CNAS Report says Iran attack counterproductive

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) has released a report called “Risk and Rivalry: Iran, Israel and the Bomb” and it’s a breath of fresh air compared to the output of Iran-focused think tanks that we’ve been covering here. Writes Jim Lobe for IPS News:

While a nuclear-armed Iran would pose significant new challenges to the United States and Israel, a military attack by either country to prevent Tehran from developing a weapon could well prove counter-productive, according to a major new report released here Wednesday by a think tank close to the administration of President Barack Obama.

And while preventive military action should remain on the table, it should only be considered if Iran “has made a clear move toward weaponization”, and there is a “reasonable expectation” that such a strike would set back Iran’s programme “significantly”, among other conditions, according to the 55-page report by the Center for a New American Security (CNAS).

The report, “Risk and Rivalry: Iran, Israel and the Bomb,” also argues that both the U.S. and Israel should avoid taking any steps that limit prospects for a negotiated agreement designed to dissuade Tehran from “weaponising” its nuclear programme.

In particular, they should not insist – as Israel and its backers in the U.S. Congress are doing – that Tehran end all uranium enrichment on its own territory as a condition of any negotiated settlement since such a stance “would most likely result in no deal at all”, according to the report, whose lead author, Colin Kahl, served as the Pentagon’s top Middle East policy-maker under Obama until January.

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Jasmin Ramsey

Jasmin Ramsey is a journalist based in Washington, DC.