Emphasizing Diplomacy over Punitive Measures
A report published today by the Iran Project, a U.S. bipartisan group of former diplomats, military officers and lawmakers, recommends that the U.S. government should change its approach on Iran by holding two-way talks and offering to ease punitive sanctions in exchange for nuclear concessions, The Wall Street Journal reported.
“Here is an option that really ought to be looked at before you move to military force,” said veteran U.S. diplomat Thomas Pickering. “The negotiation track should be made as robust and forward leading as the pressure track has been up until now.” (The Wall Street Journal, 17 April)
The approach resembles the Obama administration's strategy, but heightens emphasis on diplomacy over punitive measures, the Journal says.
“The more the president threatens the use of force, the more difficult it will be for Iran's defiant leadership to consider any offer, and the more the president will be under pressure to use the military force,” the report said.
The Iran Project recommendations have been endorsed by Richard Lugar, the former Republican senator; Ryan Crocker, the former ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq; Michael Hayden, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency; Lee Hamilton, who was a Democratic congressman and a co-chairman of the commission that studied the Sept. 11 attacks; Ann-Marie Slaughter, a top State Department official in the Obama administration; and Mr. Pickering, a former United Nations ambassador in the George H.W. Bush administration.