JUDY WOODRUFF: We get two views on Iran’s role in Iraq. Ray Takeyh is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Born and raised in Iran, he is now a U.S. citizen. And Peter Rodman served as assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs until earlier this year. He’s now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
Gentlemen, welcome to both of you.
PETER RODMAN, The Brookings Institution: What General Petraeus is saying is, I believe, the consensus of the intelligence community in the U.S. government, so he’s not winging it here. He’s saying what is widely believed to be true, its weapons, its training for the paramilitary groups, radical Shia that are trying to kill Americans, and in the political realm, as well.
You know, one of our key objectives in Iraq is political accommodation, reconciliation among the groups. And I think Iran’s influence is seen in promoting the most radical of the Shia groups or supporting those who I think are the biggest obstacle to our political objectives.
This back and forth — an Iranian attack on Israeli posts on the Golan and a widespread Israeli response against numerous Iranian targets in Syria — was not a one-off flare-up or a case of hot heads prevailing. This is part of a structural conflict unfolding between Israel and Iran in Syria.
For all of us who care about preventing an Iranian nuclear bomb, what’s the best way to keep preventing that? [The JCPOA is] not perfect, but it’s something. These conventions are never based on the premise that all the parties are telling the truth, it’s about enforcement mechanisms. No arms control agreement is based in trust.