The Way To Succeed In Iran
We need to focus diplomacy and enforcement not on Iran's uranium enrichment program, but its missiles. If Biden and Obama can de-rhetoricize the background noise, they can orchestrate a Mid-East summit and cut a deal. Iran will receive assistance from (US) nuclear technologists to build power plants, and we (Israel) will get a treaty limiting missile range. The IAEA is very capable of monitoring on-the-ground enrichment, and a combination of satellite surveillance, HUMINT, and integrating Iran fully into the region's will ensure peace. This has a realistic shot of working now, and Scott Ritter (former UN weapons inspector in Iraq), has written his usual clear, expert prescription on how to do it, "With Iran, Obama Needs More Carrot, Less Stick." His concluding paragraphs:
In the end, Iran will probably have three choices to consider: continue its indigenous enrichment program despite the severe economic burden; drop its uranium enrichment program in favor of a secure, reliable international source of nuclear fuel; or seek to integrate its uranium enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing capabilities into a larger regional and global framework, one that not only provides economic relief for the Iranian effort, but also brings with it greater international scrutiny and inspection, adherence to international practices and procedures on the handling and accountability of nuclear material, and viability to any regional nuclear fuel bank that would incorporate the product of Iran’s enrichment programs. The integration of Iran more fully into the Persian Gulf economy is by far the best guarantor of long-term stability in that region. Iran’s nuclear program should be seen as an opportunity in this regard, not an obstacle.And the rest.
As Iran heads toward a presidential election in the coming year, the United States—and the Obama administration—would achieve better and longer-lasting results by seeking solutions geared toward resolving the legitimate issues at play in the region, rather than creating short-term sound bites here at home. A clean break with the neoconservative policies of the Bush administration is a prerequisite for success, and achieving this requires great imagination and courage. President-elect Barack Obama has demonstrated the potential for both of those qualities. I hope that promise is realized.