London, Dec 19, IRNA - US president-elect Barack Obama should appoint an envoy to Iran as part of a plan for the normalization of bilateral ties once the current nuclear dispute is resolved, according to former UK ambassador to Tehran Sir Richard Dalton.
A new report on Iran: Breaking the Nuclear Deadlock, edited by Dalton, recommends that Washington should engage with Iran, especially with advisers to the country's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, saying his position was crucial to the resolution of the dispute.
The report reiterated that five years of negotiations, proposals, UN resolutions and sanctions have "failed" to achieve a breakthrough regarding Iran's nuclear case.
"The establishment of a Persian Gulf regional security initiative is vital for the long-term stability of the region. The process of developing it could help create momentum in the nuclear negotiations," it also says.
The report by Britain's prestigious foreign policy institute grapples with how negotiations with Iran on its nuclear program can be conducted and concludes that a breakthrough starting in 2009 is possible.
The US, it recommended, should consider how to take the first steps towards re-establishing normal diplomatic relations, including "providing security assurances to Iran at the end of satisfactory negotiations."
"A dedicated president envoy should be appointed to carry forward US bilateral contacts," the report said, adding to similar calls made by several former American officials.
Dalton, who was British ambassador to Tehran between 2002 and 2006, believed that there were "huge problems of trust" to overcome to reach a resolution, saying that there were misleading stereotypes abound in the West and Iran to overcome.
"It is clear that no strategy, including attacking known nuclear facilities in Iran or a comprehensive agreement, can deliver a guarantee that Iran will not build a nuclear weapon," he also said.
The report suggested that if negotiations were to resume in earnest, they were likely to focus on three options, including a time-limited suspension of enrichment, an international consortium to manage a joint enrichment venture and the continuation of Iran's program.
"For now all three options should remain in play, with the understanding that flexibility will be needed if negotiations are not to be stillborn," it warned.
The Chatham House report also cautioned against the threat of military action, saying that there was "no right to intervene in self- defence unless there is in fact a military threat from Iran."
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