Iranian regime uses diplomacy as tactic to buy time: Haass

At a debate at the World Economic Forum on Friday, top former US diplomat Richard Haass said the Iranian regime “is not interested in any serious way to produce electricity” and force is a serious option.

According to the Associated Press on Friday, a diverse panel of decision-makers and experts from the United States, Europe and the Middle East discussed the Iranian nuclear program on Friday in Davos, Switzerland on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum.

The panellists included Saudi Arabia’s Prince Turki al-Faisal, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, and German Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg in addition to Richard Haas the President of Council on Foreign Relations think tank.

They all pointed to the threat posed by a nuclear-armed regime in Tehran.

Reiterating that the regime is in no way interested in producing electricity, Mr. Haass added, “Let’s not kid ourselves: This is about a sustained Iranian commitment to either develop nuclear weapons or get 90 per cent of the way there” — perhaps sufficing with a status as “a ‘threshold nuclear weapons state’ in the belief that they could derive most of the benefits (without) incurring most of the costs.”

He added, “The Iranians see diplomacy as a tactic to buy time,” Haass countered. “I don’t think it’s going to work.”

According to AP, although he advocated tougher sanctions as a tactic, Haass said he feared an ultimate choice between two bad options: accepting a nuclear-armed Iran — or using military force to set back the Iranian program however possible, despite the risk of only partial success.

“I do believe that force is a serious option,” he said, arguing that a nuclear Iran “would place this region on a knife’s edge.”

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