The U.S. Foreign Policy: Which Options on the Table?
The sensation derived from the failure of Iraq War narrowed the breadth of selection. As Putnam (1988, 437-8) explained, the win-set size should be broad enough to have a room for negotiation. However, the U.S. has narrowed its win-set size to negotiate with Iran. What can be the best option for the U.S.? I suggest following: the U.S. invasion of Iran, nuclear armament of Iran, sanctions by the International Institutions and by the U.S., and remove the willingness and capability on nuclear weapons.
1) The U.S. Invasion of Iran: If the U.S. invades Iran, it can successfully deter the nuclear program? Bomb-Iran-Now is a military option suggested by the neoconservatives. However, the U.S. would blamed again whether it success or not, because people are jealous of the war in this region. Presidnt Bush’s invasion concluded with failure in Afghanistan and in Iraq - brought about another conflict (let say, civil war), cost much money and lost the U.S. soldiers. This option sound not so good to solve real problem. And, the relative weaknesses of neoconservatives after the last year's mid-term election might make it difficult to persuade the Democrats.
2) Nuclear Armament of Iran: Let Iran to repeat the history of Israel? As Israel did during the 1950s-60s, the U.S. just let them to develop nuclear bombs? In fact, Iran can easily acquire the related technological assistance from Russia. North Korea and Syria also are good partners. Forced resignation of Iranian top nuclear official means that the Iranian government would directly control its nuclear program. Iran rejected the international inspections itself, or disturbed inspectors. So, it is evident that Ahmadinejad intend to produce nuclear arms, even though he kept saying that it's only for "peaceful purpose." If Iran’s nuclear program turned out to be successful, we do not have answers to deter them from using it through various means such as terrorist groups. This option also not a good thing: it looks too pro-Iranian view.
3) Sanctions by the International Institutions and by the U.S.
The cooperation with the international institutions, such as IAEA and Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), are required for the legitimacy of inspections. Iran has a vast territory, which is the eighteenth largest country in the world, so locating the nuclear evidence will not be an easy task. The purpose of close inspection, however, is to pressure Iran. However, the use of international institutions is not a strong means to change Iran's attitude. We should understand this question: Why Iran does not answer the critical questions on nuclear program by the IAEA for five years? They just accepted the mild U.N sanctions accordingly not answering the truth to the IAEA. Why? Because, the sanctions by the institutions are not so powerful.
Hower, there was an announcement by the U.S. State Department that regards any trade with Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) will be considered like terrorist-supporting activity. This is a strong sanction that can prevent Iranian nuclear ambitions. Nobody know what the outcomes will be, however, I anticipat this might have a big influence - as the U.S. did on North Korean missile test. The sanctions should strongly threatening Iran to change its courses.
4) Remove the Willingness and Capability of Nuclear Bombs: Nuclear program can be resumed at any time if they have willingness (keep ambiguity policy) and capability (nuclear technology and resources). The sanctions might be useful to obtain short-term goal, not long-term goal of removing the willingness from developing the program. Deep-rooted nuclear willingness expected to be prevented under the improved relations with Iran. It looks almost impossible to make the theocratic fascist state Iran change their attitude.
Though Iranian nuclear capability is not a developed level, however, there are many sources which it can depend on. Russia is an awkward friend to dealing with. Because Russia continuously helped Iran for decades in a military sense. Even Putin, an eternal leader of Russia, publicly blamed the U.S. operation in Iraq and possibility of invasion on Iran. The U.S. should take Russia seriously, because it is still a second nuclear power state in the world. The possibility of technology assistance from North Korea is low after the successful negotiations from the Six-Party Talk. Unfortunately, however, we can’t believe such a communist state one hundred percent getting involved in rhetoric. Syria and Pakistan is a possible candidates. Bilateral deal might be helpful as alternative ways to change the current frameworks with the rogue regimes.
Iran can develop its nuclear program secretly like that of Israel. It is obvious to predict the result of the future when Iran has nuclear bombs. To prevent the disastrous situation, the U.S. should prevent the recent Iranian nuclear armament. It is not an easy task, but not impossible. Even though Iranian activities went too far from the maginot line, negotiation is still possible at any time. Attacking Iran and admitting nuclear armament of Iran is the worst options. Sanctions by the U.S. rather than by the international institutions might be strong. But, the institutions can endow us with legitimacy. Multilateral diplomatic solution is the best option to dealing with Iran's nuclear ambitions. So, the normalized American – Iranian relationship must be accomplished to solve this issue peacefully and permanently.