KeywordsGovernment and Political Science
*UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT
MASS DESTRUCTION WEAPONS
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AbstractThe Bush Administration is re-evaluating policy toward Iran. During the late 1990s, signs of moderation in Iran had stimulated the United States to try to engage Iran in broad, official talks. Relations took another downturn when Iran was grouped with North Korea and Iraq as part of the "axis of evil" identified in President Bush's January 29, 2002 State of the Union message. The grouping came despite Iran's tacit cooperation with the United States against the Taliban in the post-September 11, 2001 war in Afghanistan. Iran was also quietly helpful in the U.S. effort to oust Iraq's Saddam Hussein in 2003, although Iran reportedly is supporting Shiite Islamic factions there that could greatly boost Iran's influence in post-war Iraq. Some Al Qaeda activists are reportedly in Iran as well, although their relationship with the regime, if any, is unclear. The Bush Administration has warned Iran not to meddle in Iraq, to expel any Al Qaeda in Iran, and to curb its nuclear program, but the Administration has sought to dampen speculation that the United States might take major military action against Iran to change its regime.