A recent poll released by WorldPublicOpinion.org reveals that Iranians are both “very concerned about the danger of terrorism, reject attacks against civilians overwhelmingly, and share strongly negative views of Osama bin Laden.” The findings suggest a basis for diplomacy with Iran.
But the results do sound one important note of caution for the Bush administration. If it pursues permanent bases in Iraq, Iranians understand that it will have a negative affect on stability in the region. The American public, on the other hand, appears to be willing to accept permanent bases:
Recommendation 22 of the Iraq Study Group said: “The President should state that the United States does not seek permanent military bases in Iraq.” So far, Bush has refused to do so.
Last year, congressional conservatives quietly stripped a provision from a funding bill that would have prohibited permanent bases in Iraq. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) pushed a provision through the House — which was accepted unanimously — that put Congress on record as saying the U.S. would not be in Iraq forever. Lee recently pledged to continue pushing for the resolution until it is passed by Congress.