Iran’s aggressive approach toward Iraq has to be seen in the context of history. Indeed, it is hard to imagine any rational nation-state actor that would not have pursued a similar path given the same circumstances. The invasion led to fears in Iran that the next stop for the U.S. military would be Tehran. These fears were heightened after the Bush administration rebuffed a proposed “grand bargain” from Iran in 2003 that offered talks aimed at resolving the differences between the two sides. Instead, the United States continued to treat Iran as an enemy and pursued a path of occupation in Iraq that left in its wake a trail of failures and hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis.
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