Five former US secretaries of state today urged the next president to open a dialogue with Iran. Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright, Warren Christopher, James Baker and Henry Kissinger made their advice at a round-table discussion on US foreign policy sponsored by the University of Georgia. They also called on the administration to shut down the Guantanamo prison camp.
On Iran, the former secretaries of state said it was important to maintain contact with both adversaries and allies.
I think it is important to note Defense Secretary Gates co-chaired the 2004 CFR report, "Iran: Time for a New Approach," which urges engagement.
Problem with US foreign policy towards Iran has been its lack of clarity. Threats without actions, negotiations without goals... A clear, comprehensive policy is needed.
Do we want to change the behavior of the regime or do we want to change the regime; what plan of action do we have for either approach?
Unfortunately, dialog can only be about how we will facilitate further rise to power for Iran(shia) and how our best friends in Saudi Arabia wont want that(sunni's) Iran cannot accept any other dialogue...not even a lil'bit. Pro dialogue mouthpieces probably know this but "having dialogue" sure looks better than "not having any dialogue" and gives jobs to those same mouthpieces.
To have a dialogue or not have a dialogue might not be the real issue. The real problem is a lack of clear policy. Are we after changing the regime’s behavior or changing the regime itself? If US policy is changing the regime’s behavior, as currently pronounced by the State Department, then dialogue is a necessity. If we want to change the regime, the there could not be any need for it. Is US ready to support a regime change in Iran? I don’t think so. President Bush is nearing the end of his second term. Is he changing his mind now and is he ready to support a regime change? I don’t think so.
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