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By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Trita Parsi
The Obama administration moved swiftly Tuesday to seize on the horrific suicide bombing of the Iranian Embassy in Beirut as an example of how Washington and Tehran share common ground as terrorist targets.
The presidents of America and Iran may meet briefly next week for the first time, marking a symbolic but significant step toward easing their countries' tense relationship. An exchange of letters between the leaders already has raised expectations for a thaw in relations, and any progress in dismantling Syria's chemical weapons stockpile could signal whether their elusive diplomacy will last longer than a handshake.
The debate over whether Congress approves the Obama administration's plan to strike Syria for its use of chemical weapons is being watched nowhere more closely than in Iran, where the notoriously opaque political leaders are wrestling over whether — and how — to retaliate.
In a Feb. 26 op-ed titled “The case against Chuck Hagel,” Frank Gaffney erroneously wrote that “Trita Parsi was determined by a federal judge to be an Iranian agent.”
Iran's nuclear ambitions may loom large, but lurking in the shadow of President Obama's highly anticipated visit to Israel this week is a protracted and secretive war already being waged between Jerusalem and Tehran.
The Iranian rulers love Chuck Hagel.
The Treasury Department's counterterrorism arm is investigating speaking fees paid to a longtime Democratic Party leader who is among the most vocal advocates for Iranian dissidents designated as a terrorist group by the State Department.
U.S. leaders praised the European Union's embargo on Iranian oil Monday, even though it triggered a jump of more than $1 per barrel in global oil prices and signaled the potential for a rise in U.S. gasoline prices in the weeks ahead.
"I think from the side of the West, this was a way to show consistency and sympathy to the Iranians when they've been targeted by al Qaeda," said Trita Parsi, who heads the National Iranian American Council. "It's a way for the U.S. to repeat their claim or assertion that the U.S. is against terrorism, no matter who it targets."
Mr. Kerry's condolence note "reinforces a message that President Obama has tried to convey for five years now, that the U.S. has a problem with the Iranian nuclear program, a problem with some Iranian policies, but not with Iran per se, and that when these problems are resolved, other issues can be addressed more collaboratively," Mr. Parsi said.