Foreign Policy hawks descend on London to demand 'action' on Iran

A high-powered conference featuring key Bush-era foreign policy hawks congregates in London today

by The Commentator on 29 January 2013 20:34

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Just days after President Obama’s declaration that ‘a decade of war is now ending’, leading foreign policy experts, from both sides of the Atlantic, will call for the international community to step up the threat of military force against Iran in order to increase pressure on the regime and to help bolster diplomatic initiatives.

The calls for a heightened threat of military action to resolve the Iranian issue are due to be made this Wednesday (30th January, 2013) at a high-powered conference, in London, jointly hosted by leading foreign policy think-tanks, The Henry Jackson Society and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, entitled: “Iran and the International Community: Policy Considerations for 2013″.

Among those expected to insist that 2013 should be the “year of decision” about Iran and to warn that existing sanctions must be backed up by a cast-iron threat of armed intervention are Richard Perle, former US assistant Defence Secretary and fellow of the American Enterprise Institute, Elliott Abrams, former Deputy National Security Adviser to President George W. Bush and Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and John Hannah, former National Security Adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney and Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Commenting on the aims of the conference, Henry Jackson Society Executive Director, Dr Alan Mendoza, said: "This conference will serve as a marker that the threat Tehran's nuclear ambitions pose must be confronted more forcefully if we are to be successful in guaranteeing peace in our own time.  We must increase effective sanctions, confront Iran's infrastructure supporting terrorism across the globe and not be lulled into a false sense of security by those arguing for containment.  This has to be backed by a credible threat of military action, which is the only measure that will ultimately convince our adversaries of the seriousness of our intent."

Mr Perle is expected to stress that time is running out regarding ‘the Iranian issue’ and that, very soon, the West will be faced with the stark choice between military intervention or having to accept the reality of a nuclear Iran.

Perle will emphasise that a surgical strike is feasible and could, potentially, degrade Iran’s programme and delay it significantly—and might even hasten regime change.

He will also highlight that sanctions can only work if they are painful enough to trigger a regime change, adding that, in his view, no conceivable array of sanctions exists that will cause the current Iranian regime to abandon its nuclear ambitions. 

Mr Abrams is expected to express severe doubts that the fundamentalist clerics ruling Tehran will ever agree to the abandonment of their nuclear weapons programme.

He is expected to say that an Israeli or American strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities is preferable to living with the reality of a nuclear armed Iran, adding that the West must not allow itself to be lulled into endless negotiations, which Tehran will use as a cloak with which to realise its dream of possessing nuclear weapons.  

The conference comes at a key moment in Iran's development on a nuclear weapon, with reports of its Fordow plant being adversely affected by a large explosion in recent days.

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