In recent years, Iran has flexed its revolutionary muscle with a conventional military buildup, pursuit of nuclear weapons in defiance of the UN Security Council, and interventions in Lebanon and Iraq.
The United States needs to achieve a better geopolitical and psychological balance—some deflation of the Iranians’ self-confidence and bolstering of our friends’ confidence in us. The next president can and should aim to restore this balance by supporting policies that:
- assure some success in stabilizing Iraq
- opt for a broader use of economic pressures, rather than the narrowly targeted sanctions resorted to thus far
- step up support of civil society in Iran, including improving the quality of U.S. official broadcasting into Iran
Opportunity 08 aims to help 2008 presidential candidates and the public focus on critical issues facing the nation, presenting policy ideas on a wide array of domestic and foreign policy questions. The project is committed to providing both independent policy solutions and background material on issues of concern to voters.
[The U.S. seeks] to portray Iran as a criminal enterprise, not just as another bad country but as a rogue state that is engaged in horrible crimes across the region.... We are moving from a position of accommodation to one of confrontation across multiple fronts.
There’s a very strong tendency in U.S. foreign policy to acknowledge and to congratulate for holding elections, even when those elections take place in a pretty unfair context.