Yesterday, in a televised speech in Iran, president Ahmadinejad said that the recent attacks in Mumbai were orchestrated by forces from “outside of the region”. According to the Iranian president the main motive of the attacks was: “to strain relations between Indian and Pakistan”. Behind the scenes, what worries the Iranian president more than anything else is that the attacks could strengthen the position of the US and in a lesser extent, Israel, in the region. Its bad enough that Barack Obama is popular. With tensions rising between two US allies (India and Pakistan), America’s role as mediator in the region is bound to increase. This is the last thing which Iran wants. And in this case, Tehran does not have many other good options. The only other option is if America’s position in Afghanistan is weakened through attacks by Al Qaeda. However this option is equally bad for Iran, because Tehran does not want an emboldened Al Qaeda either. So for now, president Ahmadinejad has to sit and watch. Unlike Iraq and Lebanon, he does not have too much influence in this part of the world. Read more.