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MEASURE Survey Release:

US Policy Toward IranPDF/Printable

The Middle East Academic Survey Research Exposition project polled 76 Middle East academics about US policy toward Iran.   The survey was fielded between July 8 and July 13, 2005.   Drawn from a pool of 2,300 academics with advanced degrees in Middle East area studies, IRmep compiled and presents survey responses.  This poll should not be interpreted as a statistically significant reflection on the views of all US Middle East academic specialists.

Key Findings:

  1. 58% of Middle East Academics polled believe the Bush Administration will not accept any level of Iranian nuclear program. However 72% believe the Administration should accept tightly monitored civilian power generation in Iran.
  2. 67% of Middle East Academics polled believe that Israeli regional ambitions and security are "extremely influential" on Bush Administration regional policy, while 27% believe they are "influential".
  3. 88% of Middle East Academics polled believe that Israeli regional ambitions should be a "neutral" or "non-influential" factor on Bush Administration policy toward Iran.
  4. 56.2% of Middle East Academics polled believe there is a 50% or higher probability that the US will engage in military strikes against Iran within the next three years; 61% believe there is a 50% or higher probability that Israel will strike.
  5. 92.1% of Middle East Academics polled believe that the US policy formulation process toward Iran is functioning "not very well" to "poorly".

See the following charts and comments for elaboration on each survey question.

Question #1 How likely is it that the Bush Administration will accept any level of Iranian nuclear capability?

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This hard-line is in distinct contrast to U.S. policy (of the Bush and other U.S. administrations) to the nuclear capability of Israel.

I think that the current U.S. administration has made it clear that it is opposed to nuclear proliferation that threatens Israeli and US interests in the Middle East.  The Israeli press (and presumably the government) has opposed Iranian arms for years

Given the administration's stance towards North Korea, it seems unlikely that they would tolerate any nuclear capability under taken by another member of the "Axis of Evil."

Actually, I think we are stretched too thin to do much.

The Bush administration has no choice. Iran has the power to develop nuclear power generation, and this is what they repeatedly have stated as their goal. The Bush administration would be wise to abandon this losing issue.

The Russians are too invested in Iran's nuclear program. It's not a question of leveraging Iran (we have little leverage). It's a question of leveraging Putin.

Given the Bush administration's strong ideological bent, their interest in vengeance, and their (justified) distrust in the Iranian government, I can't imagine their accepting any level of nuclear capability.

Iran (not Iraq and not al-Qaeda) remains the "great Satan" for the Bush Administration.  Think Embassy takeover.

This would only be with European pressure; otherwise no nuclear program will be accepted.

US policy seeks primarily to ensure that nuclear weapons in the Middle East are solely in the hands of Israel.

I believe that, for the Bush Administration, this is a matter of principle and that previous statements make it difficult to fall behind that position.

It is highly unlikely that the Bush Administration would accept anything but a very low-level and highly monitored capability.

Not likely.  Bush Administration ideologues would view any allowance for nuclear activity as "backing down."

If tight monitoring were made possible and the Iranian government could be trusted to cooperate fully.

Short of a war, the US has no choice but to negotiate a condition satisfactory to both parties.

The Bush Administration's hand will be forced by the Europeans on this issue.

I feel that as long as long as Israel is allowed to maintain its nuclear capability without signing the non-proliferation treaty or subjecting itself to inspection, it will be difficult for other nations in the region not to feel threatened and will therefore continue to seek some nuclear capability.  I believe some pressure should be maintained on the Iranians, with open inspection of their plants.  If they agree to that they should be allowed to use nuclear power for peaceful means.  The oil countries of the region need to find alternative means of power while exporting their oil.

Probably no level of capability, but possibly couched to tolerate a minimum capacity - but in terms designed to ensure Iran's rejection of the "offer."

