Don’t even think about bombing Iran after Wikileaks release

Another angle of the Wikileaks information dump is the way in which it may be used to justify military action against Tehran.

Foreign Policy’s Marc Lynch explains and refutes that bogus comparison (neo-cons and the Zionist lobby, are you listening?)

Most of the response to the WikiLeaks Afghanistan document release thus far has focused on the absence of major revelations, with most of the details reinforcing existing analysis rather than undermining official discourse about the war. A similar response is appropriate to a story making the rounds that the documents bolster the case for significant connections between Iran and al-Qaeda. Information in the documents, according to the Wall Street Journal, “appear to give new evidence of direct contacts between Iranian officials and the Taliban’s and al Qaeda’s senior leadership.” What’s more important in these stories than the details found in the documents about Iran’s activities in Afghanistan is the attempt to spin them into a narrative of “Iranian ties to al-Qaeda” to bolster the weak case for an American attack on Iran.

There’s no secret about Iran’s role in Afghanistan, of course — this has long been a staple of the debate over Afghan policy, and has also long been pointed out as an area of potential cooperation or conflict between Washington and Tehran. As with much of the rest of the WikiLeaks documents, much of what has been found about Iran’s role in Afghanistan is already generally known, while other information in them is of dubious provenance. It’s not like we didn’t know about Iran and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. These new details do add to the case for taking Iran into account more effectively when designing Afghanistan policy, on both the military and political dimensions. But they don’t add up to some kind of smoking gun demonstrating an Iranian alliance with al-Qaeda.