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Reporter: Fall 2007 could see an 'uptick' in US-Iran tensions
Michael Roston
Published: Friday May 4, 2007
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A top journalist tracking the dispute between Iran and the international community over its nuclear program has suggested in an interview published at the Harpers' website that an uptick in tensions between the US and Iran could emerge this fall.

"If by September the 'surge' is deemed to be ineffective, the Bush Administration may seek to blame Iran for its continuing difficulties," Laura Rozen, a top correspondent for the American Prospect and the Washington Monthly, told Harpers' Ken Silverstein. "So I would not be surprised later this fall to see an uptick in Iran-bashing from elements of the administration and associated constituencies trying to gin up confrontation."

Rozen was participating in an interview with Silverstein on the state of the Iranian dispute and US-Iran relations. She also noted that tensions were in check at the moment because currently "there's not a great desire at the State Department or the Pentagon for another war."

In the interview, Rozen also criticized the Bush administration for publicly announcing its intention of funding groups inside Iran that are critical of the current regime.

"Since the Bush Administration announced that it would fund opposition groups, the Iranian government has arrested intellectuals, writers, and activists who have participated in conferences abroad that were sponsored by private NGOs, and accused them of being involved in American-backed efforts to overthrow the regime," she argued. "The international consequences may not have been carefully thought out."

Rozen also accused advocates of funding Iranian opposition groups, such as the American Enterprise Institute's Michael Ledeen and Richard Perle, of using such efforts to catalyze military conflict with Iran.

"One wonders if those advocating for heavy Washington involvement see that strategy as a means of deepening U.S. involvement to a point that military confrontation ultimately becomes inevitable," she explained.

The full interview can be read at this link.