I believe that the Bush administration will publicly say there is a "no tolerance" policy for Iranian nuclear capability, but if there is verifiable intelligence demonstrating Iran is developing nuclear weapons, Bush will ignore or deny this evidence publicly, because the U.S. doesn't have the military strength and it is not economically "strategic" to try and take resources (e.g. oil) from even more nations and regions that resent U.S. policies and occupation.

Question #2  Should the Bush Administration accept any level of Iranian nuclear capability?

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The U.S. can not presume to itself dictate nuclear control over the rest of the world when we ourselves (and, Israel, our closest ally in the region) have not signed the nuclear non-proliferation agreement.

Given the nuclear proliferation at the present, opposition to Iranian nuclear power is difficult to understand

The U.S. needs to get back into the business of negotiating and sticking to international treaties on non-proliferation.  The current scheme is definitely flawed, but the best tools available at present, until new, better treaties can be negotiated.

Since they are unable to prevent Iran from moving forward on this front, it would be wise to accept the Iranian agenda. That would make development of nuclear weapons in Iran LESS likely. Without the challenge, Iranians will likely stick to their original goals.

I find it amazing that the US should be able to tell Iranians not to have nuclear power or weapons when the US has both and used them on the Japanese.  The arrogance and implicit racism is amazing.

Unless the US is willing to make significant reductions in its own nuclear capabilities, the US has little moral credibility. The Europeans won't go along with calls for a total elimination of Iranian nuclear development. Iran is not North Korea that could potentially be bought off (as it was under Clinton).

I think this is the best shot we have at a peaceful resolution.

It is inconsistent for the US to develop its own capabilities, but serve as police on those of other countries (especially ones it does not like - after all, it's hardly trying to control Israel's developments).

I think this is the best we can expect.  I think that engaging the Iranians is better than not engaging them.

We are already living with two Middle Eastern countries (Pakistan, Israel) known to have a nuclear capability. Since both are currently on good terms with the US, that is something we can live with. But both of those countries have problematic or hostile relations with Iran. Tehran's push for a nuclear weapons capability has to be understood within that context, as connected with Iran's own security concerns, some of which are legitimate. These concerns have to be addressed in a realistic manner as part of any move to persuade Iran to back off from its quest to acquire its own nuclear capability. Peremptory threats are sure to fuel Iranian nationalism and Islamic militancy and are unlikely to cause a change of course.  Bombing or invading Iran is likely to be far more destabilizing to the region and have more serious long-term consequences than even the fall-back of finding a modus vivendi with a nuclear-capable Iran.

While I believe that this should be acceptable, I do not believe the Bush administration would find it so.

There is no reason to treat Iran different from other countries in the region. What matters it that the program is controlled.

If Israel can have a bomb, why not the Iranians.  Equity should be observed.

Probably not.

"Should" is the operative term. 

Who does the US think it is, when it is developing battlefield nuclear weapons, to tell other countries what to do?

With international inspectors having full access to relevant locations in Iran.

The idea of mutuality in nuclear arms thinking, which has been the cornerstone of strategic thinking in the West since WWI, has been completely absent in the ME.  An Iranian nuclear presence might actually lead to a more stable political system in the region.  The issue is being pushed aggressively by Israel and pro-Israeli lobbyists in Washington, but it should not blind the Administration to the longer-term US goals in the region, such as political and economic development.

The Iranians will not give this up unless forced to do so militarily.  They began to develop this capability under the Shah and won't give up except under duress.

US should accept what the international community will accept. Keep in mind that neither the US nor Israel have signed on to the nuclear proliferation treaty (NPT) whereas Iran has.

The Iranian people have a right to develop their nuclear industry for peaceful and productive means.

Other than bombing and occupying Iran (which would be foolish at best), I don't see how the Bush administration can enforce anything in Iran; realistically, it is probably only through economic incentives (which, sadly, given our past history will probably involve secret arms deals or huge bribes to individual Iranian officials) that any sort of restrictions will be enacted.

