Threats won't tame Iran, experts say

President-elect Barack Obama, plotting his strategy on Iran, is getting this advice from a panel of American diplomats and other experts: Don't pile on economic and military threats; it doesn't help. "An attack would almost certainly fail" while coercing Iran with economic sanctions has very little chance of success, the experts say in a report to be presented next week at a conference on the future of US-Iran policy. Far more likely to succeed, said former US ambassadors Thomas Pickering and James F. Dobbins, Columbia University scholar Gary G. Sick and 17 other experts, is to "open the door to direct, unconditional and comprehensive negotiations at the senior diplomatic level."