By Helene Cooper
"......Bush's language has turned up by another notch the administration's continuing proxy war with Tehran for supremacy in the Middle East. But in the administration, some of Bush's top deputies are still wrangling over whether a diplomatic strategy on Iran that is advocated by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her top aides has any hope of reining in Iran's nuclear program or prompting a change in Iranian behavior.
With regard to Iraq in particular, Rice's decision that the United States would participate in talks with Iranian officials prompted second-guessing from more hawkish officials in Vice President Dick Cheney's office, who pushed for further isolation of Iran. Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, acknowledged in his testimony to Congress last week that the talks had done little to restrain what he called Iran's "malign" influence.......
"If I were the Iranians, what I'd be freaked out about is that the other Arab states didn't protest" the Israeli airstrike in Syria, said George Perkovich, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "The Arab world nonreaction is a signal to Iran, that Arabs aren't happy with Iran's power and influence, so if the Israelis want to go and intimidate and violate the airspace of another Arab state that's an ally of Iran, the other Arab states aren't going to do anything."......"