Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The "Scowcroft-Hagel" Initiative on Iran

How might the outcome of the current round of London talks between the U.S., the EU-3, Russia and China on Iran be affected if the United States put forward as its stance a synthesis of the positions that former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft and Senator Chuck Hagel have advocated.

Perhaps a Scowcroft-Hagel Initiative would look something like this:

1. Direct U.S.-Iran talks within the framework of a conference of key powers (The P-5/EU-3) on the nuclear issue.
2. A regional conference to handle other issues (terrorism, etc.)
3. Focus on internationalizing the fuel cycle and on imposing these conditions on all countries not focusing on which regimes are "deserving". This would include an immediate ban on any new enrichment facilities anywhere in the world and the creation of a guaranteed supply of nuclear fuel to all countries (with appropriate safeguards for return of spent fuel).
4. Creation of a sanctions regime applied against any country and applied equally by all members of the Security Council.

Comments:
No chance of this approach. Horses have left the barn. US has 2 choices: initiate a war that it cannot win or begin a detente process with Iran. Nuclear capability of Iran cannot be undone militarily or diplomatically; it is here to stay.
 
Unrest across Iran, please visit:

http://aryamehr11.blogspot.com/

http://thespiritofman.blogspot.com/

Support the Iranian People and Spread Awareness!
 
Most Americans don't really want another war and as Iraq continues to not improve the pressure will grow for a sensible Republican response. It is critical to note that the moderate calls for action are coming from Republicans, not Democrats, who either ignore the Iran problem altogether or try to run to the right of Bush.
 
Anyone proposing simple solutions (bomb, etc.) needs to squarely address Senator Hagel's point:

We’ve got a mess in Iraq, we’ve got a mess in the Middle East, we’ve got a mess with the Israeli-Palestinian issue, we’ve got a very dangerous situation in Iran. So how do we think we’re going to get out of it, and how are we going to put this all back together in some positive track that is rational and responsible?

That's the test.
 
Administration may be moving in this direction given Bolton's statements that stopping the nuclear program not overthrowing the regime is the priority.
 
"This would include an immediate ban on any new enrichment facilities anywhere in the world and the creation of a guaranteed supply of nuclear fuel to all countries (with appropriate safeguards for return of spent fuel)."

it sounds so benign, doesn't it?

Still it is the framework for continued dominance of the current powers in the postcarbon world.

The Iran negotiations are the experiment to see if the scheme works.

imho the western world, instead of forcefully protecting its technology, should invest in innovation, staying ahead by progress, not by stagnation and scare tactics. Hey we might even discover ways of clean energy!

nuclear power was invented decades ago and dismissed for its hazard to our environment. In the wake of the unexpected peak oil, suddenly it requires new meaning. Rightfully, it may help us make the transition to non-carbon fuel. It should however not become the basis of a new order. let us move forward.
 
Hagel and Scowcroft have some very insightful points on how to deal with Iran. Hagel's broader view of the region I thought was helpful in reframing the problem and diplomacy is the way to go.
 
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