Richardson Calls For Diplomacy On Iran

With Tom Vilsack out of the race, there might be an opening for Bill Richardson to get some attention from those who believe that an experienced Governor is the best choice, especially one from a red state. It is hard for the second tier candidates to get attention with such big names as Clinton, Obama, and Edwards dominating the news, but Richardson is trying to get more attention for his foreign policy views in an op-ed in today’s Washington Post. Richardson, a former ambassador to the United Nations, calls for diplomacy to handle the risk of Iran’s nuclear program. Here’s a portion:

Saber-rattling is not a good way to get the Iranians to cooperate. But it is a good way to start a new war — a war that would be a disaster for the Middle East, for the United States and for the world. A war that, furthermore, would destroy what little remains of U.S. credibility in the community of nations.

A better approach would be for the United States to engage directly with the Iranians and to lead a global diplomatic offensive to prevent them from building nuclear weapons. We need tough, direct negotiations, not just with Iran but also with our allies, especially Russia, to get them to support us in presenting Iran with credible carrots and sticks.

No nation has ever been forced to renounce nuclear weapons, but many have chosen to do so. The Iranians will not end their nuclear program because we threaten them and call them names. They will renounce nukes because we convince them that they will be safer and more prosperous if they do that than if they don’t. This feat will take more than threats and insults. It will take skillful American diplomatic leadership.

Addressing a major foreign policy issue which will be faced by the next president seems to be a better way to spend the week than fighting over what a Hollywood fund raiser had to say.

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