Report: Iran threat overstated

April 9, 2009 at 3:19 PM

WASHINGTON, April 9 (UPI) -- Washington has the soft-power tools necessary to effectively deal with the foreign policy challenges posed by Tehran, an analysis said.

A lengthy report by political scientist William deB. Mills for the analytical group Foreign Policy in Focus noted that Iran poses no explicit threat to the U.S. mainland, suggesting Washington may hold currently the soft solutions to handle the Iranian regime.

Mills noted that pursuing status quo policies concerning Tehran not only fuels historic acrimony but also feeds on issues that both sides deem harmful to bilateral ties, notably the American presence in Iraq and Iranian proxies in Hezbollah and Hamas.

Israel, for its part, will continue with its rhetoric that Iran seeks the destruction of the Jewish state, using that logic as a cover for its activities in the West Bank, Mills wrote.

If the trends in foreign relations between Tehran and Washington continue as they have since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the chance increases that either side will make an unfortunate strategic miscalculation.

"By trimming its own sails a bit and substituting skill, patience, consistency, logic and understanding for military force, Washington can achieve much while minimizing both risk and expense," Mills concluded.

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