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NIAC Factbook   Hassan Dai

Takeyh-Maloney's Report on Iran: Old Demands, New Arguments   Hassan Dai

Did NIAC defraud the Congressional fund?
Report on NIAC-NED relation
  Hassan Dai

NIAC's internal documents, Series 5, Part 2
How did NIAC spend the Congressional Funds?
  Hassan Dai

NIAC’s internal documents-Series one
Lobby organization: IIC
  Hassan Dai

NIAC’s internal documents (Series 5)
Funding from NED and EF
  Hassan Dai

NIAC’s internal Documents- Series four
Parsi’s communications with M. Javad Zarif in 2006-2007
  Hassan Dai

NIAC’s internal document-Series three
Trita Parsi'e collaboration with Siamak Namazi
  Hassan Dai

NIAC’s internal documents-Series two
Trita Parsi: 2001-2002
  Hassan Dai

The Iranian revolt and the role of pro- appeasement lobby in the US   Hassan Dai

Iranian regime, the War in Gaza and Trita Parsi   Hassan Dai

Twelve years of pro-Tehran lobby   Hassan Dai

Iran: America's Sophie's choice   Hassan Dai

Iranian regime's web of influence
A money trail
  Hassan Dai

Did the NIAC Defraud the National Endowment for Democracy and Congress   Hassan Dai

Flirting with the Mullahs
Mohammad Parvin and Hassan Daioleslam
  Hassan Dai

The Iranian Web of Influence in the United States   Hassan Dai

Pro-Ayatollahs Disinformation and Manipulation Campaign by Washington Think Tankers   Hassan Dai

Iran’s 2003 Grand Bargain Offer: Secrets, Lies, and Manipulation   Hassan Dai

Iran’s Oil Mafia: Penetrating the US Political System   Hassan Dai

The Iranian Lobby and the Israeli Decoy   Hassan Dai

An Iranian Embassy in Boston   Hassan Dai

Return from Paradise in the Left Lane   Hassan Dai

Congressman Kucinich Must Find a Better Role Model than Bob Ney   Hassan Dai

Ayatollahs’ Lobby In Washington Offering Human Rights as a Negotiating Item   Hassan Dai

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Takeyh-Maloney's Report on Iran: Old Demands, New Arguments

[ARTICLES]  [30 Jun 2011]  
Hassan Dai
Source: [www.iranianlobby.com] 


Summary

The Council on Foreign Relations and the Brookings Institution have collaborated to prepare the "Restoring the Balance: A Middle East Strategy for the Next President"1 The third chapter of the book (34 pages) is "Pathway to Coexistence: A New U.S. Policy toward Iran". Suzanne Maloney and Ray Takeyh (Maloney's husband) have co-authored this chapter.

http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Files/rc/papers/2008/12_iran_maloney/12_iran_maloney.pdf

In this report, Takeyh and Maloney declare that the U.S. should coexist with Iran because the Iranian regime is stable, regionally stronger than ever, and has successfully survived and overcome the U.S. pressure. The U.S. and its allies' sanctions are ineffective and the prospect for broader sanctions is slim.

In the regional matters, the U.S. should accept the Iranian influence and should therefore coexist with this new emerging regional super power. Once the U.S. has accepted its failure and has admitted the lack of leverage against Iran, it should enter direct and without-precondition talks with Iran. This path would be long and the prospect of success very limited. Nevertheless, he U.S. has no choice but to try this path, they advise.

Takeyh and Maloney state that the U.S. should finally admit to some kind of enrichment activities to be continued in Iran. Since the sanctions and military options are already discarded by the authors, the U.S. and allies are totally disarmed in a situation where Iran refuses U.S. generous offers. In their report, there is absolutely no discussion of how to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power.

In order to make the coexistence with a nuclear Iran more digestible, Takeyh and Maloney argue that accepting a regional superpower nuclear Iran will not threaten U.S. interests: "Containment is actually obsolete because Iran is no longer an expansionist power" they claim.

A central question about the Saban-CFR report is the decision to select Takeyh and Maloney for authoring this important document. As discussed below, they have been two of the most active Iran-experts in the past 8 years. During this time, they have been constantly wrong in their analyses and wrong in their predictions. Consequently, their recommendations have had profound negative impacts on the U.S. policy toward Iran. The question is why two of the most prestigious think tanks have once again turned to the same experts who have been so wrong so often in the past?

