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Published:October 25th, 2007 06:39 EST
Unprecedented Punitive Measures Against Iran will Bring Backlash

Unprecedented Punitive Measures Against Iran will Bring Backlash

By SOP newswire

The Bush administration`s announcement today that it will roll out an unprecedented package of unilateral sanctions against Iran could make it even more difficult to move towards resolving tensions between the two countries through diplomacy and engagement, " said a statement from the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.

The decision to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a proliferator of weapons of mass destruction and labeling its elite Quds force as a supporter of terrorism will most certainly have negative ramifications for U.S.-Iran relations, which are already at a low ebb, " continued the statement..

One thing that is particularly troubling about this move is that the administration is viewing it as part of its diplomatic effort, " said Carah Ong, Iran Policy Analyst at the Center. Let`s be clear, these moves, as well as increased unilateral sanctions, are punitive measures. The Bush administration has not and is not engaged in any sustained or strategic diplomatic initiative with Iran. "

The designations of Quds Force and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps will only undermine U.S. security interests, in part by putting US troops in Iraq at risk of retaliation and hampering talks with Iran over Iraq security, " Ong continued.

The IRGC is just one important player in a collection of many actors in Iran today. There are those in Iran who want increased engagement and openness and those who do not. U.S. policies that encourage isolation will only play into the hands of those who want to avoid contact with the West and undermine the moderates. The designations could also bring a backlash against Iranian citizens working for democracy and reform.

The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation has led efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the confrontation with Iran - including direct talks without preconditions. This includes a petition urging members of Congress to prevent a military attack (http://www.armscontrolcenter.org/iran), a national newspaper campaign (http://www.armscontrolcenter.org/policy/iran/articles/iran_newspaper_campaign/), a position paper exploring the path to a diplomatic solution (http://www.armscontrolcenter.org/assets/pdfs/position_statement_iran.pdf), and a study indicating that there is no such thing as a clean " military strike against Iran (http://www.armscontrolcenter.org/policy/iran/articles/risky_business_attacking_iran_bad_idea/index.html).

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