The redacted Iran op-ed revealed
Published: Friday December 22, 2006
The New York Times has taken the unusual step of publishing an op-ed in which parts of the contents have been "redacted" or blacked out by government censors, who believe that its contents would reveal "sensitive" information that the White House wants to withold. Below is RAW STORY's best guess at what might hide behind some of the redactions.
In addition to the redacted op-ed, the Times published an explanatory note from its authors, Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann. Leverett served in the Bush National Security Council under Condoleezza Rice, and is now affiliated with the Washington, DC-based Brookings Institution. Hillary Mann is an ex-foreign service officer who participated in US dialog with Iran from 2001 to 2003.
Leverett and Mann made available a set of publicly-available sources of information which they had "provided...to the board to demonstrate that all of the material the White House objected to is already in the public domain." However, as they noted, "to make sense of much of our Op-Ed article, readers will have to read the citations for themselves."
RAW STORY has examined these sources and has attempted to connect the previously published materials to the redacted paragraphs in the op-ed. What the information reveals is a series of events in which US-Iran dialog broke down. In the aftermath of 9/11, the cooperative spirit around the world sparked by America's victimhood encouraged Iran to collaborate with the United States in its effort to topple the Taliban in Afghanistan. But the goodwill that might have been sustained by those early negotiations was undermined by a series of disputes between the US and Iran.
The matters that particularly undermined US-Iran dialog involved the Mujaheddin-e-Khalq(MEK) ï¿½ an anti-Tehran militia that had been given safe harbor by Saddam Hussein in Iraq and had surrendered to the US ï¿½ as well as US allegations that Iran was giving safe haven to al Qaeda terrorists who had fled Afghanistan.
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