 

The authors' track record or predictions and recomendations

In their new report, Takeyh and Maloney explain that the U.S. should reach out to Iran and abandon its diplomatic and economic pressure. In order to justify this approach, the authors argue that the Iranian leadership is ready for dialogue with US. They write:

"It is also clear that today’s Iranian leaders are capable of selective, constructive dialogue with the United States and that they have cross-factional support for direct, authoritative dialogue with their American adversaries—a condition that did not exist for most of the past thirty years."[Emphasis is mine]

In fact, this "unique" occasion has nothing unique and has been a constant part of Takeyh's writings in the past 8 years. Regardless of the time, situation or who is in power in Iran, Takeyh and cohorts have always maintained that it is a unique time to deal with Iran. Followings are a few such sample declarations by Takeyh over the years.

2000 (Khatami’s presidency and peak of the power of reformists): “We get a better deal on all issues of concern, the holy trinity – weapons, terrorism, and Israel – from the reformers, who are more pragmatists than the hard-liners.” 2

2002: “This time, with public opinion in favor of reaching out to Washington, Iranian political groups of all complexion are loath to let the opportunity pass.” 3

2004 (Defeat of reformers and rise of radical faction): “The recent demise of the reform movement has facilitated the ascendance of pragmatic conservatives willing to have a far-reaching dialogue with the United States. At a time when the challenge of Iran seems most acute, the prospect of Tehran accommodating Washington has never been greater.” 4

2004: “For the first time in more than 20 years, the United States has the opportunity to deal with rational, pragmatic interlocutors who, by virtue of their standing in the government, are in a position to negotiate. It is an opportunity that should not be squandered.” 5

2005 (The radical fundamentalists gain power. Ahmadinejd is elected as the president): “Despite the election of a hard-line government in Iran, the time surprisingly might be ripe for a deal.” 6

2007: “In Iran today the idea of negotiating with the United States as late as 1999, 2001, was a contentious issue. Now there is a consensus in Iran, across political spectrum, blessed by the supreme leader, that Iran is willing to negotiate with the United States.” 7

It is interesting to see how under very different situations, and cast of characters in power in Iran, Takeyh arrived at the same conclusion. However, in their new report, Takeyh and Maloney offer a new argument different from their past declarations. One should understand their new argument as it is the basis for their "coexistence" recommendation.

In the past, they had consistently argued that a pragmatic faction (or moderates, reformists, realists, new pragmatists …) controlled the power in Tehran. The existence of these imaginary powerful factions was a good reason for U.S. to abandon its strict and stern policies against Iran and reach out to the Iranian regime. Here we briefly review what they have been proclaiming and recommending during the past 8 years, how they promoted the different factions within the Iranian power circle, and how they were profoundly wrong about the Iranian regime's leadership.

Takeyh and Maloney were wrong in 2001-2003

In 1997, Mohammaed Khatami became president and 3 years later, the parliament was also captured by so-called regime's reformists. This new development was embraced by many Iran experts who asserted that the reform movement would be "irreversible" and asked the U.S. administration to be more generous toward Tehran. Takeyh and Maloney were among the most vocal of these experts.

Maloney wrote in 2000 that the reform movement is "irreversible":

“A choice looms for Iran, and the alternatives are stark: genuinely representative government or full scale repression…. For the foreseeable future, then, the Islamic Republic will continue to be buffeted by the forces of divisiveness and unresolved questions of authority. Nonetheless, the February elections provide powerful evidence that the system is evolving in an irreversibly democratic fashion”. 8

Takeyh was even more affirmative, He wrote that the reformers would soon capture the judiciary and even the Supreme Leader's absolute authority would be diminished:

“The next institution that is likely to fall in the hands of the reformers is the judiciary… The anticipated reform of the court system will further diminish the conservatives' power base…In the coming decade it is likely that the position of the leader will undergo transformations as its absolutism is widely challenged within both clerical and secular circles.” 9

“Despite sporadic setbacks, Khatami and his reform supporters are forging new paths and transforming politics into a meaningful representative practice ... A politicized middle class, restive youth and an emboldened civil society make the recession of conservative power inevitable.” 10

As we know, Maloney and Takeyh were acutely wrong in their judgments. In 2004, the reformers lost the parliamentary elections and a year later, Ahmadinejad's presidency sealed their total defeat.