Not sure. How tightly can any program be monitored? Can both parties (or Iranians and non-Iranians) agree on what constitutes appropriate monitoring?


Question #3  How influential are each of the following factors on Bush administration policies toward Iran?

a. Iranian energy reserves and strategic location

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b. Efforts to diminish militant Islamic influences.

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c. Israeli regional ambitions and security.

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d. Drive for regional democracy.

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e. Serving private US business interests.

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f. Other

We want to find a political stance that will resonate with the American people

The ongoing, irrational mutual demonization taking place between the
United States and Iran. Iran is the designated bogeyman of this administration, used for all kinds of internal political benefits in the United States.

Effort to stabilize

Revenge for the hostage crisis of 1979-1980.

While business and energy issues have certainly driven
US policy towards Iran in the past, I think these are truly eclipsed by the new Bush agenda.

The Bush administration seeks a joint US-Israeli hegemony over the
Middle East.

US affairs, promises made to the American public.

My impression is that the Bush administration and previous administrations have refused to accept that the Iranian revolution happened.  American officials are against
Iran for the simple reason that they overthrew a US supported dictator.

While I would definitely say that Israeli security is an influential factor, I must strongly dispute the words: Israeli regional ambitions" in c. above. 

Challenging the Iranian regional hegemony in the region.

Establish and maintain
US dominance in Central and Southwestern Asia.

I do not believe that
Iran wants a confrontation with the US or Europe or Israel over its nuclear ambitions.  Iran remembers well the Israeli attack on the Iraqi reactor and does not want to bring that on themselves.  It also wishes to become less isolated within the community of nations.  If given the chance, I do not believe the Iranian leadership will go beyond peaceful uses of nuclear power, provided they do not feel too threatened by the US or Israel, or by unrest on their borders.

The Bush admin. wants a highly militant Islamic government in Iran to justify a confrontation.

Extremely influential: the memory of the Hostages and a desire for revenge as was the case with Saddam Hussein and Iraq

Extremely influential: the Administration's understanding of diminishing militant Islamic influence and encouraging regional democracy AS THEY DEFINE THESE NOTIONS, which is quite unlike how policy makers and citizens in many other countries define them.


Attempting to control oil reserves.


Question #4 How influential should each of the following factors be on Bush administration policies toward Iran?

a. Iranian energy reserves and strategic location

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b. Efforts to diminish militant Islamic influences.

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c. Israeli regional ambitions and security.

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d. Drive for regional democracy.

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e. Serving private US business interests.
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f. Other

In a utopist world (that doesn't currently exist), U.S. policy towards Iran would be based on informed and open-minded good-faith negotiations with the interests of the U.S. but also and no less importantly of the region and the globe clearly in focus. Poorly informed, badly conceived, and terribly executed U.S. foreign policy--particularly but not exclusively in the Middle East--has made the world a far less safe, far less democratic, far less environmentally viable place.

Concern for keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists and other non-state actors.

Unfortunately, I don't think the administration understands enough about foreign policy and foreign countries to know how to achieve what they want or what I want.


The US's involvement serves to polarize the Iranian population into a more oppositional stand, as witness by the most recent elections.

I have no illusions that my answers will ever find their way into the thinking of the Bush administration.

The Bush administration should work for regional stability. 
Iran is key to this.   By refusing to normalize relations with Iran, the US puts the entire gulf region, as well as central Asia, at risk. 

Again, the wording of c. here is highly prejudicial and reflects tendentiousness.

US should butt out of Iranian affairs

Improving US relationships with the Muslim world

Honesty about helping the people of Iran and others in the region in reforming their governance structure based on decentralization and community self-governance principles.

Iranian nervousness about instability on its borders with Iraq and Afghanistan should be considered, also past history in its relations with the US and Britain which has left deep scars.

