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Obama may rope in Iran in Afghanistan peace bid

The Rediff News Bureau | November 12, 2008 12:37 IST

During his campaign US President-elect Barack Obama [Images] had described Afghanistan as the central front in the war on terror.

Now that he is working out the details of his administration and its policies, sources say he may explore the possibility of negotiations with Iran, reports The Telegraph, London [Images].

Again, he had said during his campaign that he was open to unconditional talks with Teheran, before calibrating it to say that proper groundwork will have to be done first.

Iran, which has at various times supplied different militias in Afghanistan, including the Taliban [Images], remains a key player in the region, as does Pakistan.

The President-elect is also committed to roping in Pakistan, which is also facing problems with its own Taliban, in finding peace in Afghanistan.

Along with his peace initiative, Obama also intends to intensify the hunt for Osama bin Laden, since he believes the Bush administration had slackened in its resolve to nab him.

Also, in keeping with his campaign resolve to reduce the number of troops in Iraq, he will send in at least 10,000 more men into Afghanistan, apart from leaning on allies present in non-combat regions in the troubled nation to send their men to the conflict zones.

Interestingly, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinajed sent a message of congratulations to Obama on his election last week � no doubt enthused by his middle name, Hussein --  the first such from an Iranian authority since the two nations broke off relations after the 1979 Islamic revolution and the American embassy hostage crisis.






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