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WASHINGTON – Washington experts in a report say they want the Obama administration to show more flexibility toward Iran in the dispute over its nuclear development program by taking more of a diplomatic approach in light of already strict sanctions that have been imposed, according to report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
The 84-page report, put out by The Iran Project, is entitled, “Strategic Options for Iran: Balancing Pressure with Diplomacy.”
It was signed by U.S. diplomatic, military and intelligence officials from previous Democratic and Republican administrations.
The report calls on the administration to “rebalance” its dual-track of strengthening its diplomatic approach to take advantage of the pressure it has already put on Tehran through stricter sanctions and threats of military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Israel and the U.S. believe that Iran’s nuclear facilities are a cover for developing nuclear weapons. Despite ever-stricter sanctions imposed by the United Nations and by individual countries such as the United States, Iran insists on continuing its uranium enrichment program.
As a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and as a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran said it has a right to enrich uranium which is assessed to be at the 20 percent level.
Iran would need to enrich uranium 90 percent or better to reach weapons grade, although Iran has accumulated a major stockpile of lower-enriched uranium which U.S. and Israeli officials believe would be sufficient to make eight nuclear weapons once Iran has a technical breakthrough to the more purified level.
“Much has been accomplished through pressure but the results have fallen short of expectations in several ways and unintended consequences pose risks,” the report said.
Among those signing the report are former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, former U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Lugar, former ambassador Thomas Pickering, former CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden, former Ambassador Frank Wisner, Leslie Gelb, Joseph Nye, former Congressman and co-author of the 9/11 report Lee Hamilton and Carla Hills.
“A strengthened diplomatic track that includes the promise of sanctions relief in exchange for verifiable (Iranian) cooperation could help to end the standoff and produce a nuclear deal,” the report said.
The U.S. and other countries that comprise the P5+1 group of countries – U.S., France, Great Britain, Russia, China plus Germany – are the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany, a non-permanent member.
They have been in a series of meetings with Tehran over the past few years, the most recent in Kazakhstan, with no discernible results. No date has been set for future meetings.
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