WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama's reluctance to give military aid to Syrian rebels may be explained, in part, in three words: Iranian nuclear weapons.
For the first time in years, the United States has seen a glimmer of hope in persuading Iran to curb its nuclear enrichment program so it cannot quickly or easily make an atomic bomb. Negotiations resume this week in Almaty, Kazakhstan, where encouraging talks in February between six world powers and the Islamic Republic ended in what one Iranian diplomat called a "turning point."
But Tehran is unlikely to bend to Washington's will on its nuclear program if it is fighting American-supplied rebels at the same time in Syria. Iranian forces are believed to be fighting alongside the Assad regime's army in Syria.
By LARA JAKES
AP National Security Writer