If the Obama Administration is listening and I’m hopeful they are, I recommend five immediate steps before the next round of negotiations commence. Number one, the U.S. should signal Iran that if negotiations fail to achieve substantive ends, the U.S. or other world powers may choose to act with force to curtail Iran’s nuclear plants while the conventional discourse here in Washington frames the options available to the U.S. Government as only involving diplomat engagement or tactical military strikes.
We know that there are other options. You and I know that reg
ime change can also take place from within. Covert action can be used to frustrate and set back Iranian nuclear plants. Butsupport for Iranian opposition is also imperative.
Nevertheless, if negotiations fail to succeed the possible use of force and the potential for the removal of Iranian officials must be put squarely on the negotiating table. It must be clear, discussions cannot and will not be used to buy time for the pursuit of dangerous weapons that will destabilize the region.
The failure to engage in honest diplomacy will have consequences.
Number two, MeK should be formally removed from the U.S. Department of State Foreign Terrorist Organization List and recast as the political
alternative to theocratic rule in Tehran. Correcting the list to reflect Iranian government will be checked with support for a grassroots movement that can challenge its authority.
Number three, U.S. officials should demand that International Atomic Energy Agency officials be given unfettered access to Iran’s so-called peaceful nuclear program and Tehran should be made to furnish evidence of its halting of uranium to weapons grades levels.
Number four, U.S. officials should step up political and economic sanctions and build support among world powers to do the same. Over the past year, existing economic sanctions have taken a toll inside Iran and Iranians are increasingly holding their government accountable. A European oil embargo that would take effect on July 1st is a necessary means of further ripening the negotiating environment, exploiting Iran’s ongoing troubles and ensuring future compliance with
Finally, number five, the U.S. must take responsibility for the protection and ultimate resettlement of refugees housed at Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty and you must insist that U.S. policymakers live
up to their commitment and their pledges to the promotion of human rights.
These measures will have, I promise you, an impact at the negotiating table. But Iran’s well-earned reputation for being masters of diplomatic sleight of hand as well as their long history of working
against U.S. interests should also be taken into consideration by U.S. negotiators in Moscow. Tehran’s sophisticated use of threat and accommodation to ensure its own political interest must be seen for what it is and the recognition that as some in this room have suggested no package of concessions or incentives will dissuade Iran from its current course must be considered.