Extremely influential: a much more nuanced understanding of Islam, militant or otherwise, and politics among Islamic groups (Shiis vs. Sunnis, militant vs. not, etc.) as well as the history of Iran and Iran/US relations FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OR IRANIANS AND OTHERS IN THE REGION

Embracing the idea of self-determination and ending an imperial policy toward the region

Question #5 What is the probability that the following will occur within the next three years? 

a. US military strikes against Iran

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b. Israeli military strikes against Iran

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c. International coalition or UN strikes against Iran.

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d. Crisis resolution or detente.

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e.Other (rank, then comment below):

The U.S. cannot afford to engage directly in another war. Regardless of popular will in the U.S. and international opinion, the costs both financial and human are more than the U.S. can shoulder without devastating its economy in the shorter term. More likely--if anything-- is some kind of covert action (or an open strike?) by our 'junior partner' and surrogate in the region, Israel.

In the case of Iran, I think that Israel would prefer that the US take the lead.  Notice that the Israeli supporters in the administration supported US (rather than Israeli) intervention against Iraq.

The USA will initiate talks with Iran to re-establish relations

Continuing non-resolution of the dispute (as with Korea).

The main thing holding us back, I fear, is our costly military commitment to the war in Iraq.
Israel probably would support a US attack but would resist getting its own forces directly involved.

Stalemate and fudging

The US is most likely to strike against Iran through air strikes or other means that don't involve individual military deployment. Now that some troops will be pulled out of Iraq, some may be switched to an Iranian operation, in the hopes that that will be more successful than the Iraq presence. Just as Iraq has served as a distraction from Afghanistan (how regularly do we hear about Afghanistan blunders in the media now), so Iran may be seen to serve as a distraction from Iraq.

The most likely resolution is a continuation of the status quo.

50% or higher probability that the situation will continue unresolved over the next three years.

The Bushies want war, there will be war.

Given the lessons of Iraq, the US administration is likely to seek to curb the Iranian nuclear program through tough, internationally agreed conditionality than unilateral belligerence.

I shudder to consider this occurring, but I won't be surprised if it does. To use a Southern expression, the Bush administration "don't believe cow horns will hook." It has made a mess in Afghanistan and in Iraq. I have to assume it'll do its best to make a mess of Iran too while continuing to claim that it is there to "spread democracy" or "hope" or "alternatives to terror," etc.

Question #6 If you could give the Bush administration three recommendations for long term Iran policy, what would they be?

1. One only - engage Iran politically, diplomatically, economically - which means removing trade sanctions

(1) US to seek rapprochement with Iran's government and people, (2) Work for better relations among all ME governments, (3) Promote balanced economic development.

Minimum engagement until Iran decides it will not sabotage US interests.

Three isn't enough. But a good start would be for the bellicose and arrogant U.S. rhetoric to be turned off and the U.S. to 'step down' from its position of dictating what will happen where in the Middle East. A historically and politically informed international negotiating team (NOT a solely U.S. or U.S. directed effort) to help promote peace and stability and democracy in Iran and the larger region and to engage in talks both with the Iranian government (and area governments) AND with local and regional groups working towards the same broad ends would be a good start.

I would suggest Bush worry about the reconciliation of US interests with Middle Eastern countries
Pay less attention to Israeli interests.  Make it clear that the
US government is not interested in following the advice of hotheads who are demanding that we march into Tehran.

1. Open negotiations for new relations
2. Catalyze the establishment of a Palestinian state
3. Insist on a secular government in

Be willing to give Iran something in exchange for giving up its nuclear capabilities
Don't listen to Iranian exiles or dissidents in the
Pursue detente in the interests of the Iranian and American people

1.  Treat Iran and Iranians with respect.
2.  Eschew anti-Islamic and anti-Iranian ideology.
3.  Quit insulting
Iran and Iranians.

1, Hands off in terms of movements toward democracy.  Our taking credit means it is less likely that it will happen.
2. Try to establish as many cultural exchanges as possible.
3. Pay more attention to the insights of
Iran experts--people who are from Iraq, have spent considerable time living and studying in Iran and speak Farsi well.

