Countering the Iranian Threat: Diplomatic, Military, and Political Options

Feb 01, 2008, 00:00 ET from Iran Policy Committee

    PARIS, Feb. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On 1 February 2008, Professor
 Raymond Tanter, a former member of the White House National Security
 Council staff and current President of the Iran Policy Committee spoke at a
 press conference at the Hotel Parc Hyatt Paris Vendome. Invited by French
 dignitaries, Prof. Tanter led a delegation of the Iran Policy Committee to
 brief French government officials, Middle East specialists at think tanks,
 and members of the media. Co-presidents du European American Press Club,
 Christian Malar, Editorialiste a FRANCE 3 TV, and Jim Bittermann, Senior
 Correspondant CNN Europe, invited members of the European American Press
 Club to the event.
     On 1 February, Prof. Tanter told members of the media that "There is a
 need to create a cocktail of diplomatic, military, and political options to
 counter the Iranian threat. Regarding diplomatic options, the West has
 already reached out to the Iranian regime with positive offers; the West
 should continue to balance those benefits with negative incentives in the
 form of economic sanctions against Tehran, as well as extending a hand to
 Iran's main opposition. Only an even-handed policy can compel compliance."
     Regarding sanctions, Prof. Tanter said, "It is essential that the
 United Nations Security Council pass a third resolution to reinforce UNSC
 Resolutions 1737 and 1747. Even if the Iranian regime allows increased
 inspections or the International Atomic Energy Agency reports enhanced
 cooperation by Tehran, movement toward a third Resolution should stay on
 course. France should take the lead to develop consensus among a coalition
 of like-minded states to reinforce U.S. unilateral designations of Iranian
 individuals and entities of 'proliferation concern' issued in October
     Concerning military options, Prof. Tanter stated, "Despite evidence
 that Tehran resumed weaponizing its nuclear energy research and development
 in 2004, the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) of November 2007
 gives the impression that such weaponization may have ceased in 2003 and
 not resumed: The NIE diminishes credibility of the threat of military
 action against the Iranian regime and makes it necessary to find other
 points of leverage against Tehran to motivate it to cease uranium
 enrichment and other means for acquiring nuclear weapons."
     Prof. Tanter concluded that the mix of international policies lacks a
 tough political component that can act as leverage against Tehran:
 "Reaching out to the Iranian opposition by delisting the National Council
 of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) from the U.S. Foreign Terrorist Organizations
 list would motivate the regime to choose between pursuit of the Bomb and
 survival of the regime. Extending a hand to the NCRI would also bring
 Washington in line with the European Union, which has never listed that
 group as a terrorist organization. The EU should also follow the finding of
 its own Court of First Instance, of 12 December 2006, as well as the 1
 December 2007 ruling by the UK Proscribed Organisations Appeals Commission
 and remove the largest member organization of the NCRI -- the People's
 Mujahedeen Organization of Iran (PMOI) -- from the EU terrorist list. Once
 the EU Commission follows its own judiciary and delists the PMOI, Paris
 would be in a unique position to help Washington follow the EU, and remove
 all Iranian opposition groups from its terrorist lists."

SOURCE Iran Policy Committee