Iran: Threat or Opportunity? A Selective Economic Engagement Strategy Proposal   [open pdf - 172KB]

From the thesis abstract: "A selective economic engagement strategy with Iran will be more effective towards achieving US interests than the existing strategy of containment. Iran's opaque pursuit of nuclear technology, lack of democratic freedoms, poor human rights record, and support for terrorism conflict with the US interest of peace and stability for the region. The absence of overt engagement with Iran has failed to resolve these issues or alter Iranian behavior. A strategy of engagement utilizing economic means targeted at the Iranian general populace, coupled with a public diplomacy effort espousing economic and political reform provides a way to influence Iranian behavior and build a relationship that supports US interests. This paper summarizes the relations between Iran and the US since the fall of the Shah, the reasons why current containment strategy is not effective, and highlights rising conditions that are conducive to engagement. An engagement strategy centered on selective economic engagement and public diplomacy is proposed, with elaboration of how the strategy can advance US interests. The strategy's potential for success is subsequently analyzed by examining its potential to overcome obstacles to execution and its effectiveness when put into action."

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