1, Engage in negotiations to resolve conflicts;
2. Treat
Iran with respect /avoid belligerent language;
3. Be willing to compromise.

1.  Shut up the harsh rhetoric
2.  Permit nuclear power development
3.  Gradually remove sanctions

1. Continue working with UN, European allies, and Iran to ensure rigorous, effective international monitoring of Iran's nuclear program.
2. Monitor
Iran's program closely and carefully with our own national intelligence assets and beef up those assets as necessary to accomplish this.
3. Ensure that the
US has a credible capability to use the military option ONLY as a final last resort and work to gain UN and international support for such military action.

1. Re-establish diplomatic relations with Iran.
2. Lift economic sanctions against
3. Partner with
Iran in development projects in the Persian Gulf region.

1. Pursue broad policy of cultural and economic exchange. Stop treating Iran as pariah.
2. Accept civilian nuclear power under strict international monitoring.
3. Reassure
Israel that we would guarantee its security vis a vis Iran.

1. Ignore Israeli concerns
2. Open the door to genuine dialogue
3. Start to normalize relationships

1. Mind your own business
2. Stop supporting the Israelis
3. Watch your mouth! (Axis of evil?!)

1) Encourage internal debates toward open society in Iran
2) Encourage US energy self-sufficiency so that Iranian energy self-sufficiency is not a threat
3) Encourage regional stability so that Iraq and Iran grow into democracy together, not in competition.

1)  Encouraging relations with Iran would help US security and interests in the region, NOT hinder it.
2)  Aggressive threats will only further alienate and polarize
Iran and the region.
3)  Solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with a just solution and
Iran will fall in line.

1) Offer lifting of at least some economic sanctions in exchange for close monitoring of nuclear facilities.
2) Find ways to support Iranians in and out of
Iran who are pushing for reforms.
3) ??

1.  Come to the bargaining table as an honest broker;
2.  Leave the AIPAC negotiators in D.C.;
3.  Get over the embassy takeover NOW!

1- Do not label governments as members of an "axis of evil" and the like; this only serves to polarize relations. The government should apologize for this sweeping thoughtless comment.

2- Be an even-handed arbitrator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. That would include putting pressure on
Israel regarding the building of the wall. This conflict is the key to US relations with other Mid-East countries.

3- Devise a long-term effective
Iraq policy. The current situation in Iraq is simply fueling Iranian resentment towards the US. Since several of the Iraqi Shi'i leaders have some connections with Iran (education, exile, etc.) the two countries have a shared fate in some regards.

Take into consideration the attitudes of European countries.
Try to establish more non-governmental connections in
Iran to foster good relationships.
Do not establish policies for
Iran as if it were an isolated country.  Instead they should consider the regional relationships that exist and develop policies which strengthen these relationships.

1. Don't make negative comments on Iranian democracy (however deserved) just before an election--it's like insulting someone's Mom.
2. Try to contain
Iran not overthrow the regime. The regime will fall quicker from within. US meddling pretty much unites everyone there.

1) Pressure Israel to settle the Palestine question--this will reduce Iranian ire at US.
2) Match Iranian nuclear disarmament with efforts to get
Israel to eliminate its nuclear weapons.
3) Press
Iran to democratize, but don't invade-to do so would only antagonize the many Iranians who want democracy and better ties with the West.

1. Work for a genuine and open dialogue between the US and the Tehran government as well as Iran's democratic opposition (rather than communicating via ultimatums, threats and strident calls for regime change);
2. Recognize that Iran also has its own legitimate security interests in the region and work towards fostering common interests (e.g. in regional stability) where such commonalities can be found;
3.The US should stop relying on corrupt and anti-democratic Iranian exile groups (the terrorist MEK, assorted royalists, the shady Mr. Ghorbanifar, etc.) and recognize that democratic change in Iran has to come from within; it is a matter for the Iranians, not in America's gift

1. Negotiate directly with the Iranian government.
2. Do not have US Middle Eastern policy virtually dictated by
3. Stop the hypocritical claptrap about spreading democracy.

