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US analyst proposes "Middle Path" on Iran's Nuclear Programme

Brussels, June 13, IRNA-Patrick Clawson, an American expert on Near East Policy is proposing western security and confidence-building measures to the Islamic Republic as incentives to resolve its nuclear stand off with the West.

Clawson, the Deputy Director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said in a paper presented at a seminar on Iran's nuclear programme in Brussels Monday that the Bush administration is on the whole optimistic that trans-Atlantic unity can lead to a successful resolution of the Iran nuclear issues.

In his paper titled "Influence, Deter and Contain: The Middle Path or Responding to Iran's Nuclear Programme,'' Clawson, who speaks Persian, writes that it would be in the West's interest to promote military-to-military contacts with Iran.

He notes that there are many confidence- and security-building measures (CSBMs) and arms control measures which would provide gains for both Iran and the West.

Issues worth exploring, he proposed, includes ''exchange of observers for military exercises in and near Iran, including Iranian observers during U.S. naval exercises and any large troop movements near Iran's borders, plus U.S. observers during large Iranian exercises." "Naval cooperation at sea, including an incidents-at-sea (INCSEA) agreement and a Gulf-wide agency for collecting information about sea hazards." "Commencing negotiations of an arms control agreement along the lines of the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) accord to limit forces close to the Iraq-Iran and Afghanistan-Iran border, which would apply both to Iranian forces and to the forces of Iraq, Iran, the United States, and other treaty signatories." The one-day seminar "Iran Moment of Truth" was organized here by the Brussels-based think-tank 'Centre for European Policy Studies' and the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Naser Hadian, professor at the faculty of law and political science at Tehran university, said he found "some positive elements which we have to explore'' in the proposals made by Clawson.

Hadian strongly defended Iran's inalienable rights to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

He stressed that there was strong support among the Iranian people for Iran's nuclear programme for energy but also strong opposition to the weaponisation of the nuclear programme.

The Iranian analyst also stressed that there will be "no change in Iran's nuclear policy'' after the June 17 presidential elections.

On his part, Francois Heisbourg , Director of the Paris-based Foundation for Strategic Research, suggested that a security dialogue can help Iran measure the negative regional consequences of going nuclear, while a non-aggression undertaking would remove the strategic rationale for pursuing a nuclear deterrent "A US reappraisal of its sanctions policy would provide a strong incentive for the Iranian political and economic decision-makers to avoid going to the nuclear threshold,'' Heisbourg said in his paper titled "Iran, the moment of Truth.'' A Russian specialist on Iran, Vladimir Sazhin, giving a Russian perspective said Russia must take a pragmatic approach, based on the development of mutually advantageous trade and economic contacts and on the strengthening of its own positions on Iran's nuclear power production market.

"At the same time it must keep vigilant watch on the on-going processes in the development of Iran's nuclear programme, including the ones concerning the double-use technologies, and do its utmost to prevent the development of nuclear weapons in Iran.'' "What's more, Russia must act in cooperation with the European Union and the United States, with which it is in full agreement on this issue," he said.

Sazhin speaks fluent Persian and is an expert at the Institute of the Orient under the Russian Academy of Sciences and an expert of the Institute of the Middle East and a political observer of the Voice of Russia radio station.

... Payvand News - 6/14/05 ... --

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