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US confrontation with Iran

 
  

Project: US confrontation with Iran

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July 2004

       The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) publishes a 79-page report, titled “Iran: Time for a New Approach,” urging Washington to resume talks with Tehran. The study, co-chaired by Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser under President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), argues against the view—held by many prominent neoconservatives in Washington—that Iranians would welcome a US-led effort to change Iran's government. “Despite considerable political flux and popular dissatisfaction,” the report says, “Iran is not on the verge of another revolution. Those forces that are committed to preserving Iran's current system remain firmly in control.” Instead, it argues, Washington should resume bilateral talks with the government. The authors of the report also argue that the administration should discourage Israel from attacking Iran's nuclear facilities because of the “extremely adverse consequences” that such an action would have on Western relations with Iran and because it would likely provoke an Iranian retaliation against US positions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The report recommends a five-step process: [Inter Press Service, 7/20/2004 Sources: Iran: Time for a New Approach]
The US should offer Tehran a “direct dialog on specific issues of regional stabilization.” [Inter Press Service, 7/20/2004]

The administration should work out an agreement with Iran on the status of al-Qaeda operatives being detained by Tehran and that of the militant Iranian exile group, Mujahedeen-e-Khalq which is currently being held in US custody in Iraq. Tehran would have to agree not to provide any support to groups seeking to violently oppose the governments in Iraq and Afghanistan. [Inter Press Service, 7/20/2004]

The administration should work with Europe and Russia to negotiate an agreement with Iran requiring it to permanently ban all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities. In exchange, The US should end its objections to an Iranian civil nuclear program. [Inter Press Service, 7/20/2004]

Washington should take a lead role in resolving the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, which the report notes is “central to eventually stemming the tide of extremism in the region” [Inter Press Service, 7/20/2004]

The US should encourage an expansion of trade and relations between Iran and the wider world and support Iran's application to begin accession talks with the World Trade Organization (WTO). [Inter Press Service, 7/20/2004]

People and organizations involved: Zbigniew Brzezinski, Council on Foreign Relations
          


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