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I thought I would pull a few pertinent points from the CPD proposal and add my two cents to the commentary already given in reaction to the original post. CPD text will be in bold italics, mine in regular font.

“If there were in place an international clearing house and monitoring system for using existing enriched uranium for peaceful purposes only, countries seeking it for such a purpose would not have to develop their own enrichment capacity”

An extremely wise proposal that also helps with the ridiculously dangerous state of nuclear affairs in Russia while identifying programs like those in Iran for what they are – weapons programs.

“Iran under Khameini continues to be world’s foremost state supporter of terrorism, offering financial and logistical support to both Shi’a and Sunni terrorist organizations..”

There’s a lot of dispute about Iran and a devil’s bargain with radical Sunnis in terms of supporting terrorism. Certainly there are elements in the radical Sunni world that are – like the Taliban – hostile to Iran and Shiites. On pragmatic grounds, in terms of the perspective of an Iranian professional intelligence officer, it would seem to be fairly a fairly significant handicap if they were not allowed to work with secular Sunnis or moderate Islamists in carrying out terror operations in the ME. Likewise, terrorists I believe start as violent political extremists who get indoctrinated and more pious over time. My guess is they work with whomever can help them in furthering Iranian state objectives on an operational basis- including al Qaida – and deal with the troublemakers who get in their way. Strategically, Teheran would see an al Qaidaist State as a threat to Iranian security.

“Opening up dictatorships is the key to forcing change…”

Agreed. The caveat though is that this oligarchical-shizoid state’s clerical rulers still have the nerve to shoot down their own people so long as they have thugs who will carry out the orders. Even in Poland, labor unrest went on for two decades before the old regime lost its will to power and surrendered. This will not be a quick strategy.

” We should announce our willingness to reopen our embassy in Teheran…”

Everything should be done to put the regime on the moral, intellectual, diplomatic and legal defensive. It’s a safe offer because its one Khameini will not dare accept anyway. Plus it will help shut up the Euro-Left if hard measures need to be taken ( ” Look, we’ve tried everything Gerhard but…”).

” We must make clear that we will not accept Iran’s possession of a nuclear weapon…”

As in, if you pursue it, this means war. We’d better mean it if we are going to say it and we’d best have a way to carry out the threat if we mean it. This is not something to bluff about or to try to ” wing” by the seat of our pants. If Khameini with a nuke is a clear and present danger to the U.S. – and I think it is – then expect to inflict and take serious casualties in the process of removing the threat.

An invasion is out given circumstances in Iraq which leaves us air power. With air power we can try to destroy the nuke program or the regime itself. We’d probably have a better chance of wiping out the regime’s elite guardian forces and levers of power with a sustained air campaign than rooting out a clandestine nuke program scattered across a country the size of Iran.

Either Iran’s program is stopped by diplomacy or by force of arms. Watchful waiting will result in accepting Iran as a member of the nuclear club. Those are our choices. Deus ex machina in the form of a popular rebellion is not likely to save us before Iranian scientists can finish a nuke.

I endorse all of the ” soft” tactics of connectivity in the CPD report. They won’t hurt and they can be of considerable help in discrediting the regime, strengthening civil society vs. the mullahs and empowering the reformists. All we need is an Iran that we can live with – not a Persian version of the United States – we don’t need Iran for anything other than not being a destabilizing influence, If we end up with a democratic Iran, great but I’ll accept any positive change in the status quo.

One Response to “”

  1. Barnabus Says:

    Well said, but just one point. “We’d probably have a better chance of wiping out the regime’s elite guardian forces…” That would be a big mistake on our part. Any attack designed to obliterate their armed forces would decrease the probability of a new government being “friendly” to the U.S. from slim to none.

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