US Senate Debating Diplomacy on Iran
Former US Ambassador to Zambia, Egypt, the Philippines, and India Frank G.
Wisner II, the President of the Council on Foreign Relations Richard N. Haass,
Senior Fellow for Non-Proliferation International Institute for Strategic
Studies Mark Fitzpatrick and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Associate Karim Sadjadpour are among the witnesses in the hearing.
(Fars News Agency)-A weeklong debate on how to engage diplomatically with Iran was started in
the US Senate committee on foreign relations on Tuesday.
Senator John Kerry, who heads the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, kicked off
the weeklong hearings.
The development came after US new President Barack Obama promised "principled
and sustained" engagement with the Islamic Republic.
Stressing Washington must set a timetable for "substantive progress" in any
talks with Iran; Kerry said that the US should back direct dialogue with Tehran.
Meantime Richard Haas told the committee's senators that the Obama
administration should take "a more positive approach" toward Tehran and called
for the US to avoid publicly setting red lines on Iranian behavior that could
not be enforced, saying there was still time for diplomacy.
Reminding that Iran would not simply give up its uranium enrichment program,
Hass suggest that the new US administration accept a "right to enrich", and
added that the potential talks with Tehran would need to focus on whether Iran
is allowed "to have some enrichment capability".
The experts have warned that military action would not resolve the impasse over
Iran's nuclear program and any hasty action could have dire repercussions for
Washington and the region.
Iranian officials have always said that the strategy change of the United States
would facilitate the direct talks with Iran.
"An American strategy change can pave the way for direct talks with the Islamic
Republic of Iran," Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said early in
Also in January, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said about change in US
policy towards Iran that "the people who want to make changes in the US should
apologize to the Iranian nation and compensate for their crimes against the
"We welcome change provided that it will be fundamental and in the correct
direction, otherwise the world should know that if any one even with new words
but with Mr. Bush's literature, spirit and aggressiveness wants to speak with
Iranians, their response is the one they have stressed for years," he added.
Ahmadinejad further noted inauguration of the new US administration, and
stressed, "The fact that a new administration with the slogan of 'change' has
come to power and said that it wants to change US policies is good as Mr. Bush's
policies were inhumane, immoral and alien to the prophets' teachings."
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