Bush adviser slams US policy on Iran
UNITED STATES policy towards Iran’s nuclear development throughout President George Bush’s presidency has had “zero success”, according to leading neo-conservative strategist Richard Perle.
“This administration has been negotiating for seven years and the Iranians are seven years closer [to nuclear power],” he told the JC on Wednesday. “The negotiations have had zero success, the programmecontinues,andtherecomes a point where you have to recognise you are barking up the wrong tree.”
“Far more robust” sanctions should now be combined with “support for those Iranians who want to change the Iranian regime — and there are a lot of them”, continued Mr Perle, who was a key adviser to President Bush and a vocal supporter of regime change in Iraq.
While expressing hopes that the situation would not lead to military action against Iran, he warned that this might be needed if other tactics failed to prevent the country developing nuclear arms.
And Mr Perle, a former assistant Secretary of Defence to President Reagan, predicted that such a move would have an unexpected level of both international and domestic support.
“On this issue, I think the Democrats are a lot closer to Bush than on Iraq.”
As for international support, apart from a “greatly relieved” Israel, “the people who would cheer most — silently — are the Saudis and the Gulf states. They are terrified of Iran, although they’d never admit it, of course.”
Mr Perle, currently a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute thinktank, is due in London on Sunday to address a Henry Jackson Society meeting in Finchley Synagogue on the forthcoming Annapolis conference. He said that his hopes for peace were currently low.
“Like everyone else, I would love to see progress towards an agreement with the Israelis and Palestinians, but I think the prospects are very dim.”
This was due, he said, to a combination of Fatah and Hamas rivalry, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s weakness, and Palestinian unwillingness to recognise a Jewish state.
Former military analyst Richard Perle: negotiations have failed to derail Tehran’s nuclear ambitions