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Isolation not Invasion

Posted: Updated:
IRAN
PA

A pre-emptive attack by Israel or coalition forces against Iran's nuclear facilities would prove disastrous to the interests of the West.

Although just rumour and rhetoric at present, if such thoughts were to become a reality they would represent a major set back for the democratic ambitions of an Iranian population determined to bring about change without international intervention. Equally importantly they could impact massively on those democrats in the Arab Spring countries working to establish democratic regimes through the ballot box.

Let us put such thoughts into context. For too long the West has tiptoed around Tehran's nuclear ambitions, closing its eyes to Iran's nuclear weapon programme. Time and again British and US leaders have appeased the Mullahs and the Revolutionary Guard and each step along that path, taken in the vain hope that the regime can somehow be moderated, has simply strengthened the regime's view that the West is both weak and vacillating. In fact they have had the opposite effect of actually emboldening the regime.

Time and again we have been told that engagement with Tehran is the only solution. Time and again Tehran has come to the nuclear negotiations table, taken all the carrots offered, and then used the proverbial stick to punish us by supporting terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

We should, of course, deal with the Iranian regime in a forceful and meaningful manner using every tool at our disposal short of military intervention. But the time is not right to step over that line.

The West's ambition seems to have centred on only two options when attempting to deal with Iran's nuclear threat. The first is appeasement and the second is war. Both are dangerous and neither should be considered as practical solutions.

The third option, to which little thought has been given, revolves around the solution proffered by the Iranian resistance leader, Mrs Maryam Rajavi. Incidentally, it is supported by a large group of British Parliamentarians and would involve isolating the regime with targeted sanctions whilst actively supporting the Iranian people's opposition movement both, internally and externally.

The first step has to be political and economic isolation using sanctions levied against the regime's entire infrastructure, whilst at the same time removing the People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI) from the list of banned organisations in the US which was initially enacted as a part of the appeasement programme during previous nuclear negotiations.

Secondly, we must end talk of war which can only help to silence the voice of Iranian opposition in the country. We must end talk of appeasement which has bitterly disappointed Iranian opposition both inside Iran's borders and beyond and we must act to isolate the Iranian regime whilst supporting the Iranian peoples democratic opposition movement recognising the value of the Chinese proverb that my "enemy's enemy is my friend."

That's the Third Way to create internal regime change and nullify Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

The big question is why the West has failed to recognise that option.

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