London, Dec 5, IRNA-Former national security adviser to the Carter administration, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Tuesday urged the US to start a dialogue with Iran, warning that there was much more at stake for Washington in the Middle East than Iraq.
"America needs a strategic change of course, and it has to be undertaken on a broad front," Brzezinski said.
"The immediate dilemma is Iraq but the larger stake is the future of the Middle East," he said.
His call, made in an article for the Financial Times, coincided with this week's publication of reports on Iraq by former US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the long-awaited Baker-Hamilton Study Group.
"The real importance of both documents is in what they do not say explicitly but implicitly convey: that the war has been a disaster," said the former security adviser.
The US, he said, "must accept the fact that real leadership in Iraq should be based on a coalition of the Shia clergy commanding the loyalty of Shia militias and of the autonomous Kurds."
"The sooner a date is set for US departure, the sooner the authentic Iraqi leaders will be able to enlist Iraq's neighbours," Brzezinski said.
He said that Washington must also engage its allies in a "joint definition of the basic parameters of an Israeli-Palestinian settlement, for the two parties to the conflict will never do so on their own."
"Last but not least, the US must be ready to pursue multilateral and bilateral talks with Iran, including regional security issues," Carter's former aide further emphasised.
President George W Bush, he added, must recognize that Washington's role in the world is being "gravely undermined by the policies launched more than three years ago."
"The destructive war in Iraq, the hypocritical indifference to the human dimensions of the stalemate in Israeli-Palestinian relations, the lack of diplomatic initiative in dealing with Iran and the frequent use of Islamophobic rhetoric are setting in motion forces that threaten to push America out of the Middle East, with dire consequences for itself and its friends in Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia."
Brzeziniski, who served in the Carter administration during the Islamic Revolution in Iran, has previously called on the US to finally come to terms with the takeover of the American Embassy in Tehran after more than 25 years.
It is time to start closing that chapter of "humiliation" that Americans felt so strongly, instead of remaining haunted by the memories, he said in an interview with the Financial Times last year.
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