It is high time for the administration to reassess

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Unformatted text preview: nhibit Tehran’s adventurism but they must be prepared to directly support US efforts. In this regard, the Bush administration must wean Syria from Iran. This move is of paramount importance because not only could Syria end its political and logistical support for Hizbullah, but it could return Syria, which is predominantly Sunni, to the Arab-Sunni fold. Mr. Bush must realize that Damascus’s strategic interests are not compatible with Tehran’s and that the Assad regime knows only too well its future political stability and economic prosperity depends on peace with Israel and normal relations with the United States. President Assad may talk tough and embrace militancy as a policy tool, yet he is the same president who called, more than once, for unconditional resumption of peace negotiations with Israel and was rebuffed. The stakes for the United States and its allies in the region are too high to preclude testing Syria’s real intentions, which can be ascertained only through direct talks. It is high time for the Administration to reassess its policy toward Syria and begin by abandoning its schemes of regime change in Damascus. Syria simply matters; the Administration must end its efforts to marginalize a country that can play such a pivotal role in changing the political dynamics for the better throughout the region. Iran could plunge Mideast into nuclear conflagration Although ideally direct negotiation between the United States and Iran should be the first resort to resolve the nuclear issue, as long as Tehran does not feel seriously threatened it seems unlikely that the clergy will at this stage end the nuclear program. In possession of nuclear weapons Iran will intimidate the larger Sunni Arab states in the region, bully smaller states into submission, threaten Israel’s very existence, use oil as a political weapon to blackmail the West, and instigate regional proliferation of nuclear weapons’ programs. In short, if unchecked, Iran could plunge the Middle East into a deliberate or inadvertent nuclear conflagration. If we take the Administration at its word that it would not tolerate a nuclear Iran and considering these regional implications, Washington is left with no choice but to warn Iran of the severe consequences of not halting its nuclear program. 105 Last printed 9/4/2009 7:00:00 PM Oil DDW 2012 1 Relations – Russian Oil Coalition 106 Oil DDW 2012 1 Economic profitability in the Saudi-US relationship through oil is key to check Russian oil coalitions Fang, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Rice University, et al., 12 Songying Fang, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Rice University, et al., AMY MYERS JAFFE, TED TEMZELIDES, 1-12, [“NEW ALIGNMENTS? THE GEOPOLITICS OF GAS AND OIL CARTELS AND THE CHANGING MIDDLE EAST ,” JAMES A. BAKER III INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC POLICY, http://www.owlnet.rice.edu/~tl5/GasCartel.pdf] E. Liu One of the central findings of our analysis is that geopolitical considerations can be dominant and may determine a very different outcome from...
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