The Daily Talking Points

News and views relevant to U.S.-Iran relations for September 4 – 7.

  • ABC News: Iran was a hot topic of conversation on ABC’s Sunday talk show, “This Week with Christiane Amanpour” . In addition to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s restating that bombing the Islamic Republic is not to be ruled out (picked up from “This Week” in the Wall Street Journal), there was a back-and-forth between New York Times columnists Tom Friedman and Paul Krugman, Washington Post columnist George Will and Post editor Mary Jordan. Friedman alleged a “natural Sunni-Israel alliance.” Jordan noted people in the U.S. are “war-weary”, and although “all options are on the table,” war against Iran is the last option. Will said while Israel hopes it has a partner in attacking Iran (the U.S.),  they will go it alone because “the Israelis are not going to wait on regime change to save them from a nuclear weapon.”
  • The Sunday Times (via Fox News): The Sunday Times reports that five Iranian companies in Kabul are providing cash for the Taliban and bonuses for killing Americans.  An anonymous Afghan intelligence officer and Taliban sources tell the Times that Iranian companies win reconstruction contracts, often funded through foreign aid,  and then use the money to support the Taliban.  MSNBC, Commentary’s Jennifer Rubin, and the Weekly Standard’s Thomas Jocelyn also picked up The Sunday Times story.
  • The Associated Press: The AP reports on comments made Sunday by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in which he warned that an Israeli attack, “…means the annihilation of the Zionist entity.” Ahmadinejad, who delivered the remarks in Qatar, sought to reassure neighboring Arab states, many of which host bases for U.S. forces, that he would not target them should a conflict break out between western states and Iran. During his visit, Ahmadinejad also called for reconciliation and greater cooperation between Shiite-dominated Iran and other, largely Sunni dominated, Gulf states.

Ali Gharib

Ali Gharib is a New York-based journalist on U.S. foreign policy with a focus on the Middle East and Central Asia. His work has appeared at Inter Press Service, where he was the Deputy Washington Bureau Chief; the Buffalo Beast; Huffington Post; Mondoweiss; Right Web; and Alternet. He holds a Master's degree in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. A proud Iranian-American and fluent Farsi speaker, Ali was born in California and raised in D.C.



  1. Tom Friedman has borrowed this concept from another source.It is not his analysis. The other source is also of dubous validity ( from ? Likud/?AIPAC?). This is in line with the assertion by neocons that Arabs are longing for US intervention.That palestinians are asking for ffredom from corrupt regime of Arafat and of religious bigotry of Hamas,that Iraq will shower US soldiers with petals of roses.
    Unless we stop these bunch of Isareli -firster , oneday they will claim that US was created by God for its citizen to die enmasse for Israel.

  2. Regarding the Sunday Times article reporting that Iran is supporting the Taliban, do you accept this or do you believe it’s false? The best I have been able to determine there appears to be some Iranian aid going to the Taliban, on the principle that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” (or at least deserves some help). Do you agree or no?

    The interesting point here is that if U.S.-Iranian relations were friendly rather than the opposite, the Iranians would certainly be helping us against the Taliban, with whom they have nothing except hatred of the U.S. in common. And their help would likely be of decisive importance in turning the war around.

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