The National Coalition To Prevent An Iranian Nuclear Weapon — a bipartisan group of national security leaders — warned Sunday that President Trump’s pressure campaign against Iran could lead to war, The Hill reports.
In the estimation of more than 50 prominent foreign policy figures, Trump’s Iran strategy will leave the Islamic Republic’s government two options: capitulation — or war.
“The Trump Administration’s Iran strategy is to assert maximum economic, political and military pressure to change Iran’s behavior and threaten, if not cause, collapse of the regime. But since it has not undertaken diplomatic engagement on any of its twelve demands on Iran, the Administration has left Iran the option of either capitulation or war.”
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Senator Richard Lugar, and Senator Carl Levin are among the signatories of the letter.
The 2003 invasion of Iraq, according to the signatories of the letter, serves as a constant reminder of the United States’ “inability” to accurately estimate the long-term impact of American overseas action.
The Trump administration’s apparent push for regime change in Iran is, according to the National Coalition To Prevent An Iranian Nuclear Weapon, nothing but “wishful thinking,” and demonstrates a deeply “flawed” interpretation of intelligence information pertaining to Iran’s vulnerabilities.
The bipartisan group is, however, not entirely critical of President Trump’s strategy — supporting some of the administration’s objectives. The United States should strive to achieve six goals, national security leaders wrote.
- Prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon.
- Aim to release U.S. citizens imprisoned in Iran.
- Aim to cease Iran’s support of Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and Hezbollah.
- Strive toward the curbing of Iranian influence Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.
- Curb the proliferation and testing of Iran’s ballistic missiles.
- Reduce Iran’s threats and provocations against Saudi Arabia and Israel.
Israel and Saudi Arabia are, the signatories noted, America’s regional partners.
— The Hill (@thehill) September 24, 2018
The bipartisan group also argued that the Trump administration’s maximum sanction program will not produce the desired results, suggesting that the United States should change course in order to engage allies and other powers through a combination of diplomacy and soft pressure.
The alarming letter comes shortly after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani blamed the United States for supporting militants who attacked a military parade — killing at least 29 individuals — and promising revenge.
“All of those small mercenary countries that we see in this region are backed by America. It is Americans who instigate them and provide them with necessary means to commit these crimes,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said before leaving for the U.N. General Assembly in New York, according to the Associated Press.