Washington DC – In a statement released Thursday morning, the Libertarian Presidential Candidate Bob Barr urged the Bush Administration to begin talks with Iran. “The U.S. should move forward and initiate direct discussions with Tehran. As famed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill told us, ‘it is always better to jaw-jaw than to war-war,” he said.
Barr, who attended high school in Iran prior to the Islamic Revolution, is a former Congressman and CIA official.
“It is imperative to find a peaceful answer, since war with Iran would be disastrous for all concerned,” he said. Barr listed a number of reasons for this, including the fact that “American troops in Iraq would be at risk…Tehran could retaliate against Israel. Oil shipments would be disrupted, causing energy prices to soar even higher. Allied states in the Persian Gulf would be vulnerable to attack.”
Most notably, Barr emphasized that “Chances for democratic change in Iran would be set back.” The full press release is below:
Begin Constructive Moves with Iran, Barr urges
July 24, 2008 10:58 am EST
Dallas, TX — “After emphasizing confrontation and thinly-veiled threats of war for many months, the Bush administration apparently may now be considering initiating some form of diplomatic relationship with Iran. Such a step is long overdue,” notes Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party presidential nominee. “An American diplomat attended talks recently between the European Union and Iran in Geneva. The U.S. should move forward and initiate direct discussions with Tehran. As famed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill told us, ‘it is always better to ‘jaw-jaw than to war-war,'” noted Barr.
“There is no easy answer to the threat of an Iranian nuclear weapon, which would be enormously destabilizing,” explains Barr. But U.S. intelligence doubts the existence of an active Iranian nuclear weapons program, let alone imminent development of a nuclear military device. “We have time to use diplomacy and work with allied nations to dissuade Tehran from taking this provocative step.”
“It is imperative to find a peaceful answer, since war with Iran would be disastrous for all concerned,” emphasizes Barr. “American troops in Iraq would be at risk. U.S. citizens would be targeted for terrorist acts. Tehran could retaliate against Israel. Oil shipments would be disrupted, causing energy prices to soar even higher. Allied states in the Persian Gulf would be vulnerable to attack. Chances for democratic change in Iran would be set back.”
“Military force is sometimes necessary, but it always should be a last resort and based on true defensive necessity. Our best chance to avoid finding ourselves with no constructive options is to pursue a multi-pronged strategy that includes communication with other governments, including those of our adversaries,” noted Barr, who formerly worked for the CIA and had actually lived in Iran. Barr also notes that such a constructive and multi-faceted strategy is appropriate, since “many times, today’s adversaries wind up being tomorrow’s allies.” “The U.S. government has an obligation to the American people to make every attempt to find peaceful solutions to even the most serious geopolitical problems,” the Libertarian Party nominee concluded.
Barr represented the 7th District of Georgia in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003, where he served as a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, as Vice-Chairman of the Government Reform Committee, and as a member of the Committee on Financial Services. Prior to his congressional career, Barr was appointed by President Reagan to serve as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, and also served as an official with the CIA.