Tags: America's Forum | Iran | iran | embassy | nuclear | weapons | ISIS

Alan Dershowitz: Embassy in Non-Nuclear Iran Would Be Fine

By    |   Tuesday, 30 December 2014 02:03 PM

President Barack Obama is right not to rule out the possibility of an American embassy in Iran, but only under the right conditions, says renowned legal expert Alan Dershowitz.

"I thought his answer was quite good. I wouldn't preclude the possibility if, for example, Iran agreed to totally dismantle their nuclear program in exchange for an American embassy, it seems to me that that would be a win-win," Dershowitz told J.D. Hayworth and Miranda Khan on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV Tuesday.

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Obama said in an interview with NPR Monday that he could "never say never" about someday opening an embassy in Iran, but it must happen in steps.

"First, an American embassy could be a source of information and intelligence gathering and what do we really give up when we accord them diplomatic status?" the former Harvard Law School professor asked.

"Obviously, it's awfully hard for us to give them an embassy considering the last time what they did to our embassy — they took it over and, in violation of all international law, held our embassy officials captive for a very, very long period of time," he said.

"On the other hand, things do change," he added.

But the conditions of advancing diplomatic relations "shouldn't be given to them in exchange for helping us defeat ISIS. They have a far greater stake ... in defeating ISIS than we do,"

"I would only accord diplomatic relations in exchange for a game changer and the game changer would really be giving up their nuclear program," he said.

While there would be serious trust issues with Iran in a situation like that, an embassy would give the United States "a chip to play," he added.

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South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham has said that he plans to work on passing bipartisan legislation when the new Republican led Congress takes control in January that will say that Iran sanctions will be imposed if it walks away from the negotiating table.

Dershowitz says that Graham's plan may "further weaken a president who might in fact be able to emerge in the next two years as somebody who has made deals not only with Cuba, but perhaps with Iran."

He contends that "any possibility of avoiding military conflict and resolving issues diplomatically is to be preferred over the use of military might."

But "it's important that Sen. Lindsey Graham's making the kind of statements he's making. It's important that I'm warning my friend, President Obama, that he should not become the Neville Chamberlain of the 21st century," he said.

"We have to keep an open mind and hope all together that he will in fact, strengthen the position of the United States over the next two years, which is a distinct possibility, though it's far from certain."

Dershowitz says that, while at this point the perception is that Obama has weakened America's standing worldwide, "he still has two years and if he could bring about some kind of deal with Iran, and if he can show that diplomacy — speak softly carry a big stick, but do both, speak and carry the stick — the final history hasn't yet been written."

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President Barack Obama is right not to rule out the possibility of an American embassy in Iran, but only under the right conditions, says renowned legal expert Alan Dershowitz.
iran, embassy, nuclear, weapons, ISIS
Tuesday, 30 December 2014 02:03 PM
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