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Strategic calculations behind U.S.-Iran confrontation on Syria


09:18, August 13, 2012

BEIJING, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- With the deadly Syrian turmoil dragging on, the confrontation between the United States and Iran over the convoluted crisis is gradually rising to the surface.

Tehran on Thursday hosted an international meeting to call for "serious and inclusive" dialogue between Syria's government and opposition, while Washington claimed that "the Iranian behavior in Syria is destructive."

The diplomatic wrestling indicates that the Syria issue involves not only the antagonism between President Bashar al-Assad's government and the rebels, but also the United States' and Iran's strategies and interests in the region.

The past two years have seen dramatic changes sweep across the Middle East, with the downfall of some traditional U.S. allies such as former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

These changes, which began after the United States had set deadlines for its troop withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan and announced the strategic shift to the Asia-Pacific, were not completely within Washington's expectations.

On the one hand, the United States does not want the upheavals in the Middle East to disturb its set strategic policy. On the other, it intends to take the opportunity to eliminate long-existing anti-U.S. powers in the region and foster a new generation of pro-U.S. forces so as to protect the U.S. interests.

Given that, the United States has others targets in mind when it rattles its saber at Syria -- not least Iran. Should the Assad government be toppled, Iran would be further isolated.

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