Sunday, January 8, 2012

Outlawing diplomacy with Iran comes with dangerous repercussions

    Sunday, January 08, 2012   No comments

By Jamal Abdi
For a bill being sold as a last best alternative to military confrontation, H.R.1905 sets a destructive precedent that will silence our diplomats, endanger our troops, and dangerously intensify the danger of war with Iran.

The bill contains a provision—inserted without debate in committee after garnering the majority of its cosponsors—that would outlaw contact between U.S. government employees and certain Iranian officials. This would not just tie the hands of our diplomats, it would prevent U.S. troops in the field—particularly members of the U.S. Navy operating in the tense Persian Gulf—from making military to military contacts with their Iranian counterparts.

Why is this so dangerous?  Because in the Persian Gulf, near run-ins between American and Iranian vessels are averted more frequently than many realize. If the no-contact provision were enacted, it would outlaw the U.S. Navy’s bridge-to-bridge communications with Iranian vessels in the Persian Gulf – communications that are crucial to enabling safe transit and preventing confrontation in the often crowded waterways through which 20% of the world’s oil supplies flow.


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