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Iran has moved to the top of the United States' security agenda, with the Bush administration laying the groundwork against Teheran's ayatollahs, reported Monday.
While no Washington official has publicly addressed the possibility of ousting Iran's current regime, Bush has sought the advice of academic experts, and created an office on Iranian affairs in Washington.
However, the Washington Post article said, Bush has convened private meetings in which his intentions of shifting his administration's policy have been more clearly indicated.
"We do not have a problem with the Iranian people â€¦ our problem is with the Iranian regime," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said last week in the Senate.
Although the Bush government may be gathering steam for what the Post described as a "more robust' policy on Iran, two challenges currently hamper the option of military action: the lost credibility of the public after the Iraqi WMD intelligence debacle and the unfeasibility of making a unilateral move without European allies.
Meanwhile, the US is pursuing a non-military course of action, expanding broadcasting in Iran, funding non-profit organizations, and promoting cultural interaction.