The Future of Iran And Iraq

American troops headed out fast from Iraq. Iranians next door, sacking the British embassy. Will this region hold when will the troops come?

Iranian police officers prevent further protesters from entering the British Embassy, as others stand on the gates holding a satirized British flag and Islamic flags, in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011. (AP)

Iranian police officers prevent further protesters from entering the British Embassy, as others stand on the gates holding a satirized British flag and Islamic flags, in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011. (AP)

It’s December 1st. By the end of this month, U.S. troops will – after years and years of war – be out of Iraq. They’re rolling out every day now. Planes, trucks, Humvees. Headed up. Headed out. Goodbye, American soldiers.

Meanwhile, just over the border, neighboring Iran is running a fever. This week, a government-backed mob in Tehran ransacked the British embassy. Western sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program are really biting. Iran’s hitting back. There’s no bigger, easier target than making trouble in Iraq.

This hour, On Point: will this region hold when the U.S. troops come home?

-Tom Ashbrook


Farnaz Fassihi, reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

Phebe Marr, sits on the board of directors at the Middle East Policy Council, a Washington, D.C. based organization that educates policy-makers about the Middle East issues. She’s the author of The Modern History of Iraq.

Mohsen Milani, professor of politics and chair of the Department of Government and International Affairs at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

From Tom’s Reading List

Wall Street Journal “Several hundred Iranian students on Tuesday stormed and ransacked the British Embassy compound in Tehran in response to new economic sanctions over the country’s nuclear program, an attack stemming in part from the increasingly toxic fight for political control being played out between conservatives in the Islamic republic.”

Al Jazeera “It’s been a wild couple of weeks worth of speculation regarding Iran’s nuclear programme – how advanced it might be, how certain the International Atomic Agency should be of its weaponised nature, and what, if anything, can or ought to be done about halting it.”

Foreign Policy “Defense Secretary Leon Panetta gave a full-throated defense Tuesday of the Obama administration’s decision to withdraw all troops from Iraq by year’s end, claiming Iraq is ready to defend itself.”

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