2004-2005: Maloney and Takeyh were wrong and masked the rise of Ahmadinejad’s faction

In July 2004, the Council on Foreign Relations released its Task Force Report on Iran. Maloney directed this project. The report urged rapprochement with the Iranian regime, basically the same policy that many such reports had already proposed for the previous years. What made this CFR report unique was its analysis of the Iranian power structure after the defeat of reformers in two consecutive elections in 2003 (City Councils) and 2004 parliamentary elections. In fact, the CFR report was released at a time, when many Iranian analysts correctly qualified as a turning point in the life of the Islamic Republic: The start of a new era, dominated by the radical factions related to the Revolutionary Guards. Nearly 100 members of the new parliament came from the Guards and Security institutions.

While a large number of Iranian analysts, political scholars and intellectuals were warning the Iranians and the international community about the rise of this new faction and its dangerous internal and international implications, the CFR task force report directed by Maloney not only did not mention anything about this element, it surprisingly discovered an “ascending pragmatic faction” in Iran: 11

Iran is experiencing a gradual process of internal change that will slowly but surely produce a government more responsive toward its citizenswishes and more responsible in its approach to the international community.” (page13

“ …. the pragmatists who appear to be ascendant in Tehran ...” (page19)

“…. Some conservatives appear to favor a ‘China model’ of reform that maintains political orthodoxy while encouraging market reforms and tolerating expanding civil liberties.” (page 15)

Maloney, Takeyh and friends discovered a new ascending “pragmatic” faction completely unknown to the Iranian observers inside the country. Takeyh and his cohorts did not stop there. In 2004 and 2005, they wrote numerous articles to institute that such pragmatic faction is indeed in command. In an extraordinary article Takeyh and N. Gvosdev (from CFR) masked the rise of Ahmadinejad faction: 12

“The reality is that the postwar situation in Iraq and the massive projection of U.S. power along Iran’s [border] have strengthened the position of a cadre of pragmatic conservatives seeking practical solutions to Iran’s increasingly dire predicaments. Under the banner of “new thinking,” this group seeks to restructure Iran’s domestic priorities and international relations.”

“Such dire circumstances have facilitated the rise of a pragmatic wing among Iranian conservatives, sometimes known as the new Right. If the reformers are comparable to Gorbachev, the pragmatic conservatives resemble China’s Deng Xiaoping: they recognize the need for pragmatic policy adjustments to secure the survival of their regime. Specifically, the “China model” is perceived to include economic reform accompanied by some degree of social liberalization and a pragmatic foreign policy.”

“The pragmatists have a comfortable base within the new legislature. Moreover, a leading figure of the new Right, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Hassan Rouhani, is the presumptive front-runner to succeed Khatami as president when the latter steps down in 2005.”

Takeyh and his colleagues were so certain about the ascendance of this pragmatic faction that they advised the U.S. administration to be prepared for a deal with Rafsanjani's clan in 2005: 12

'The U.S. should be prepared to take the first steps after the May 2005 Iranian election…. Rafsanjani’s cohorts would find intermediaries in either a second-term Bush administration or a Kerry administration who believe that promoting America’s interests and America’s values require engagement with Iran rather than confrontation.

2005: Ahmadinejad became president. Takeyh declared: Rafsanjani may come back to power

In his testimony before the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee on November 15, 2005 he declared: 13

“In Iran, however, politics is a shifting landscape. It is not inconceivable that the reformers may stage yet another comeback and reclaim the parliament in the next election. Nor can it be ruled out that Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani or one of his pragmatic protégés will assume the office of the presidency yet again.

There are already signs that the clerical system is re-balancing itself and seeking to restraint its impetuous new president. Mahmoud Ahamdinejad’s inexperience and ideological stridency has cost Iran dearly”

2006- A new powerful faction: Realists

A few months later, Takeyh, one more time, changed position and found a new faction. Now, the “Realists” are the new windows of hope for the West. In his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on September 19, 2006, Takeyh said: 14

"Realists: President Ahmadinejad’s rhetorical fulminations and presence on the international stage should not obscure the fact that he is not in complete command of Iran’s foreign relations. One of the most important actors in Iran today is the powerful Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Ali Larijani. As the leader of a new generation of realists that evolved in the intelligence community in the 1990s, this cohort’s has predominant influence over the direction of Iran’s international relations. Through their presence in key institutions, links with traditional clerical community and intimate ties to the Supreme Leader, the realists chart the course of Iran’s foreign policy”.

