In her meetings with U.S. military leaders and elected officials, Lisa Schirch elaborates upon these eight steps that she believes could and should be taken in Iran:
- Engage in immediate direct talks without preconditions.
- Support regional diplomatic efforts to lay the necessary groundwork for addressing the root causes.
- Take a “carrot” – rather than punitive “stick” – approach approach to negotiation. Coercive diplomacy and sanctions will not solve the deeper issues.
- Understand that cultural, historical, psychological and political factors require the U.S. to demonstrate “respectful engagement,” or risk heightening Iranian fears for their sovereignty and security (which have played a role in the larger nuclear security question).
- Move focus from Iran’s nuclear program to the promotion of regional security.
- Recognize and address Iranian concerns about national sovereignty.
- Take regime-change off the table. Due to past U.S. intervention in Iranian politics, the focus on regime-change actually strengthens the Iranian leadership.
- Focus on trust-building measures to prepare the soil for more substantial negotiations and to undermine antagonistic leaders.