8 Steps Toward Peace with Iran

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:

  1. Engage in immediate direct talks without preconditions.
  2. Support regional diplomatic efforts to lay the necessary groundwork for addressing the root causes.
  3. Take a “carrot” – rather than punitive “stick” – approach approach to negotiation. Coercive diplomacy and sanctions will not solve the deeper issues.
  4. 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).
  5. Move focus from Iran’s nuclear program to the promotion of regional security.
  6. Recognize and address Iranian concerns about national sovereignty.
  7. 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.
  8. Focus on trust-building measures to prepare the soil for more substantial negotiations and to undermine antagonistic leaders.