2007: Nationalist Pragmatists are coming!

In yet another stretch of imagination, in Newsweek on Feb.26, 2007, Takeyh announced that the true power holders in Iran are internationally well-behaved pragmatist nationalists: 15 

“This emerging group looks askance at the strident rhetoric of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Its members tend to stress Iranian nationalism over Islamic identity, and pragmatism over ideology. …. Over the past two years, members of this pragmatic faction have risen to influence within the highest ranks of government, the intelligence community and the military…. these men are trying to wrest control of Iran's international relations from the most militant old-guard mullahs.”

The game of seeking Iranian moderates is over

In an unexpected change of argument, Takeyh and Maloney totally forget what they have been writing for the prior 8 years and in their new report, they reject the whole concept of reaching to moderates in Tehran. Instead, they suggest that the U.S. has "misunderstood" the Iranian power structure and have been knocking on the wrong door: "U.S. efforts to engage Iran have been undermined by three primary issues: U.S. inability to judge accurately the internal dynamics of Iranian politics."

This time, they declare that the real power holder is the Supreme Leader and the U.S. was wrongly seeking for moderates:

· "Previous attempts at engaging Iran were derailed by U.S. efforts to exploit factional divides within the regime. In the end, the historical track record makes clear that the only path toward resolving American differences with Tehran is one that deals directly with the ultimate power center—the supreme leader.

· "The historical track record makes clear that the only path toward resolving American differences with Tehran is one that deals directly with the ultimate power center—the supreme leader.

· Understanding that Khamenei is the appropriate starting point for any American engagement clarifies the task

Strangely, Takeyh and Maloney forget to mention their own role in sending the U.S. administration to the wrong address! One of the most dramatic examples is in 2004 when Maloney directed the CFR task force report. Takeyh was among the Iran experts who collaborated with her. This report advised the American administration to favor the pragmatists in the Iranian government. Robert Gates, the Secretary of Defense was one of the authors of this report. Now he could not be clearer about the goal of releasing that report. Recently he told an audience in Washington: 16

"I have been involved in the search for the elusive Iranian moderate for 30 years.(Laughter.)… And of course, in the 2004 or (200)5 study that I co-chaired with Brzezinski for the Council on Foreign Relations with respect to U.S.policy on Iran, given the fact that President Khatami was in power, sounded more moderate -- at least was not making some of the outrageous statements that Ahmadinejad does -- we said, "It's worth reaching out to them."

The New Era

For almost three decades, a group of Iran experts have argued that the U.S. does not need to take harsh policies toward Iran simply because a more pragmatist leader will emerge in Tehran and accommodate the international norms and settle the Iran-U.S. problems. Now, Takeyh and Maloney have come forward and declare that the old game of finding the moderate faction in Tehran is over. U.S. should abandon its dream. That was merely amirage.

What is then the new argument aimed at steering the U.S. towards accommodating Tehran and engage the radicals? Takeyh and Maloney readily have the answer: The United States has no other choice but to coexist with an Iranian regime that has overcome the U.S. pressure and has won the battle.

They recommend that the U.S. should switch its policy of containment to a policy of coexistence with Iran. They offer the following reasons for their recommendation:

I: "The Iranian regime is firmly entrenched in power for the foreseeable future."

II: The U.S. has no valid leverage against Iran and the sanctions are ineffective.

III- The balance of power in the region has turned to the Iranian advantage:

IV: Finally, for those who are reluctant to coexist with the Iranian regime, Takeyh and Maloney give the assurance that: "Containment is actually obsolete because Iran is no longer an expansionist powerIts revolutionary mandates died on the battlefields of Iraq (20 years ago)

 

Is the Iranian regime firmly entrenched in power?

