IMPROVING THE IRANIAN ECONOMY WILL LEAD TO IRANS ACQUISITION OF WMD
U.S. NEEDS TO KEEP PRESSURE ON KHATAMI TO END IRAN'S HOSTILE POLICIES
James Phillips, Senior Policy Analyst, January 23, 1998. Press Tran's Khatami To Follow Words With Deeds, The Heritage Foundation-- Backgrounder No. 1152//Ixnx hxm
To respond prudently to President Khatami's peace offensive, therefore, the Clinton Administration should: - Press Khatami to back his temperate words with concrete actions to prove that he is willing and able to end Iran's hostile policies. The United States has been disappointed by the abortive outcomes of several previous efforts to improve U.S.-Iran relations since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Washington should ask Khatami to prove his good faith by undertaking specific actions to reduce tensions. Three verifiable benchmarks that could be used to establish whether Khatami is serious about altering Iran's international behavior would be a halt to Iranian surveillance of U.S. officials overseas, an end to Iran's cooperation with Iraq in smuggling Iraqi oil in violation of United Nations economic sanctions against Iraq, and the public withdrawal of the death threats against British author Salman Rushdie, condemned by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989 for allegedly writing a blasphemous novel.
WE CAN'T LET OUR GUARD DOWN IN DEALING WITH IRAN, CONTINUED ECONOMIC PRESSURE IS THE ONLY THING THAT WILL MAKE REFORM IMMINENT, EMPIRICALLY PROVEN
James Phillips, Senior Policy Analyst, January 23, 1998. Press Iran's Khatami To Follow Words With Deeds, The Heritage Foundation-- Backgrounder No. 1152 // lxnx hxm
The United States should not let down its guard in dealing with Iran. The Clinton Administration should not repeat the mistakes of the Carter and the Reagan Administrations, both of which sought to reach out to Iranian "moderates" who proved unwilling or unable to moderate Iran's rabidly anti-American foreign policy. This is not the time to relax economic pressure on Iran: Economic pressure helped to pave the way for Khatami's upset victory over the hard-line Speaker of Iran's Parliament, Ali Akbar Nateq-Noun, in Iran's May 1997 presidential elections. And it undoubtedly was a motivating factor behind Khatami's call for a dialogue with the American people. Some critics of the Clinton Administration's dual containment policy toward Iran and Iraq have jumped to the conclusion that the policy has failed and should be abandoned. Since Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has outmaneuvered the Clinton Administration repeatedly, they argue, the United States should drop its containment policy against Iran and seek to include Tehran in the anti-Iraq coalition. This ignores the fact that working out a modus vivendi with Iran will take years of effort, during which Tehran could not be considered a reliable ally against Baghdad. In the meantime, Iran will continue to build weapons of mass destruction and to pose subversive, terrorist, and military threats to the United States and its allies, particularly those in the Persian Gulf. And because Iran, unlike Iraq, is not constrained by United Nations sanctions, it will be better positioned to cause mischief and possibly destabilize one or more of the Arab Gulf states. Moreover, if the United States tilts toward Iran, many of these Arab emirates will be tempted to improve relations with Iraq as a counterweight to Iran, thereby weakening the coalition against Saddam Hussein.