Leveretts: ‘The Bankruptcy of Washington’s Approach to Nuclear Diplomacy’

by | Aug 7, 2013

In yet another timely and important article at this critical time in US/Iran relations, Ron Paul Institute Academic Board Members Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett shed some much-needed light and perspective on the seemingly irrational US reaction to the ascendence of an entire new ruling group in Iran which is expressly interested in finding a way to bridge the gaps with the West. The question, essentially, is whether the US is open to dialogue and the possibility of a peaceful solution to the three-plus decade US/Iran impasse, or whether war is considered the only available option.

In the Leveretts’ highly recommended article, they make the following points:

How Washington deals with Tehran will show whether America is open to sharing the prerogatives of global governance with rising powers in the global South. Such openness would greatly enhance prospects for conflict resolution with Iran; as the balance of economic and political power shifts from West to East, it would also enhance prospects for more effective global governance by aligning responsibility and capacity more accurately. Furthermore, it would help sustain America’s influence even as its relative power declines.

But Washington and a coterie of European states remain focused on forcing the Islamic Republic to abandon its nuclear program, accept open-ended American and Israeli military dominance, and acquiesce in its (Western-sponsored) secular liberal transformation. Determination to compel Iran’s surrender prompts ever more assiduous efforts by America and its partners to coerce other states into helping them press Tehran. In the process, Western powers violate basic principles of the rules-based regimes governing key dimensions of international security and global commerce.

This dynamic makes negotiating plausible solutions with Tehran, on the nuclear issue and other challenges, virtually impossible. It also makes U.S. foreign policy the biggest source of political risk in the global economy. More broadly, hegemonic assertions by America and a few European partners are increasingly at odds with the realities of relative clout in world affairs. If continued, these assertions will provoke backlash from rising non-Western powers that will undermine the functioning of rules-based regimes for nuclear nonproliferation, trade, and other vital issues, and damage America’s long-term position in international affairs.

Don’t miss the entire article, but the Leveretts conclude thusly:

We’re going to head toward diplomatic deadlock pretty quickly…You have a team here that sees potentially great value for Iran in reaching some kind of rapprochement with the United States and with the West. But it will be a big mistake, on the West’s part, if we think that they’re prepared to do it at what basically any Iranian elite would tell you at this point would be too high a price. They won’t suspend enrichment; they certainly won’t surrender enrichment.


  • Daniel McAdams

    Executive Director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity and co-Producer/co-Host, Ron Paul Liberty Report. Daniel served as the foreign affairs, civil liberties, and defense/intel policy advisor to U.S. Congressman Ron Paul, MD (R-Texas) from 2001 until Dr. Paul’s retirement at the end of 2012. From 1993-1999 he worked as a journalist based in Budapest, Hungary, and traveled through the former communist bloc as a human rights monitor and election observer.

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