Paid for by Bill Richardson for President Exploratory Committee, Inc.
The President's saber-rattling strategy towards Iran needs to stop now. Mr. Bush has no authority to attack Iran and the American people won't stand for another unwarranted and unwanted war. This is a time for alliance-building, direct engagement, and tough face-to-face negotiations—not chest-beating and dangerous brinksmanship."
The worst possible mistake for the US and the world would be to take military action in Iran before exhausting all diplomatic avenues. Iran may be moving forward with plans to build nuclear weapons, but they are years away from accomplishing that goal. There is no immediate danger. Yet, rather than engaging the Iranians directly about their nuclear program, Mr. Bush refuses to talk and instead makes threats. He moves ships to the region and claims, without any convincing evidence, that Iran is helping Iraqi insurgents. This is not a strategy for peace, it is a strategy for war—a war which has not been authorized by Congress, and which would be a disaster for the region, for the United States, and for the world.
After three decades in public service, as a Congressman, UN Ambassador, Energy Secretary, Governor and diplomatic envoy, I know what works: tough, credible and direct negotiations with adversaries, backed by strong international alliances. But by alienating our allies, over-extending our military, making idle threats, and antagonizing just about everyone, the Bush administration has undermined our diplomatic leverage.
The recent agreement with North Korea over its nuclear program shows that direct diplomacy can work, even with the most unsavory of regimes. It is unfortunate that it took the Bush administration six years to try diplomacy. Had we engaged the North Koreans earlier, instead of calling them "evil" and talking about "regime change," we might have prevented them from going nuclear in the first place.
Iran's nuclear program may be a threat to peace, but it also is an opportunity to start rebuilding American credibility and leadership, which have been so weakened by six years of incompetence.
Sign the petition now demanding diplomacy, not attacks. This administration's strategy of isolating and provoking Iran must end.
I believe that now is the time to act deliberatively and thoughtfully. Now is the time for real diplomacy - not more irresponsible threats and a stubborn refusal to talk.
Thank you for joining me,
Governor Bill Richardson