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Effectively Confronting Tehran

johnm h Wrote: Jan 08, 2013 11:49 AM
Of course they are right. We respond to media driven events and have no long term vision of how to deal with the Middle East; nor a strategy do deal with Tehran. Bush blew an opportunity to start working with the Iranians when they cooperated on our Afghanistan invasion. We routinely break relations and impose sanctions even knowing that such policies strengthen hostile regimes and harm any hope for subsidiary institutions. We do so because politicians want to “do something” to respond to the latest media frenzy. Would being nice help? Of course not, but having embassies everywhere and trade restrictions only on certain technologies, would enable us to gather better intelligence, and have better deeper relations with oppositions.

As Americans seek to find an alternative to the stark and unappetizing choice of accepting Iran's rabid leadership having nuclear weapons or pre-emptively bombing its nuclear facilities, one analyst offers a credible third path. Interestingly, it's inspired by a long-ago policy toward a different foe – the Reagan administration's ways of handling the Soviet Union – yet this unlikely model offers a useful prototype.

Abraham D. Sofaer, a former U.S. district judge and legal adviser to the State Department, now a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, argues in Taking On Iran: Strength, Diplomacy and the Iranian Threat (Hoover Institution,...