1. Recognize Iran's real geopolitical interests re: neighbors.
2. Recognize Iranian people's affection for
3. Recognize Iranian economic interests in sale of its oil.

1. Make use of the potential of a society whose population which, in large parts, is US friendly;
2. Don't become frustrated of the elections. civil society will be back.
3. Stay calm and maintain an adequate intellectual level. Do not counter propaganda by counter propaganda of the same style.

1.  Consult intellectual Persian Studies scholar who is fluent in Persian / Farsi and has lived there for ten   years or more.
2.  Listen and HEED the remarks of intellectuals with a PRO-Iranian position.
3.  Realize
Iran has a different culture than the "Middle East."   Promote people exchange programs with Iran.

1) Normalize relations;
2) Treat Iran as you would any other stable, semi-democratic government- as you treat Israel or Turkey, for example;
3) Recognize the mistakes that the US and other western countries such as Britain and Russia have made in the past, and don't repeat them!

1 - Engage in direct talks with Iranian officials about issues of concern.
2 - Work with Iranian officials to stabilize
Afghanistan and Iraq.
3 - Promote people-to-people exchanges between Iranians and
U.S. citizens.

1.  Promote forces for liberalization within Iran.
2.  Keep open backdoor contacts while continuing sanctions.
3.  Develop good on-the-ground intelligence within

1. Recognize that other nations have perceived national interests that are not necessarily identical to US national interests.
2.  Open a dialogue with the Iranian Government.  You don't have to like them to talk to them.
3.  Remember that
Iran has strength to be a regional power.  Work to that strength and find an accommodation.

1. Keep your powder dry and coordinate with Europeans.
2. Cool the ideological jets and deal with reality.
3. Try to open doors of conciliation and negotiation with

1. Stop jingoism and unfreeze Iranian assets.
2. Establish diplomatic relations with
3. Work for nuclear free
Middle East.

Butt out. Leave Iran alone. Mind your own business.

1. Pressure Israel to withdraw from Palestinian occupied territories;
2. Restore diplomatic and economic relations with
3. Encourage, positively, homegrown democratic movements in

Calm down the rhetoric.   Don't turn the Iranian public against us - stay out of their internal politics.   Wait and see, unless there is an imminent problem.

-Re-engage in diplomacy
-Discuss meaningful joint and cooperative strategies for political participation and development

Invade. Invade. Invade.

1. Keep the US+EU3 cooperation and coordination.
2. Engage and increase the involvement of UN Security Council and IAEA in monitoring and restraining
Iran's nuclear activities.
3. Encourage liberalization and democratization in
Iran by means of internationally coordinated conditionality (economic carrots).

1.  Avoid US policy becoming an issue in Iranian domestic politics, which would only strengthen the hardliners in the country.
2. Support the European negotiations w/Iran
3. Get Israeli agents out of N. 
Iraq, as these are a clear provocation to the regime in Iran.

1. Influence the regime through engagement;
2. Avoid elements of Iranian opposition disliked by the majority of people in
3. Help the democratic forces within

1. Begin serious direct bilateral negotiations to resolve formal diplomatic issues between the US and Iran that still remain from the Iranian revolutionary period, which would enable serious direct bilateral negotiations to commence about resumption of diplomatic ties between the US and Iran.
2. Begin a multilateral effort to bring
Iran back into the international economic community with WTO membership seriously presented as the carrot of completing a successful diplomatic process of integration back into the world financial system.
3. Begin negotiations with
Iran on what it would be wiling to do to be permitted to become a main transshipment zone for Caspian energy resource exports. This seems to be another carrot that could strengthen the forces of domestic reform in Iran.

