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Different Imperial Strategies for Iran

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Iran Nuclear

The president of the Council on Foreign Relations outline a different strategy for a U.S. confrontation with Iran:

Just as important, a military strike on Iran would make it impossible for anyone inside the country to challenge the government lest he or she appear to be unpatriotic. The Revolutionary Guard, who lack legitimacy after stealing June’s presidential election and turning Iran from a theocracy into a thugocracy, would gain a new lease of life. They would also have the perfect argument for making the rebuilding of Iran’s nuclear program the highest priority.

Steps would also need to be taken to protect countries in reach of Iranian aircraft or missile systems. Defensive systems would be provided and in selective cases security guarantees extended. The aim would be to ensure Iran could not threaten its neighbours with impunity and reduce the incentive of Iran’s neighbours to develop nuclear weapons. A Middle East with multiple fingers on multiple triggers, something more likely to emerge if Iran proceeds down the nuclear path, is a recipe for disaster.

The odds that sanctions will have an impact improve if the people of Iran are in the know. The goal is not to deny Iran a right to enrich uranium under international supervision. Nor is it to increase the hardship of the Iranian people. Rather, the world should make the argument that Iran could enjoy a higher standard of living, greater security and enhanced standing if it were to accept limits on its nuclear programme.

The objective is to increase pressure on the Revolutionary Guard from below. Such pressure could lead to an improved policy on nuclear matters. Or, better yet, it could over time help change the regime, to one based on a more reasonable coalition of clerics, reformers, the traditional military and ordinary citizens. Such a regime might still hold a nuclear option, but its character would provide us with some grounds for comfort.

Essentially, Haass is arguing for a more nuanced approach to Iran.  But one needs to look at the actions of the Council of Foreign Relations, who makes up the council, and Haass’ words to see if there is really any real “change” at all in dealing with Iran.

Essentially there isn’t any “real” change as it’s just a different strategy to try and influence the region of the Middle East and the country of Iran by meddling with its internal political affairs.


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