Maloney and Takeyh assert that the Iranian regime is stable and will remain in power for the foreseeable future:

"On the surface, Iran seems to be a good candidate for revolutionary agitation, but the Iranian regime retains enormous capacity for control over society and appears to be firmly entrenched in power for the foreseeable future. Despite long-term and widespread public dissatisfaction, the persistence of the Islamic Republic over three decades of considerable internal and external pressures should leave few illusions about its staying power. The Islamic Republic is unpopular at home, but revolutionary change remains unlikely.

Ahmadinejad enjoys the full-throated support of the supreme leader and the security bureaucracy and has cultivated a significant base of support outside the major cities through his provincial tours and giddy distribution of oil largesse."

In reality, a regime's fragility could only be measured by the level of popular dissent caused by economic, social and political problems. Based on this simple rule, Takeyh was in 2005 affirming that the Iranian regime is sitting on top a volcano. He wrote in the International Herald Tribune on August 3, 2005: 17

"Faced with political disenfranchisement and continued deprivation, the Iranian people may yet express their clamor for change through protest and defiance…. On the eve of their most impressive power grab, Iran's conservatives may be sitting on top of the kind of smoldering public resentment that they can neither control nor appease."

It is self evident that the Iranian regime is more fragile today than it was three years ago. What has happened since 2005 that has made Takeyh change his mind and find the Islamic regime entrenched in power for the foreseeable future? Interestingly, if we go a few years back, Takeyh was even predicting a regime at its last breath. In 2001, he wrote: 18

“Should the hardliners succeed in completely obstructing reform, Iran may not see a revolution similar to the 1979 mass uprising, but rather a state that increasingly resembles the Soviet Union of the 1970s.”

Then, again in 2001, he went further and wrote:19

“In fact, for Iran to avoid collapsing into civil strife it must adopt some basic secular tenets. Whatever direction the country takes, this much is at least evident: Khomeini failed to establish a durable Islamic polity in Iran, and the clerics are ruling on borrowed time.

Is the Iranian regime firmly entrenched in power as Takeyh and Maloney are asserting now? One of their arguments is that "the persistence of the Islamic Republic over three decades of considerable internal and external pressures should leave few illusions about its staying power". Based on this logic, all tyrannical and shaky regime's are entrenched firmly in power until the day of their fall simply because they have not collapsed yet!

Moreover, the regime in Tehran is not so sure about its own destiny. Here are some recent declarations by highest Iranian officials where they clearly point to the regime's uncertain future and real possibility of being toppled by popular revolt:

September 2008: The commander of the Revolutionary Guards declared that the Guards' main duty is to tame the internal unrests. He declared: "Our actual strategy has been modified by the Supreme Leader and it is different from the past. Now, our main duty is to fight the internal threats." 20

June 2008: One of the main Iranian political organizations, "Mojehedine Enghelabe Eslami”, released a statement and commented on the disastrous economic, social and political situation. The title of their statement was: What is the main danger threatening our regime?. They answered: being overthrown by popular revolt: 21 "The most significant threat against our regime is "instability" and the prospect of being toppled by a revolution. In other words, the most important threat is to be evicted in a violent event."

September 2008: Tabnak, the online newspaper related to Mohsen Rezaii the former head of the Guards wrote: "After three decades, the threat of being overthrown is still one of the main concerns for our regime."22

May 2008: One of the Iranian military commanders demanded to be vigilant because the social situations are alarming. The Iranian press quoted him as saying: "General Gholamali Rashid, the second highest ranking Iranian armed forces commander declared that Israeli attack, low oil prices and social unrests are the 3 main threats against the regime. He warned against being naïve and declared that we could have repeat of July 1999 revolts." 23

December 2008: 30.000 militias started their new campaign to control Tehran neighborhoods. The military commanders insist that this new disposition is designed to tame the potential social unrests and will continue for years to come.

 

Does the U.S. lack Leverage against Iran

Parallel to over evaluating the Iranian regime's stability and portraying it as stable and firmly entrenched in power, Takey and Maloney under-evaluate the impact of sanctions on Iran and describe them as futile and useless:

"American efforts to contain Iran are centered on the presumption that the systematic application of diplomatic pressure and economic sanctions can obstruct Tehran’s nefarious designs and simultaneously transform Iran into a responsible and representative state. The most remarkable aspect of this conventional wisdom is its twenty-nine-year track record of failure."

