Today an interesting new “Iran Strategy Task Force” was launched jointly by the Progressive Policy Institute and Freedom House. The focus of the task force will be to increase the spotlight on Iran’s dismal human rights record and to raise awareness about Iran’s conventional weapons capacity and over-its-border misdeeds supporting non-state terror movements.
I think America’s options on Iran are limited right now — and depend somewhat on how growing fissures and feuds among Iran’s ruling elites evolve, but short of adding another war to America’s already too full plate, I’m interested in what the Task Force comes up with. If it’s a roster of a long list of other coercive measures, I’m doubtful the Task Force will move the US-Iran policy needle very much. The group includes as members or advisors former AIPAC spokesman and Progressive Policy Institute Josh Block, Brookings’ Ken Pollack, PPI’s Will Marshall, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Ray Takeyh, Bard College’s Walter Russell Mead, WINEP’s Rob Satloff, Stanford’s Larry Diamond, and Freedom House’s David Kramer.
During a conference call today, Josh Block emphasized that the Task Force would really work hard to consider the non-nuclear dimensions of the Iran challenge.
I would suggest some revision of that course.
I could be off on a very strange and perhaps unproductive tangent, but it just occurs to me given the incredible traumas that have plagued Japan — in part from a worsening nuclear energy nightmare — that the enthusiasm the Iranian people have expressed for nuclear energy as a major national priority may be wobbly right now.
It would be interesting to see whether there exists inside Iran today a new-born allergy to nuclear energy, which is of course the stated rationale of Iran’s nuclear, allegedly non-weapons related, work. Might a “Just say NO to Nuclear Energy” movement be worth encouraging inside Iran.
Just a thought.
— Steve Clemons