Dennis Ross: Iran must ´stop clock´ to show its serious (JERUSALEM POST) By HILARY LEILA KREIGER, JPOST CORRESPONDENT 05/15/12)
JERUSALEM POST Articles-Index-Top
WASHINGTON – A former White House Iran adviser said Monday that for
Tehran to prove its seriousness in new talks over its nuclear
program, it must take a step that “stops the clock” on its uranium
Dennis Ross, who served as a senior adviser on Iran until late last
year, said that Iran would need to agree to steps such as
a “significant ship-out” of its piles of enriched uranium. He
specified that it must include not only the currently discussed 20
percent enriched uranium, but also significant amounts of its
stockpile of low-enriched uranium as well.
He stressed, though, that he didn’t expect a breakthrough at the next
round of talks on May 23 in Baghdad, adding, “I don’t think we should
set ourselves up for that being the standard.”
But Ross, who was part of panel addressing Iran at the Bipartisan
Policy Center, said that talks needed to be held regularly and
frequently if they were expected to make progress.
“This is not a serious process if it meets once a month,” he said.
Still, Ross said that it was important the US make a credible offer
to Iran so that any failure in talks and subsequent use of force
would be blamed on Tehran, and not the West.
“There is no military solution,” Ross said, arguing that even in the
case of an attack, the Iranian nuclear program would be set back but
not ended, so the United States would need to still be in a position
to rally an international regime to maintain sanctions and other
measures to keep Iran from quickly rebuilding.
He predicted that in the short term, Iran was looking to divide the
P5+1, the group of six world powers now handling negotiations with
Iran comprised of the United States, Britain, Germany, France, Russia
A top Bush administration official also participating in the panel
Monday warned that recent political developments could make
maintaining the international resolve on Iran harder.
Nicholas Burns, who served as an under secretary in the State
Department during the Bush administration, said the new French
president might have a different mindset than his predecessor.
“I doubt that President François Hollande can be as tough-minded as
Nicolas Sarkozy was, and he was the steel in the P5+1,” Burns
Burns also said that that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and
Defense Minister Ehud Barak deserve credit from the international
community for making the threat of a military attack credible – a
threat which was key to building momentum for sanctions and
At the same time, he contended that any military action should be
undertaken by the US, calling an early Israeli strike “unwise.”
“The United States has greater military capacity, and the United
States can exercise a combination of diplomacy and the threat of
force I think more skillfully and more credibly than anybody else,”
“I think it would be better for Israel and Israel’s long-term
security interests.” (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 05/15/12)
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY