Bipartisan Policy Center Releases Comprehensive Report on Iran
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Broad Consensus Achieved on New Strategy to Prevent Nuclear Iran Task Force chaired by former Senators Dan Coats and Charles Robb identify nuclear weapons-capable Iran as 'strategically untenable' situation WASHINGTON, Sept. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A Task Force sponsored by the National Security Initiative, a program of the Bipartisan Policy Center, today released a ground-breaking report identifying the regional and global threats posed by a nuclear weapons-capable Iran and recommending a new, robust and comprehensive strategy designed to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability. Calling a nuclear weapons-capable Iran "strategically untenable," the report argues that it "may pose the most significant threat to the United States during the next Administration." "The stakes are enormous," reads the report, Meeting the Challenge: U.S. Policy Toward Iranian Nuclear Development. "They involve not only U.S. national security, but also regional peace and stability, energy security, the efficacy of multilateralism, and the preservation of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty regime." The report is the product of a high-level bipartisan Task Force led by former Senators Daniel Coats and Charles Robb, and including Ambassador Dennis Ross and Steve Rademaker, three retired four-star generals and admirals, and other experts in nuclear proliferation and energy markets. The report offers a blueprint for establishing an effective U.S. strategy toward Iran's nuclear development and also offers a comprehensive source of information for policymakers, the public and the next President. The Task Force believes the current U.S. policy is failing and it presents a new realistic, robust, and comprehensive approach "incorporating new diplomatic, economic and military tools in an integrated fashion" that can deter Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons-capability. The Task Force recommends the incoming U.S. President simultaneously build diplomatic, economic and military leverage with the Iranians from the first day of his new Administration in order to negotiate from strength and to be prepared for all contingencies. It advises the new President to engage Iran in negotiations with a pre-determined timetable once our European allies impose greater economic sanctions. If negotiations fail, the report advises the U.S. to pursue more aggressive tactics, including possibly blockading Iran's gasoline imports and eventually its crude oil imports. If all other approaches - diplomatic, informational, and economic - are unsuccessful, the Task Force recognizes that the new President will have to weigh the risks of failure to set back Iran's nuclear program sufficiently against the risks of a military strike. The Task Force agrees that a military strike, relying mostly on air power, is a feasible option and must remain a last resort to turn back Iran's nuclear development. An initial air campaign would likely last several days to several weeks, and would also require years of vigilance. Any military action would incur significant risks, including the possibility of significant U.S. and allied losses, wide-scale terrorist reprisals against Israel, and heightened unrest in the region. The Task Force also found that Iran's nuclear program cannot be adequately safeguarded by the international inspections regime as currently designed. Furthermore, "It would be technically possible," once Iran has developed a sufficient feedstock of low-enriched uranium, for it to "enrich 20 kilograms of highly enriched uranium--the minimum necessary for a nuclear device--in four weeks or less." In commenting on the report, Senators Coats and Robb issued the following joint statement: "The next president, regardless of party affiliation, will face the formidable task of assembling and sustaining a bipartisan policy designed to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons-capability. Although a task force can never precisely replicate the extraordinary pressures of real-world national security deliberations, all of the members of this project have labored to offer a path to an informed, bipartisan consensus on Iran policy. "This report has been unanimously approved by a group with members of divergent foreign policy perspectives and political alignments. All of us hope that we have provided a blueprint for achieving consensus on the difficult policy measures that will be required if the United States is to prevent a development that would be strategically untenable." Steering Committee Members: Daniel Coats, Co-Chair; Charles Robb, Co-Chair; Dr. Ashton Carte; Admiral Gregory "Grog" Johnson, USN (ret.); General Ron Keys, USAF (ret.); Dr.Ed Morse; Mr.Steve Rademaker; Ambassador Dennis Ross; Mr.Henry Sokolski; General Chuck Wald, USAF (ret.); and Dr. Ken Weinstein. Consultants to the group are two leading Iran experts: Dr. Michael Rubin, and Mr. Ken Katzman. Project Director is Dr. Michael Makovsky, Foreign Policy Director of the Bipartisan Policy Center. For more information on "Meeting the Challenge: U.S. Policy Toward Iranian Nuclear Development," or the BPC's National Security Initiative, please visit: www.bipartisanpolicy.org About the Bipartisan Policy Center: Former U.S. Senate Majority Leaders Baker, Daschle, Dole, and Mitchell formed the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) to develop and promote solutions that can attract the public support and political momentum to achieve real progress. The BPC acts as an incubator for policy efforts that engage top political figures, advocates, academics, and business leaders in the art of principled compromise. For more information please visit our website: http://www.bipartisanpolicy.org/ SOURCE Bipartisan Policy Center Eileen McMenamin, Director of Communications, Bipartisan Policy Center, +1-202-379-1633, firstname.lastname@example.org