Henry Kissinger advised some five years ago:

“Pursuing its own strategic objectives, the United States can be a crucial factor — perhaps the crucial factor — in determining whether Iran pursues the path of revolutionary Islam or that of a great nation legitimately and importantly lodged in the Westphalian system of states. But America can fulfil that role only on the basis of involvement, not of withdrawal.”

Alas, President Donald Trump’s unilateral withdrawal of the US from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action followed by the misguided Warsaw gathering not only dismissed the above, but also, as she correctly suggested, worsens everything, domestically and internationally. It will also force and perpetuate Iran’s “bad behaviour”. As Mr Kissinger said, Iran “must decide whether it is a country or a cause”.

Najmedin Meshkati
Fellow, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, US

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