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Topple Assad in Syria to deal a blow to Iran?

A report on the conflict in Syria by the European Council for Foreign Relations argues two things: one, arming the rebels will only make the situation worse; two, Iran needs to be brought into diplomatic discussions. Donald Macintyre backs the report in today's column for Independent Voices. There is anything but consensus on the issue however, as these pieces from the Financial Times and Washington Post illustrate.

First, Gideon Rachman in the FT:

"Some of those who argue that the US and its allies may ultimately have to attack Iranian nuclear facilities are warning against military involvement in Syria – which they argue would be the wrong conflict.

"There is a counter-argument that civil war in Syria is a more significant threat to regional stability than an Iranian bomb that does not yet exist. And even some of those who take the Iranian threat very seriously argue that the best way to deal a blow to Tehran is to topple its regional ally – the Assad regime in Damascus."

In the Washington Post, Dennis Ross and David Makovsky make the case for taking a harder stance against Iran:

"Offering a credible endgame proposal could convince the Iranians that time is truly running out — and that we are setting the stage for the use of force if diplomacy fails."

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