Normalization, Diplomacy, and Negotiation and An End to Inflammatory Rhetoric by U.S. officials
Security and normalization of relations should be the overarching goal in our relations with Iran. An end to inflammatory rhetoric on the part of the U.S. and taking military action “off the table” are sensible steps toward normalization.
A Nuclear-Free Middle East and the Use of Unbiased Intelligence in Diplomacy
U.S. political conflict with Iran is largely framed in terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). All signatories to this treaty have the right to develop nuclear technologies for peaceful use. However, non-nuclear weapons parties to the NPT agree not to “receive,” “manufacture” or “acquire” nuclear weapons. Neither the IAEA nor U.S. international intelligence agencies have provided compelling evidence that Iran is developing nuclear arms. In fact, the most recent formal U.S. National Intelligence Estimate on the subject of Iran’s nuclear program concluded that Iran had halted such activities in 2003. Periodically, the IAEA has voiced suspicions regarding nuclear weapons development in Iran and has described instances where Iran has not cooperated with the agency. However, these suspicions and allegations do not amount to evidence of an active nuclear weapons program.
Military Action by the U.S. or its Proxies is “Off the Table”
We urge President Obama and Congressional leaders to defer to formal and high quality evidence when making any case for policy related to Iran. The U.S. should focus on a peace-oriented strategy to achieve security in the middle east.
A good faith peace plan would include:
- recognition of Iran’s right to “peaceful use” under the NPT
- earnest facilitation of alternatives to direct nuclear enrichment in Iran
- a step-by-step approach to increase U.S.-Iran social and economic cooperation in exchange for measures that increase regional security
- recognition of real threats to Iranian security presented by the militarization of the region and the far reaching nuclear proliferation in countries near Iran (e.g. Europe, Pakistan, India, Israel)
- the creation of a regional security network with participation from all middle east countries
- strong diplomatic measures supporting a completely “nuclear weapons free middle east”
- U.S. National intelligence estimate, November 2007
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