Not only the authors claim that the current sanctions can not pressure Iran enough to change its policy, but they assert that the prospect for wider sanctions are very slim because according to them, the high oil prices will not permit such measures:

· "It is highly unlikely that a new U.S. administration will be able to achieve newly effective leverage over Iran. Seemingly insatiable Asian demand for energy will maintain high oil prices and dissuade fence-sitters from more strenuous sanctions on Iran."

· "As long as Iran continues to export oil and the price of oil remains above $70 a barrel, the government will be cushioned by vast revenues—which estimates put in the range of $80 billion for Iran’s most recent fiscal year. Washington can make it more costly for Iran to do business, but until and unless the United States can persuade the rest of the international community, in particular Russia and China, to impose sanctions targeting Iran’s oil exports—a development that appears inconceivable at the current price or within the current political environment— the pressure will be insufficient to force Iranian capitulation on what its leadership perceives to be its vital interests."

At the time when the Takeyh-Maloney's report was released, Iranian oil was traded under $40 and the prospect for the next year is even direr. It is difficult to understand why the authors did not modify their report (at least the part that argued based on high oil prices) once the prices started to decline.

Moreover, Iran's oil output is declining at a time when its domestic consumption is increasing rapidly. Presently, Iran has fallen more than 300,000 barrels per day below its OPEC export quota because of their production incapacity. Iran needs massive investment and tech­nological help from the West to prevent the continuing erosion of their oil industry infrastructure. This decline, combined with growing domestic consumption, suggests that Iran’s oil income could completely disappear in less than a decade.

A few months ago, Kamal Daneshiar, the head of Energy commission in the Iranian parliament (7th term), wrote an important article about this issue. He could not be clearer about the current catastrophic situation for the Iranian regime. He declared that in the most optimistic estimates, in less than a decade, the Iranian oil output will not suffice the domestic consumption and the export will cease. According to him, Iran needs a minimum of $600 billions of investment in oil fields for the next 20 years, plus technical assistance to save its oil industry. If not, the regime's life line is simply cut. 24

Such drastic prospects have forced many in the Iranian regime to demand a total abandon of nuclear program and the acceptance of international exigencies. This breach will only widen with time. This leverage has been conspicuously neglected by Takeyh and Maloney. 

 

Nuclear Issue

Malony-Takeyh report views the prospect of nuclear negotiations as follow:

· While the ultimate objective of this track must be a full and durable suspension of uranium enrichment, any serious U.S. negotiating strategy should incorporate contingency plans for moving beyond the prolonged impasse of recent years over Iran’s intransigence on the question of enrichment.

· For this reason, U.S. negotiators—in cooperation with American allies—should develop a fallback position, as outlined in the chapter on nonproliferation, that permits a limited Iranian enrichment capability in exchange for rigorous safeguards, such as snap inspections, permanent presence of International Atomic Energy Agency personnel, and full transparency on its previous activities.

The authors leave us with the elephant in the room, the real question: What will happen if Iran does not accept this generous deal and refuses rigorous inspections? As we understand, according to Takeyh and Maloney the sanctions do not frighten Iran, and the U.S. has no real leverage to pressure Iran, what can the West do if Iran continues to demand more and more?

In fact, the authors' logic is as simple as Takeyh had explained it in past: “U.S.can only stop Iranian nuclear program by offering broad concessions.” 25 The question is, where should these concessions stop and what can the U.S. do if Iran does not accept these incentives and demand more? Some prominent analysts have answered this question. Richard Haas, CFR's president wrote recently: 26

"Specific disincentives that would be introduced if Iran were not to accept and act consistently with whatever nuclear undertakings had been agreed upon. Ideally, such disincentives (or sanctions or penalties or sticks) would be supported by the UN Security Council and even backed by an authorization to enforce them with military force."

Gary Samore, the Council on Foreign Relations vice president and director of studies, echoes the same approach and wrote: 27

"To make these negotiations effective, the new administration should seek agreement among the EU-3 plus 3 to support stronger political and economic sanctions if Iran rejects an offer to resolve the nuclear issue."

Curiously, Takeyh and Maloney remain silent on this question. Are we to believe that two active Iran experts have neglected to think about this? Or did they think it is not relevant or important?

