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A2: Iran Strikes SS

Sudarshan Tournament

A2: Iran Strikes

Iran strikes unlikely – US has changed strategy


David Ignatius 8-3-08 Op-Ed Columnist
(‘Bomb Bomb Iran’? Not Likely. Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/01/AR2008080102872.html)

Analysts speculate about the danger of a U.S. or Israeli military attack on Iran before the Bush administration departs office next
January. But if you read the tea leaves carefully, the evidence is actually pointing in the opposite direction. One sign that the
diplomatic track is dominant for now is that the administration plans to announce late this month that it will open an interest
section in Tehran, a senior official disclosed Thursday. This will be an important symbol, as it will be the first American diplomatic
mission in Iran since the U.S. Embassy there was seized in 1979. The official described it as an effort to "reach out to the Iranian
people." The Iranian government has long had an interest section in Washington. The administration's wariness of military options
is also clear from recent efforts to dissuade Israel from attacking Iranian nuclear facilities. Mike McConnell, the director of
national intelligence, traveled to Israel in early June; he was followed in late June by Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff. Both officials explained to their Israeli counterparts why the United States believes an attack isn't necessary now,
because the Iranians can't yet build a nuclear weapon, and why an attack would damage U.S. national interests. McConnell and
Mullen also informed the Israelis that the United States would oppose overflights of Iraqi airspace to attack Iran, an administration
official said. The United States has reassured the Iraqi government that it would not approve Israeli overflights, after the Iraqis
strongly protested any potential violation of their sovereignty. "We have made our position abundantly clear to the Israelis and
indeed to the world, not just in our public statements but in our private conversations, as well," said Pentagon press secretary
Geoff Morrell. Though the administration has often been portrayed as divided over military options against Iran, an official
denied there are now any sharp rifts. "There is uniformity across the U.S. government about the way to proceed with Iran,"
the official said. "Everyone from this White House, including the vice president's office, is in agreement that the military
option is not the best option at this point, and we should pursue diplomatic and economic pressures." U.S. opposition to an
Israeli military strike now is based on four factors, the official said. First, a strike would retard the Iranian nuclear program
without destroying it. (One intelligence estimate is that an attack would delay the Iranians by just two months to two years.) Second,
a strike would rally support for the unpopular government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when he faces growing
economic difficulty. Third, an attack would undermine U.S. policy in Iraq, when the United States appears to be making some
progress, and in Afghanistan. And, finally, a strike against Iran, as with any military action, would have unpredictable
consequences. In evaluating the Iranian nuclear threat, the United States and Israel are using different intelligence. U.S. analysts
believe Iran can't produce a bomb before the end of 2009 and probably not until the 2010--2015 time frame, according to a
senior U.S. intelligence official. The Israelis, however, fear that Iran could enrich enough uranium for a weapon sometime next year.
By late 2009, the Israelis warn, the Iranians could produce the 1,000 kilograms of low-enriched uranium that could quickly be
converted to the 25 kilos of highly enriched fuel needed for a bomb.

Strikes won’t occur – US is reversing its position on Iran


Anthony Zeitouni 8-7-08 Washington-based Conflict Resolution Researcher
(Middle East Times, Bursn’ Visit to Iran – A First Step, http://www.metimes.com/Opinion/2008/08/06/burns_visit_to_iran_-_a_first_step/8331/)

U.S. undersecretary for political affairs, William Burns, attended a recent meeting in Geneva between EU Secretary General Javier
Solana and Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili. This decision was the first direct and official contact between the United States
and Iran after nearly three decades of troubled relations. The decision to send Burns to the talks was a wise and courageous one,
despite his nominal role as an observer. What impact does this have on U.S.-Iran relations? With this simple decision, Washington has
taken the first step in reversing its course with Iran, taking the initiative to break the vicious cycle of escalation. Burns is a high
ranking U.S. official, holding the third highest position in the Department of State. The undersecretary serves as the day-to-day
manager of overall regional and bilateral policy issues, and oversees the geographic bureaus. Consequently, the U.S. government's
decision to participate in this meeting, by sending someone of this level, sent a clear and serious message. And Iran responded
positively. Manouchehr Muttaki, the Iranian minister of foreign affairs, suggested they get to know one another in order to reach a
better understanding of the origins of the conflict. He also repeated a call for more direct air flights between Tehran and the United
States. And Ali Akbar Wilayati, foreign affairs adviser to the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, noted the great importance of
Washington's decision. Even Iranian Vice President Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei stated that the people of Iran are friends of the
American people.