Whistle-blowers tend to tout their wares with some regularity in the nation’s capital, but this week, one DC-based Iran-watcher has chosen a rather more distant outlet for his views.
Reza Marashi is director of research at the National Iranian American Council and a former Iran desk officer at the State Department.
His op-eds and columns are regularly printed by the American press, but on this occasion, he chose the Saudi-produced Khajeel Times as his platform.
His column explains why, throughout successive administrations, the American government has placed too much trust in the briefings provided by U.S. intelligence services. The information provided by scant resources on the ground in the Middle East has, Marashi says, lead to some disastrous decisions.
With the escalating back-and-forth over Iran, he says, it’s happening all over again. Diplomacy is falling by the wayside, and intelligence reports are providing the basis for some potentially game-changing decisions.
“During my tenure at the State Department, we tried twice to push the idea of sending U.S. diplomats to Tehran. Both the Bush and Obama administrations decided against it….the U.S. is trying to gauge the intentions of a country with which it has little direct contact, a situation that it rarely replicates elsewhere.”
Reza Marashi might be satisfied to learn that his viewpoint has gained some traction elsewhere in the region: the well-established Turkish Hurriyet Daily News has already reprinted his article .