Think tank urges US-Israel forum on Iran

Washington institute calls to establish forum that would discuss ways to stop Iran's becoming nuclear.

dennis ross 248 88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
dennis ross 248 88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
The United States and Israel should set up a high-level forum to coordinate strategy and policy on ways to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability, a team of US foreign policy experts urged on Monday. The Washington Institute for Near East Policy issued the call to establish a new presidential-prime ministerial forum on strategic issues as one of the key recommendations of its Presidential Task Force on the Future of US-Israel Relations. The "first item on the agenda for this forum, the task force suggested, should be a discussion of each side's views regarding current and potential efforts to compel a change in Iranian behavior on the nuclear issue. This covers the entire range of policy options, and preventive military action. The task force also urged that the president - either the incumbent or his successor - urgently launch a "national conversation with the American people on the challenges, risks and dilemmas posed to US interests by the potential Iranian acquisition of a nuclear weapons capability, and on ways to prevent it." "The central argument," the task force wrote in its final report, released Monday, "is that preventing Iran's acquisition of a nuclear-weapons capability is not special pleading for America's ally Israel - it is vital to America's own security." Former Middle East peace envoy Dennis Ross, who is currently a distinguished fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and Institute executive director Robert Satloff served as the task force's co-convenors.