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Copyright © 1999, by the Middle East DataProject, Inc. All rights reserved.

Issue No. 64, Nov. 12, 1999

No clear "roadmap" to Tehran (Serial 6405)

When a senior Clinton administration official announces theintention to make a major policy speech these days, there is amplecause for concern. Chances are troops are about to deploy (aspeacekeepers), new sanctions threatened; or some stunning gesture ofappeasement (as with North Korea) is about to be unveiled.

Assistant Secretary Martin Indyk's October 14 appearance beforethe Asia Society in Washington, DC was worrisome on several counts.Indyk is widely credited as the author of the administration's "dualcontainment" policy - a policy that has failed in Iraq but hassucceeded in preventing major U.S. embarrassment in Iran byforbidding until recently any commercial dealing with the IslamicRepublic.


Indyk's speech disappointed the appeasers, since he complained ofIran's "hide-bound and unimaginative" response to U.S. gestures offriendship and dialogue. And for the first time, he offered timidU.S. support for Iranian democrats seeking to replace the clericalregime with a more representative system and government.

Billed as "Prospects for a New Relationship", Indyk's speech madea coherent argument for maintaining the current U.S. containmentpolicy toward Iran until the Tehran regime takes serious steps toscale back its WMD program and cease its support for terrorist groupsopposing the Middle East peace process.

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