U.S. Policy Regarding Iran in the Post-Gulf War Era   [open pdf - 332KB]

"Regardless of its outcome, the current Persian Gulf Crisis will necessitate a thorough reappraisal of U.S.-Iranian relations. A crisis conclusion consistent with the goals of United Nations Resolution 678 will inevitably increase Iran's already significant weight in the regional power equation and, thereby, force U.S. leaders to reconsider the level and character of America's presence in the Gulf. On the other hand, a coalition failure to dislodge the Ba'athist regime of President Saddam Hussein could prompt a wide variety of Iranian responses -- some inimical and others compatible with long-term U.S. interests. Whatever the future holds in store, the crisis will make an already resurgent Islamic Republic of Iran a regional actor the United States simply cannot ignore. This paper advances a framework for developing a new U.S. approach to Iran. It not only paints the historic backdrop against which the Bush Administration must craft its strategic review, but also recommends a policy of cautious rapprochement -- a policy that will require the conduct of tough bilateral and multilateral negotiations dealing with issues ranging from a regional security accord to the fate of American hostages held by Lebanese terrorists."

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