of links and recent history.
In a statement, U.S. Rep. James Leach- R-Iowa, says:
"A proposal that might be suggested is negotiation of a Persian Gulf nuclear-free zone, which would reduce, although given the high possibility of cheating, not eliminate entirely one of the reasons Iran presumably seeks nuclear weapons - fear that it may be at a disadvantage in a conflict with an oil-rich neighbor. In return, America could offer not only normalization of relations in trade but the prospect of a free trade agreement and expanded country-to-country cultural ties with Iran."
James Phillips and Baker Spring of the Heritage Foundation write, "The United States, like its friends and allies in the region, should not simply ignore any efforts by Iran to proceed with its nuclear programs."
In an old but useful essay from 2003, Ray Takeyh writes for the World Policy Institute: "Contrary to Western assumptions, Iran’s nuclear calculations are not derived from an irrational ideology, but rather from a judicious attempt to craft a viable deterrent capability against an evolving range of threats."
More recently -- February of this year to be exact, Takeyh,
writing for the Center for American Progress, said:
"Given the centrality of the United States in Iran's strategic view of the world, a better relationship with Washington can be the best means of ensuring the theocracy's continued compliance with its non-proliferation pledges. A greater degree of engagement and dialogue between Washington and Tehran over issues of common concern, such as the stabilization of Iraq and the postwar Persian Gulf, can empower the nascent coalition of reformers and pragmatists who seek to eschew the provocative nuclear option."