Nuclear Issues

7 Items

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

Why Do So Many People Want So Little From the Agreement With Iran?

| September 15, 2015

"...[K]eeping Iran at arm's length (or worse) reduces U.S. diplomatic leverage and flexibility. As long as U.S. Middle East policy remains fixated on its 'special relationships' with Israel, Saudi Arabia, and to some extent Egypt, these states will continue to take U.S. support for granted and ignore U.S. preferences more often than we'd like. But if the United States had decent working relations with every state in the region — including Iran — it could work constructively with any or all of them."

Negotiations about Iranian Nuclear Program

Creative Commons

Analysis & Opinions

What do we learn from the Iran agreement experience?

| September 5, 2015

"Now that President Barack Obama has secured more than enough votes in the U.S. Senate to assure the implementation of the agreement with Iran on nuclear issues and sanctions, we can focus on the lessons learned from the process’ intense political dynamics. Three in particular stand out: U.S.-Israeli, U.S.-Saudi Arabian/Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and GCC-Iranian relations. U.S.-Israeli bilateral ties get the most attention these days, but all three are equally important, and turbulent in their own ways."

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

Bibi Blows Up the Special Relationship

| March 2, 2015

"...[A]nyone who questions the special relationship or the role the lobby plays in preserving it is still likely to be accused of anti-Semitism (if a gentile) or self-hatred (if Jewish). The special relationship has rested to some degree on intimidation, and as noted most people don't like being bullied. The question, therefore, is whether this flap will turn out to be an isolated incident or whether more people will begin to say what they really think."

Analysis & Opinions - Woodrow Wilson Center Press

What Next For Iran and the P5+1

| November 2014

In the wake of yet another extension in the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1, the next step for the United States to move toward a final comprehensive agreement with Iran is to engage with those Iranians it likes the least—the hardliners. Crafting a sophisticated agreement capable of persuading Iranian hardliners and the Revolutionary Guards to accept a final deal is essential to moving the negotiations forward. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his moderate team of negotiators are constrained by the hardliners who, in turn, have nothing to lose if negotiations fail. While the lifting of international sanctions is commonly considered to be the main economic incentive for Iran to agree to a deal, we should be aware that many U.S. sanctions will remain against key hardline actors in the Iranian regime for non-nuclear related reasons. In other words, those hardline elements most opposed to the current talks—the spoilers—are also the ones that have the least to gain from their success.

Hassan Rouhani in Mashhad during the 2013 presidential election campaign, June 12, 2013.

Morteza Ansari Photo

Analysis & Opinions - Christian Science Monitor

Make No Mistake, America: Sanctions Didn't Force Iran into Nuclear Talks

| November 20, 2013

"...[S]anctions played a part in changing Iran's behavior, but not because they forced Iran to return to the negotiation table out of fear of economic collapse. Rather, sanctions contributed to a transformation of the balance of power within the Iranian political system that had been already underway since 2009 — prior to the enactment of the current sanctions regime. Sanctions helped pave the way for a Rouhani victory in the 2013 presidential elections..."

Iranian President Hasan Rouhani, center left with white turban, leaves at the conclusion of a session of the parliament to debate on his proposed Cabinet in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013.

(AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Analysis & Opinions - The Boston Globe

Obama has an opening with Iran

| August 15, 2013

With a speed few predicted, Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, has signaled his interest in negotiations this autumn on Iran’s controversial nuclear program," writes Nicholas Burns. "This could produce the first extensive contact between Washington and Tehran since diplomatic relations ruptured during the Jimmy Carter administration."

Prime Minister Netanyahu meets with President Obama at the White House.

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Analysis & Opinions - The Boston Globe

Coping with Netanyahu on Iran

| July 18, 2013

The debate about how to handle the Iranian nuclear program has resurfaced since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent comments on CBS's "Face the Nation." Professor Burns looks at it from both sides and reiterates his warning that marching to war--right now--is not the right approach.