Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Senate Passes Lieberman's Iran Amendment

This afternoon, the Senate voted 97 to 0 to pass Senator Lieberman’s amendment on Iran (Amendment 2073) to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (H.R. 1585).
Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Carl Levin (D-MI) called for unanimous consent on the amendment and became a co-sponsor himself, after Mr. Lieberman agreed to modifications that supposedly will include language to ensure that the amendment will not have appearances to authorize military force against Iran.

You can find the original amendment here. When the modified amendment is available, I will post it. You can also find the Bush administration’s Statement of Policy on Iran in the Defense Authorization bill here.

Mr. Lieberman's amendment essentially calls for regular reporting on the Iranian role in Iraq, but it includes of a lot rhetoric without evidence that has been rigorously substantiated. The issue of Iran's role in Iraq is very muddied.

The reality is that if the US wants to leave Iraq successfully, it is going to need a lot of help from the Iranians. Rather than tit-for-tat escalation, a wiser approach would be for the US to directly engage Iran in dialogue and solutions for a stable Iraq.

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