Thursday, May 22, 2008

Petraeus: Diplomacy, Not Force, With Iran

Washington Post

Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, President Bush's nominee to lead U.S. forces in the Middle East and Central Asia, supports continued U.S. engagement with international and regional partners to find the right mix of diplomatic, economic and military leverage to address the challenges posed by Iran.

In written answers to questions posed by the Senate Armed Services Committee, where he will testify today, Petraeus said the possibility of military action against Iran should be retained as a "last resort." But he said the United States "should make every effort to engage by use of the whole of government, developing further leverage rather than simply targeting discrete threats."

Petraeus's views echoed those expressed by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who this month said that talks with Iran could be useful if the right combination of incentives and pressures could be developed.

Despite President Bush's repeated commitment to diplomacy to resolve problems with Iran -- including its activities in Iraq, an alleged nuclear weapons program and support for terrorist groups -- some lawmakers and U.S. allies remain concerned that military action is being contemplated.........

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