Iran, Pakistan in Obama’s Plans for Afghanistan Peace

A01918642.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- US President-elect Barack Obama is planning to involve Iran in a major shift in United States’ policy on the war in Afghanistan.

Aides said that the incoming Democratic president wanted to explore a more regional strategy in Afghanistan, including the possibility of negotiations with Tehran.

During the presidential campaign, Obama described Afghanistan as the central front in the war on terror. He also said that he was open to unconditional talks with Iran, later adjusting his position to say that proper groundwork would have to be done first.

Aides also said that he intended to renew the commitment to hunting down terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.

Security advisers to the president-elect were quoted as saying that Obama believed the Bush administration had scaled down the hunt for the al-Qaida leader after years of failure.

Obama is also committed to incorporating Pakistan in a solution that deals with its Taliban safe havens in its tribal areas.

His administration is almost certain to send at least 10,000 more troops to Afghanistan, in keeping with his campaign promises to reduce forces in Iraq. But he will also increase pressure on European states present in Afghanistan but not involved in the fighting to dispatch forces to conflict zones.

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