Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Kissinger's Thoughts on Diplomacy with Iran

I'm normally not a fan of Henry Kissinger, this hardliner who was involved in the CIA overthrow of the democratically elected Chilean government in the 70s and the placement of a puppet dictator in Pinochet. That aside, he speaks wise words in his op-ed in the Washington Post today called, A Nuclear Test for Diplomacy. I quote an important part:

The diplomacy appropriate to denuclearization is comparable to the containment policy that helped win the Cold War: no preemptive challenge to the external security of the adversary, but firm resistance to attempts to project its power abroad and reliance on domestic forces to bring about internal change. It was precisely such a nuanced policy that caused President Ronald Reagan to invite Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev to a dialogue within weeks of labeling the Soviet Union as the evil empire. ........ Parallel considerations apply to the case of Iran. The current negotiating forum is highly dysfunctional. Three European countries in close coordination with the United States are acting partly as America's surrogate. China and Russia do not participate in the negotiations but are involved when their consequences go before the U.N. Security Council -- a procedure enabling Iran to play off the nuclear powers against each other. A more coherent forum for negotiation would combine the three European nations with the United States, China and Russia as the countries most directly affected and in the best position to act jointly in the Security Council. This could be set up after the passage of the Security Council resolution now under discussion. It would permit elaboration of the one hopeful scheme that has emerged in Iranian diplomacy. Put forward by Russia, it is to move certain enrichment operations out of Iran into Russia, thereby preventing clandestine weaponization. The new, broader forum could be used to establish an international enrichment program applicable to future nuclear technologies to curb the looming specter of unchecked proliferation.
Can those who salivate for more death handle such wise thinking? Can those who sit back in their comfy chairs and dream of bombs dropping on Iran possibly envision something better?

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