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The Conundrum of Iran: Strengthening Moderates without Acquiescing to Belligerence
The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Vol. 618, Terrorism: What the Next President Will Face (Jul., 2008), pp. 168-179
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc. in association with the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40375783
Page Count: 12
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After nearly three decades of antagonistic rhetoric and diplomatic estrangement between the United States and Iran, the next president has the opportunity to set a new course for relations between the two countries. When the next president takes up residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Iranian officials will be listening. The president must implement a policy of engagement that encourages moderates in Iran without implying tolerance for Tehran's historic support of terrorist activities. This strategy will require patience and sensitivity to the complex political realities inside Iran. To successfully chart a new course for U.S.-Iranian relations, the next president must (1) tone down rhetoric; (2) establish a direct dialogue with Tehran, including comprehensive, private discussions and deployment of a special envoy; (3) encourage greater assimilation of Hezbollah into Lebanon's political system; and (4) offer carrots in addition to sticks, including consideration of legitimate Iranian concerns on regional security issues.
The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science © 2008 American Academy of Political and Social Science