1. Treat
Iran as an equal.  Do not be arrogant.
2. Do not base policy on wishes of
3. Policy decisions should be reached jointly with major allies and other interested countries and NGOs.

They wouldn't listen anyhow but I would suggest that they 1. treat other nations and peoples as equals 2. learn to lean from and respect the ideas of those with whom they disagree 3.Never use military force offensively.

1. Establish diplomatic relations based on mutual respect and shared interests.
2. Encourage further democratization by supporting moderate political groups and their reform agenda.
3. Encourage regional economic and cultural cooperation and peace building efforts among Central Asian and Southwestern Asian states and societies.

Promotion of human rights; cultural engagement; political rapprochement

1. Avoid making inflammatory statements that insult the reform-oriented public and strengthen the hard-liners (such as naming Iran part of an "axis of evil" even if such a statement appears warranted by fact).
2. Avoid overt support for reformers, since such support could provide evidence to their detractors that they are dupes of US influence (this is the best way to support them).
3. Recognize Iran's sovereignty in its quest to resolve problems of poverty and energy supply--although it is the 2nd biggest oil producer in OPEC, some areas of the country still have hours of brown-out per day because of energy shortage.  Support use of nuclear power for civilian energy while insisting on monitoring such as any other emergent nuclear power might be subject to.

1. Try to form a nuclear free pact in the area, including Israel.
2.  Try to bring
Iran into the community of nations.  Do not continue to needlessly isolate them.
3. End the freeze on their funds in the

1. Make certain diplomatic concessions to Iranians.
2. Cater to the youth population (i.e. the generation that was born post-1979)
3. Engage
Iran in potential trade discussions.

1. Engagement with the Iranian government, whatever it may be.
2. Diminished rhetoric phrased in the language of good and evil ("Axis of Evil").
3. Recognizing
Iran's strategic interests as a dominant power in the region.

Move toward decreased tensions with Iran - de-escalate tough talk unilaterally; not allow Israel to strike against Iran; recognize that the current elections represented anti-US sentiments and domestic hardships in Iran, but not necessarily popular support a more militant, hard-line Islamist regime.   Don't exacerbate the situation by suggesting otherwise.

1.  Don't talk about being concerned about "human rights" in Iran...neither Iranians nor educated Americans will believe you; instead use economic leverage and conduct talks with the Iranian government.  If you don't want to do it directly, do it through European powers (who, generally speaking, have much more finesse dealing with Iranians and generally speaking, have much better awareness of important cultural, social, and historical issues which often make them better negotiators).
2.  DO NOT send
U.S. troops into Iran; from a military, economic, and social perspective this move would be a lose-lose situation all around.
3.  Make sure you have top caliber staff on this region.  Ensure that you have intelligent, diverse, and critical viewpoints from your advisors.  Ask for people's honest opinions...take a look at some of the social/cultural/economic research on the area and LEARN from it. Having "yes" men and women who lack the appropriate knowledge of Iranian history and culture will result in the failure of any policy you propose...and probably result in the loss of countless Iranian and American lives.

1.  Let the internal process toward reform and democracy in Iran play itself out without U.S. government interference. 

1) Forget about the hostages and the occupation of the US Embassy UNLESS you also seek to understand the forces that led to that occupation in the first place.
2) Stop acting like the
US is in any position to dictate to other countries what their policies should be, especially given situations like Abu Ghraib and Gitmo, which Muslims will remember for a long, long time just as the US remembers the hostages in Tehran.
3) Stop assuming that folks everywhere else in the world are idiots while Americans aren't. Our highhandedness and moral posturing have worn pretty thin almost everywhere and especially in places where there are Muslims.

1. Refrain from using harsh words
2. Support democratic/civil society forces
3. Start negotiating

1. Apologize again for 1953 coup (as Albright did in 2000)
2. Accept that
Iran is a sovereign country and design a policy that respects the right of each country to full self-determination.
3. Emphasize areas of common interests, such as concern over Wahhabi-Sunni extremism.

