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Q&A With Colin H. Kahl on Dealing With Iran
The Georgetown Professor Answers Questions From Readers
COLIN H. KAHL is an Associate Professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and a Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security. In 2009-11, he was U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East.See more by this author
The Obama administration’s stated goal is to prevent Iran from developing a “nuclear weapons capability,” which the president has described as “unacceptable” and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has called a “red line.” At the same time, the administration recognizes that, as a member of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, Iran has the right to pursue civilian nuclear energy so long as it can assure the international community that the program is intended solely for peaceful purposes. So any diplomatic deal would have to recognize Iran’s inherent rights while providing strict safeguards against any military dimensions of a program. Whether it is possible to do this in the context of any domestic Iranian enrichment remains unclear.