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Experts favor engagement over military action to end nuclear showdown with Iran

By Lily Sarafan, National Iranian American Council

San Francisco, CA, January 26, 2005 - The increased scrutiny the Bush Administration has been putting on Iran's nuclear program has sparked a can-do spirit of duty and nationalism amongst the Iranian nuclear physicist core, observed Dr. Ali Nayeri MIT Research Affiliate and Visiting Professor at the University of Florida. He added that any military or forceful action on the part of the U.S. is not a viable option because it will only serve to further motivate Iran to progress in the field.

These remarks were made at "Iran's Nuclear Issue: Peering Through the Fog of Nuclear Proliferation", a panel discussion hosted by the Bay Area Iranian American Democrats (BAIAD) association, in San Francisco on January 23.

Mehrdad Moayedzadeh, Founder and President of BAIAD, opened the discussion by stressing the need for the Iranian-American community to establish a solid political voice in America.

Joining Dr. Nayeri on the panel was Dr. Ivan Eland, Director of the Center of Peace and Liberty at the Independent Institute. Dr. Eland was also wary of U.S. military action in Iran. "After the Iraq fiasco we need to be more careful," remarked Dr. Eland "invading Iran would be even a bigger disaster than Iraq."

Eland went on to say that Iran's nuclear ambitions are a product of Iran's legitimate security concern that emerged since the U.S. entered both Afghanistan and Iraq. He warned against isolating Iran to avoid ending up with another Cuba, a country which the US has maintained "a failed foreign policy for over 45 years, keeping Castro in power."

With Iran's Darolfonoon Institute in Tehran boasting a top ranking in publications of physics research papers among universities in the Middle East, it is no surprise that the U.S. takes Iran's nuclear development seriously, the panel argued. The question remains: Is Tehran's insistence that its nuclear development program is not aimed at producing weapons-grade uranium, but low-grade enriched uranium as a means to boost energy production, sincere? If it is, suggested Dr. Nayeri, Iran's scientific superiority can be put to good use in creating alternative energy sources, like for instance geothermal energy.

Whatever the motives behind Iran's nuclear development, Dr. Eland and Nayeri both agreed that engaging Iran is more constructive to U.S. and Iranian interests than any type of military action.

NIAC's mission is to promote Iranian-American participation in civic life. Iranians-Americans deserve to make informed decisions on matters that affect them, and NIAC aims to facilitate this by bringing transparency to these debates. Our intent is to report on policy conferences and pieces of legislation as objectively as possible. NIAC, itself, as an organization, has no position on these debates. Our function is to provide Iranian-Americans with the necessary knowledge and tools to be able to participate in decision-making according to their own views.

The National Iranian American Council is a Washington, DC-based non-profit educational organization promoting Iranian-American participation in American civic and political life. For more information, please visit, email NIAC at or send a fax to 202-518-6187. NIAC is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization. All donations to NIAC are tax-deductible.

... Payvand News - 1/31/05 ... --

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