 

Conclusion

During the past 30 years we have seen different and opposing views on how to deal with Iran. There is a distinct group of Iran experts who regardless of what happens in Iran and who is in command, have relentlessly demanded a more friendly approach with the Iranian regime.

Despite their astonishing record of misinterpreting the Iranian situations, Takeyh and Maloney occupy influential positions in advising the U.S. administration. Apparently, some Iran policy experts do not automatically follow the rules of accountability and self criticism.

In their new advisory report, they present the U.S. with a powerful Iranian regime, stable inside the country and unshaken by international pressure. Consequently the U.S. should lift the pressure off the Islamic rulers of Iran.

What will the U.S. get in return for lifting all the leverages? Nothing definite, they say:

"Iran’s domestic political environment is not particularly fortuitous at this time, and there are no guarantees of success. There is no hard evidence that Iranian leaders have ever been prepared, fully and authoritatively, to make fundamental concessions on the key areas of U.S. concern. Even more uncertain is whether Iran has had or will ever attain the level of policy coordination and institutional coherence that would enable any overarching agreement to be implemented successfully. However, the United States will only be able to gauge Iranian capacity through a direct and sustained effort at engagement."

Takeyh and Maloney's advice to abandon the international pressure and embark on an uncertain road of coexistence with Iran is an unwise advice from experts with a dismal track record.

 

Notes:

1. CFR and Saban Center: Restoring the Balance http://www.cfr.org/publication/17791/

http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Files/rc/papers/2008/12_iran_maloney/12_iran_maloney.pdf

2. Takeyh, R., in Middle East Policy Council. December 12th, 2000.

3. Takeyh, R., in Financial Times. November 4, 2002.

4. Takeyh, R., in International Herald Tribune. August 24, 2004.

5. Takeyh, R., in Washington Quarterly. Autumn 2004.

6. Feinstein, L. and R. Takeyh, in The Baltimore Sun. September 26, 2005.

7. Takeyh, R., in a speech. February 22, 2007.

8. Maloney, S., in Middle East Policy. June 2000.

http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Files/rc/articles/2000/06iranelections/06iranelections.pdf

9. Takeyh, R., in Middle East Policy Journal. November 2000.

10. Takeyh, R., in Middle East Policy Journal. 11.2000 Number 4.

11. Iran:Time for a New Approach. Report of an Independent Task Force Sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Robert Gates, Co-Chairs, Suzanne Maloney, Project Director, http://www.cfr.org/content/publications/attachments/Iran_TF.pdf.

12. Takeyh, R. and N. Gvosdev, Pragmatism in the Midst of Iranian Turmoil, in The Washington Quarterly. Autumn 2004.

http://www.twq.com/04autumn/docs/04autumn_takeyh-gvosdev.pdf

13. Takyeh, R., http://hsgac.senate.gov/_files/111505Takeyh.pdf.

14. Takeyh, R., Testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. September 19, 2006.

15. Takeyh, R., in http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17202829/site/newsweek/. Feb.26, 2007.

16. Robert Gates: http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=4295

17. International Herald Tribune on August 3, 2005

18. Takeyh, R., Iran in the Axis of Evil, in Updates from AIJAC. February 15, 2001.

19. Takeyh, R., in The National Interest, AIJAC. No. 63, Spring 2001.

20. M. A. Jaafari, the Guards high commander: http://www.ebtekarnews.com/Ebtekar/News.aspx?NID=20897

21. http://www.mojahedin-enghelab.net/ShowItem.aspx?ID=1040&p=2

22. Tabnak: http://www.tabnak.ir/pages/?cid=9477

23. http://www.bbc.co.uk/persian/iran/2008/11/081123_ka_rashid.shtml

24. http://ires.ir/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=84&Itemid=52

25. Takeyh, R., interview with CFR. April 13, 2006.

26. Richard Haas, "Living with a nuclear Iran", Chapter III of the book, Iran: Assessing U.S. Strategic Options". http://www.cnas.org/node/76

27. Gary Samore and Bruce Riedel: CFR and Saban Center: Restoring the Balance. Chapter4, Proliferation. http://www.cfr.org/content/publications/attachments/CFR-Saban_Chapter4_Proliferation.pdf

 

 


Source: www.iranianlobby.com





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