New York Post: A stable Iraq will serve as “a block” against Iran’s growing Mideast ambitions, but an unstable Iraq will serve as “bridge” for them, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said yesterday. New York Post
By ANDY SOLTIS
October 2, 2007 — A stable Iraq will serve as “a block” against Iran’s growing Mideast ambitions, but an unstable Iraq will serve as “bridge” for them, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said yesterday.
She told The Post’s editorial board that the Bush administration has been able to get its message across to Tehran despite the lack of formal diplomatic relations.
Rice said despite the Iranians’ claim that they don’t want to destabilize southern Iraq, the United States has told them “they’re behaving in a very strange fashion – and there are costs to doing what they’ve been doing.”
Rice said the troop surge in Iraq “has helped a lot” in diplomatic efforts with other states in the region.
She said before the increase in American forces, Iraq’s neighbors “were afraid the U.S. might leave,” and feared the result would be a “chaotic situation.”
Rice also denied that this is the wrong time to try to push for progress in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, despite the growth of Hamas’ power.
“There never seems to be a good time in the Mideast,” she said.