Thursday, February 08, 2007

Warning: Shameless Self Promotion

What do you know, here is an interesting piece published today, by none other than, It's entitled "Iran, Let's Talk, not Attack," and you can find it by clicking here. Straight to the punchline:

"Instead of provoking a military confrontation, the United States should engage Iran in constructive dialogue without preconditions. Such a dialogue could begin by identifying issues on which critical U.S. and Iranian interests converge...

"There are legitimate concerns about the regime in Iran, particularly its human rights violations. But Iran is not a monolithic society and any struggle for reform must come from within the country itself. While Iranians themselves are angry about the declining economic situation, censorship and human rights abuses, they believe these are domestic concerns and should be addressed by Iranians, not foreign military intervention. Even in the last few weeks there has been a dramatic shift in top-end policy in Iran, including election victories by moderates and reformers, and the Supreme Council giving the green light for members of the Majlis to publicly criticize President Ahmadinejad.

"It's time to put aside the spin and sit down and talk. We can't bomb a country simply because we don't like it. Doing so would be recklessly shortsighted and only strengthen the hand of hardliners in Iran. In addition to the Iraq Study Group, there have been other bi-partisan commissions and study groups, including a 2004 working group established under the Council on Foreign Relations and co-chaired by Robert Gates and Zbigniew Brzezinski; and a 2001 Atlantic Council of the United States Working Group, co-chaired by Lee H. Hamilton, James Schlesinger and Brent Scowcroft, which have called for various forms of dialogue and engagement with Iran. Even if the administrations won't talk, we can pursue parliament-to-parliament and people-to-people exchanges in the near term.

If we want to see a change in Iran's behavior, we must pursue courageous diplomatic leadership to establish a serious sustained dialogue. Only then can we truly gauge Iran's intentions to deal with issues of concern to the United States, from settling outstanding questions regarding its nuclear program to helping stabilize Iraq. "

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