News

Voice of America 4/28/97

HOW TO DEAL WITH IRAN

BYLINE= ED WARNER
DATELINE=WASHINGTON
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  HOW TO DEAL WITH IRAN WAS THE 
SUBJECT OF DISCUSSION AT A MEETING OF 
FOREIGN POLICY ANALYSTS AT THE "NIXON 
CENTER FOR PEACE AND FREEDOM" IN WASHINGTON
THIS WEEK (MONDAY).  PARTICIPANTS DIFFERED 
SHARPLY ON THE DANGERS POSED BY IRAN AND 
THE WAY TO RESPOND TO THEM. V-O-A'S ED
WARNER HAS THIS REPORT.

TEXT:  IS THE UNITED STATES INVOLVED IN A 
COLD WAR WITH IRAN OR SOMETHING MUCH 
LESS THREATENING? BOTH VIEWS WERE EXPRESSED 
AT A MEETING OF THE NIXON CENTER FOR PEACE
AND FREEDOM IN WASHINGTON THIS WEEK.

PETER RODMAN, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL 
SECURITY STUDIES AT THE NIXON CENTER, 
INSISTED IRAN REMAINS A REVOLUTIONARY 
REGIME DRIVEN BY IDEOLOGY:

             // RODMAN ACT //

I THINK IT IS A PLAUSIBLE OBJECTIVE OF 
AMERICAN POLICY TO MAINTAIN THE PRESSURES 
OVER A PERIOD OF TIME UNTIL YOU HAVE A NEW 
GENERATION OR A NEW GROUP OF LEADERS IN 
IRAN WHO REALIZE THEIR PRESENT POLICY IS A
MISTAKE. IT IS A STRATEGY TO SQUEEZE IRAN 
OVER THE LONG TERM, TO KEEP IT OFF BALANCE, 
TO FRUSTRATE ITS PLANS, PARTICULARLY ITS 
EXTERNAL AMBITIONS, TO COMPOUND ITS 
PROBLEMS AGAIN OVER THE LONG TERM.

         // END ACT //

MR. RODMAN SAID U-S ECONOMIC SANCTIONS 
ARE HURTING IRAN, WHICH WOULD LIKE TO BREAK 
OUT OF ITS ISOLATION. HE SAID THE UNITED 
STATES SHOULD NOT GIVE UP A POLICY OF DUAL 
CONTAINMENT OF IRAN AND IRAQ THAT APPEARS 
TO BE WORKING.

BUT RICHARD HELMS, FORMER DIRECTOR OF THE 
C-I-A AND FORMER U-S AMBASSADOR TO IRAN, 
SAID THAT POLICY IS NOT WORKING.  HE 
EMPHASIZED THAT SANCTIONS HAVE NOT 
CHANGED IRANIAN BEHAVIOR AND ARE TOO
CRUDE A DEVICE FOR SUCH A COMPLEX NATION
OF DIFFERENT GROUPS AND LANGUAGES.

MR. HELMS SAID AN OVERLY ASSERTIVE U-S 
POLICY HAS OTHER DRAWBACKS:

            // HELMS ACT //  

SINCE WE ARE THE MILITARY POWER IN THE 
PERSIAN GULF WITH  THE WHOLE NAVY FLEET 
SITTING IN THE SEA OF OMAN,  OBVIOUSLY WE
ARE DEEPLY RESENTED NOT ONLY BY THE 
IRANIANS BUT BY EVERYBODY ELSE IN THE GULF.
I THINK WE TEND TO FORGET THAT THE WORLD
DOES NOT NECESSARILY LOVE US THESE DAYS. 
THE MORE POWERFUL WE HAVE BECOME, THE 
LESS THEY ARE GOING TO LIKE US, AND THE MORE 
ENEMIES WE ARE GOING TO MAKE.

             // END ACT //

THERE IS A MIDDLE WAY, SAID ANTHONY 
CORDESMAN, CO-DIRECTOR OF THE MIDDLE 
EAST PROGRAM AT THE (PRIVATE) "CENTER 
FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES."

HE SAID THE QUESTION FOR U-S POLICY-MAKERS 
IS HOW TO DEAL WITH A COUNTRY THAT IS HOSTILE 
TO THE UNITED STATES, BUT NOT A MAJOR 
THREAT -- AND THAT, BECAUSE OF ITS SIZE 
AND RESOURCES, HAS AN UNDENIABLE ROLE 
TO PLAY IN ITS REGION:

         // CORDESMAN ACT //

I DO NOT THINK IT MATTERS WHAT REGIME IS 
IN IRAN. AS LONG AS THERE IS IRAQ, AS LONG 
AS THERE IS ISRAEL, AS LONG AS THE REGION 
IS GOING THROUGH THE KIND OF ARMS RACE 
IT IS GOING THROUGH, ANY IRANIAN REGIME IS
LIKELY TO GO ON WITH SOME FORM OF 
(WEAPONS) PROLIFERATION. WE CANNOT
DEAL WITH IT WITH ARMS CONTROL  WE 
HAVE TO DEAL WITH IT BASICALLY BY 
DETERRENCE AND BY ATTEMPTING TO 
SLOW DOWN THE TRANSFER OF TECHNOLOGY. 

              // END ACT //

MR. CORDESMAN SAID MILITARY CONTAINMENT
OF IRAN MUST CONTINUE. BUT AS THE EUROPEANS
INSIST, DIALOGUE ON SOME ISSUES IS POSSIBLE,
AS ARE LIMITED AGREEMENTS ON IRAN'S SALE OF 
OIL.

ROBERT FREEDMAN, PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL 
SCIENCE AND ACTING PRESIDENT AT BALTIMORE
HEBREW COLLEGE, SUGGESTED TWO POSSIBLE 
TOPICS OF DISCUSSION OF STRONG INTEREST
TO BOTH THE UNITED STATES AND IRAN: THE 
DISPUTE BETWEEN AZERBAIJAN AND ARMENIA 
THAT ENDANGERS THE DEVELOPMENT OF OIL
IN THE CAUCASUS AND THE INCREASING POWER
OF THE TALEBAN IN NEIGHBORING AFGHANISTAN.  
(SIGNED) 

NEB/EW/RRM

28-Apr-97 1:35 PM EDT (1735 UTC)
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