Ambassador Lawrence Butler
After 27 years of hostilities, the US and Iran finally met eye ball to eye ball to discuss ways on stabilizing Iraq

Both say they want to support the Iraqi government to help end the bloodbath that has gone increasingly violent and merciless. Yet, both US and Iran have accused each other of inciting the civil war in Iraq.

Critics say the Iraqi government is paying the price of being beholden to both the US and Iran, trapped between their two powerful allies.

Dr Pirouz Mojtahedzadeh, Chairman of Urosevic Research in London, Professor of Political Geography and Geopolitics at TM University
The US has accused Iran of arming and funding Iraqi Shiite militias, a charge Iran vehemently denied. But Iran appears to be in the driving seat in the negotiations, as US troops seemed to be trapped in Iraq. And many critics believe Iran holds the key to the US exit strategy.

Would this historic meeting become just a diplomatic ice breaker with no real significance? 

Could the US and Iran be focused on the issue of stabilizing Iraq, or would Iran's controversial nuclear programme overshadow the real issues at hand?

Dr Sabah Al-Mukhtar, President of Arab Lawyers Association in London
How would the end result of the meeting impact the political developments in Baghdad?
 
Inside Iraq this week looks at some of the critical turning points of this the US-Iran meeting.

Our guests this week are Ambassador Lawrence Butler, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Iraq in the US State Department's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, Dr Pirouz Mojtahedzadeh, Chairman of Urosevic Research in London and Dr. Sabah Al-Mukhtar, President of Arab Lawyers Association in London.

This episode of Inside Iraq aired 01 June 2007

Watch Part One here:

Watch Part Two here:


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