Tuesday, November 25, 2008

How to deal with Iran

Karim Sadjadpour has a 6 point plans on how to deal with Iran. Here are his 6 recommendations:
  1. Build confidence on issue of common interest
  2. Understand where the power lies
  3. Speak softly
  4. Don't let the spoilers set the tenor (ie interests groups in Iran or allied with Iran that benefit from a confrontational US-Iran relation)
  5. Maintain an international approach
  6. Get the timing right
These are all very good points. Obama should not rush to try to solve the Iran problem in a few months. He should start diplomacy slowly and build a relationship. He should recognize that doing that while acting tough might be popular domestically in the short term, his long term interest is to play nice to try to bring back Iran in the fold of the international community. Negotiating this way with Iran would make Obama susceptible to attacks by hawks and neocons who would paint him as naive, but I think it is a risk worth taking because the odds of a success are fairly high. A point not mentioned would be to also negotiate with Syria in an attempt to normalize its relation with Israel and the US; the dual goal being peace with Syria but also a weakening of Iran's position in the region, which would reflect itself at the negotiating table.

Via Matthew Yglesias

No comments: