The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
When EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, announced in mid-January 2016 that Iran had "fulfilled its commitments," as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action negotiated and signed in 2015, European ministers - companies in tow - were seemingly outpacing one another to welcome Iran back into the international community following the end of the sanctions regime. What does this new level of engagement mean for Iran's role in the region, for its economic stability, for its wider relationship with the international community? What role do particularly European countries need to play - diplomatically, commercially - in ensuring Iran serves as a stabilizing actor in a volatile region? What of the EU-US partnership in the negotiation and in joint diplomatic efforts toward Iran and its neighbor and adversary, Saudi Arabia?
Sir Peter Westmacott,Spring 2016 Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center for International Affairs and the Institute of Politics will reflect on these and other questions in conversation with the Future of Diplomacy Project's Executive Director, Cathryn Cluver.
Sir Peter Westmacott served as the Ambassador of the United Kingdom to the United States from 2012-2016. Prior to this appointment, Westmacott was Ambassador to France from 2007-2012, and Ambassador to Turkey from 2002-2006. His 40-year career in the British Diplomatic Service also included four years in Iran (before the Revolution) and an interim deployment to the European Commission in Brussels. Previously, he was the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Director for the Americas from 1997-2000 before taking a seat on the board as Deputy Under Secretary. From 1990-1993, he was Deputy Private Secretary to His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.