1. Stop blowing every opportunity to work with reformers and stop making their task impossible.
2. Establish diplomatic relations.
3. Decouple
America's relationship with Iran from America's relationship with Israel.

Learn from past mistakes of all the previous US presidents, and UK administrators in the region; don't repeat the same/similar mistakes; don't meddle in other countries affairs, unless they ask for it, or it becomes a United Nations' collaborative initiative AFTER all diplomatic processes have taken place and given a chance to work...

Question #7 How well is the US foreign policy formulation process toward Iran working?
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Iranians don't believe you and they are disgusted with what they see in Iraq and election fraud in the U.S. itself.  Any attempt at a coup in Iran will only create utter chaos.  The only way you are going to get the support of the Iranian government and populace is if you find a way to ease poverty and actually allow Iranians themselves to chose who they want to run their own countries.

What foreign policy?   Everything those ignorant, narrow-minded idiots have done has strengthened extremists everywhere--including Iran.

There seems to be little interagency or broader comprehensive thinking about what the policy towards Iran actually is at present, beyond the day-to-day requirements of affairs in Iraq, and even less about what it ought to be.

There is no evidence yet of any results achieved.  

While there have been some successes, there are also notable failures.

There isn't time or space enough to detail how poorly the policy formulation process of the Bush Administration is (not) working.

The US is caught between realists who wish reconciliation with Iran and those who see this as an extension of the (now discredited) war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The administration is woefully ignorant of Iranian culture, and the sensibilities of the Iranian public. They completely misinterpret
Iran's desire for nuclear energy development, and don't know how to talk to its leaders. This administration is driven by ideology, and will not listen to actual hard facts and information about Iran. There are experts everywhere whom they will not consult, in preference to alarmists who insist that Iran is about to drop bombs on New York. It is a sad day for American international relations that we have come to this pitiful state of affairs, which may lead to tragic violence.

1. Be even handed
2. Be just
3. Stop Islamophobia.

Including Iran in the axis of evil speech -- especially on the heels of pro-US post 9/11 popular demonstrations in Teheran -- came out of the blue.

American foreign policy has always been atrocious.  The Bush foreign policy has made the world a less safe place to be.   He is the worst president in my memory and has insured hatred of Americans from almost every corner of the world.  He and his cohorts are thieves of the worse kind!   He should be impeached then jailed for the rest of his natural life.

The book to read is James Bill's "The Lion and the Eagle," for a definitive take on the history of US-Iran relations.  And the White House, State Department and the Department of Defense need to recognize the bitter memories which remain as the residue of the Mossadegh overthrow in the 1950s.

It has clearly served to remove Iran from a willingness to explore relations with the US into a hard-line corner that is trumping its anti-US stand.

I don't feel I know enough about the process to comment.

We lack flexibility, paint ourselves into corners, and antagonize groups we need to win over to effect positive change.

US policy, particularly with regard to Israeli influence in shaping it, has alienated much of the Arab and Muslim world.  Contrary to Bush's insistence that Arabs and Muslims hate us for what we are, they hate us for the policies we have pursued toward them.

To my mind, there definitely seems to be a communication problem.

Those who shape Bush Administration policy seem to see the world in absolute terms.  Policy, like politics, requires ability to compromise -- which means recognition that others have valid reasons for disagreement.  The Bush Administration seems to believe that those who are not in full agreement must be our enemies.  Not true, folks.

The US has had no policy in dealing with Iran!  The two sides do not trust each other, continue to demonize each other, and make no effort t reduce the tension and move toward a constructive solution.

Not clear we have a "foreign policy" as opposed to a White House/AEI neocon policy.



Measure is the acronym of Middle East Academic Research and Exposition.  MEASURE is a grant funded research tool that advises policy makers and the American public on highly relevant topics.   MEASURE surveys are fielded by the Washington DC based Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, (IRmep) a non-profit, non-partisan, non- ideological public policy institute. 

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