Day #5: Voice of Reason on Iran

Experts and national security leaders from Colin Powell to Leon Panetta agree that a war with Iran would be disastrous for American strategic interests in the Middle East, harmful to the global economy, and bring a high cost in human life. It would also be ineffective at stopping an Iranian nuclear weapon.

Not only would a military conflict be likely to unite Iranians behind the regime determined to build a bomb, it would only blunt a nuclear weapon from being developed by 1-3 years. Despite this sound logic, calls for war in Washington are increasing.

Fortunately, Ploughshares Fund and our grantees are providing voices of reason to this heated debate about how to resolve the Iranian nuclear challenge through non-military means. We work to amplify these calls for caution, providing a counter to the irrational rhetoric that are too often entering the policy debate.

When it comes to Iran policy there are a lot of nuances and tensions. Developing an effective policy is very complicated in itself. And it is further complicated by relentless pro-war rhetoric. What the Iran debate needs are voices like those from Ploughshares Fund and our grantees - strong voices that understand the complexities of the issue and are willing to stand up to promote a vision for a better path. 

By supporting the best organizations working on this issue, we are working to develop a path forward. Grantees like the Atlantic Council and the Federation of American Scientists are providing government officials from both parties with in-depth, expert analysis interpreting the confusing reports of Iran’s nuclear progress, capabilities and political strategies PRI’s The World, National Public Radio and Link TV are producing objective and balanced portrayals of Iran’s regime, countering the rhetoric. And the Asia Society and the Stimson Center are exploring innovative diplomatic routes to build trust and avenues of communication with Iran on issues of mutual interest, such as Afghanistan.

As former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen noted,

“Even in the darkest days of the Cold War, we had links to the Soviet Union. We are not talking to Iran, so we don’t understand each other.”

Ploughshares Fund is working to change this difficult reality.


Photo by Hamed Saber