Planting Flag in Iran Would Be Good for US
Political heat worth the contact office, however small, would bring
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2008 3:18 PM CDT
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad clenches his fist as he delivers a speech.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – President Bush is considering opening a small US office in Iran, Fred Hiatt writes in the Washington Post, a move that could spur contact with citizens—and perhaps the hostile regime. "It's not a softening," one official said of the proposed interest section, steps below a full embassy. "It does allow us to reach out to youth groups, to talk to dissidents. It's something the regime wouldn't like."

Bush is trying to hand over a foreign policy “on something of an even keel,” and with Iraq’s fortunes improving, Iran “sticks out.” Concludes Hiatt, "President Bush would be doing his successor, whoever he is, a favor by putting this forward now and taking the political heat—which would probably turn out to be lukewarm in any case."