looking for

Possible Future Policy before Nuclearization of Iran

The aim of future U.S. political engagement should be to achieve realignment or integration of Iran into the international community. In engaging Iran, the United States should use "carrot-and-stick" approaches to support both sensible and realistic demands for change. Unlike current policy, which only looks to punish Iran, American foreign policymakers will need to formulate a different approach that relies on positive inducements for change as well as sanctions for non-compliance. In this process, these policymakers must explicitly inform the Iranians about which actions will result in rewards or punishments. The United States was able to use this form of engagement with the Egyptians during the Camp David Peace Accords. The U.S. aim should be to draw Iran away from continued confrontation with the West and towards the benefits of economic and regional security. In doing this, the Islamic Republic still can maintain its revolutionary goals while playing a more important role within the Middle East. Although the current diplomatic differences between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran do appear to be rather immense, there are several areas where these two worlds can meet. First, the United States will need to recognize the cultural significance of the Islamic clergy within Iran as well as their moderate allies in the government, and attempt to work with both entities. The clerical isolationists must be given good reason to not discredit negotiations, and the best way to do this is by including them in the negotiations. Back in 1979, 1986, and 1989, Iranian-U.S. negotiations had to be abandoned when Iranian isolationists, who were not included in these talks, engineered scandals.13 Current leaders of the U.S. and Iran must learn from these previous episodes to prevent them from reoccurring. American policymakers then will need to walk a thin-line between appeasement and antagonism in trying to frame negotiations in terms of mutual benefits rather than as a means to alter foreign policies of the Islamic regime, or even overthrow it. Washington will need to reassure the Iranian leadership that it seeks political dialogue rather than political change. As Shahram Chubin and Jerrold Green put it: "engagement depends on small steps, some reciprocal, which could be phased and sequenced to enhance the atmosphere of progress to the more substantive bilateral issues". Some of the incentives that these two scholars identify can help the normalization process. These moves would include:
• Dropping automatic opposition to Iranian candidates for posts in international organizations.
• Creating a forum for regional dialogues on arms control.
• Increasing cultural representations and visits.
Currently, Iranian domestic priorities revolve around the more fundamental issue of the economy. For this reason, then, economic aid could be the most obvious and beneficial way of making some reengagement. Iran's population has been reported as growing at 2 percent per annum. In order to maintain its current standard of living, the country requires an economic growth rate of 6 percent. In other words, the Iranian government needs to generate at least 700,000 jobs per annum if their rapidly growing population of youths is to be kept employed and off the streets. Without a doubt, this situation has been weighing heavily on the minds of the Islamic leadership over the past few years. The present American sanctions have been doing a great deal to inhibit the economic growth of Iran. One of the most frustrating situations is the stagnating Iranian oil and natural gas industry. Tehran would very much like to see more American capital and investment within the nation's borders to help maintain and then improve Iran's current economic situation. This would allow for greater integration between the American and Iranian economies, and it undoubtedly would more widely open up this oil rich country’s economy to the rest of the world. In addition, The Islamic Republic wants to be the primary route for the oil and gas pipelines from the Caspian Sea and Central Asia to the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean. This route would be the shortest, most economic path for energy resources to be transmitted. These are two significant areas that America could use to bridge the widening gap between this country and Iran. However, all of these economic incentives would come at a price. U.S. policymakers need to explain explicitly to the Islamic regime which actions it expects them not to take. Providing clear, consistent policy expectations towards terrorism, the Middle East peace process, nuclear weapons development, and human rights in Iran.Here, the engagement process would become more difficult. Washington would expect the Islamic Republic to stop any efforts to produce nuclear weapons, and to continue allowing international observes to examine, periodically, its civil nuclear power program to ensure the international community that it is meeting this demand. America, in the process, must be sensitive to Iran’s desire to produce a light water, civil nuclear infrastructure, which does not use the fissionable form of the uranium isotope, so it cannot be transformed into weapons grade material. In addition, the United States can do a great deal toward helping ease the security tensions in the region by helping establish a Middle East nuclear weapons "free zone". This would be similar to the United Nations resolution passed in the 1995 NPT calling for the development of an internationally recognized nuclear weapons "free zone" in the Middle East. To do this, the United States may have to remove all of its nuclear warships from the region as well as persuade Israel to become a member of the NPT.Iran must also assure the United States that it has stopped supporting groups opposed to the Middle East peace process, whether it is with arms, training, shelter, passports, finance, etc. The United States will need to reassure the Iranian leadership that it seeks a meaningful political dialogue with Iran rather than an abrupt political change in that country. At the same time, it must explain that any Iranian attempts to engage in political or military actions which run counter to American "red lines" would then require the reinstatement of economic pressures and sanctions. If Washington is able to negotiate effectively over these issues as well as create a more prosperous economic future for the Islamic Republic, then the Iranian government may be more likely to consider Western concerns.