5 Items

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Belfer Center Newsletter Winter 2010-11

| Winter 2010-11

The Winter 2010/11 issue of the Belfer Center newsletter features recent and upcoming activities, research, and analysis by members of the Center community on critical global issues. This issue highlights a major Belfer Center conference on technology and governance, the Center's involvement in the nuclear threat documentary Countdown to Zero, and a celebration of Belfer Center founder Paul Doty.

 

President Barack Obama signs the Iran Sanctions Bill imposing tough new sanctions against Iran as further punishment for the country's continuing nuclear program, July 1, 2010, in the East Room of the White House.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Sanctions to Spur Negotiations: Mostly a Bad Strategy

| July 22, 2010

"...[S]ince sanctions and economic constraints will directly impact ordinary Iranians, they will intensify the current sense of distrust towards the West and especially the United States in all political trends and people, subsequently resulting in national mobilization and unity, thereby strengthening the hand of the Iranian government to resist the sanctions. This is the complete opposite of the result desired by the West."

Book Chapter

Oil Security and the Transportation Sector

| May 2009

"This chapter proposes to answer five fundamental questions: What exactly is the oil security problem, and how serious is it going forward? Why has it emerged at this point in time, and why has it been so difficult for the U.S. government to take the actions needed to mitigate it? Finally, what alternative policies are likely to be effective as the United States attempts to improve its oil security in the future?"

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, left, and his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul at the Ciragan Palace in Istanbul, Aug. 14, 2008. Iran's President arrived in Turkey where he is expected to sign a new gas pipeline deal.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Viewpoints

Iran's Islamic Revolution and Its Future

| January 29, 2009

"Regime sustainability despite different internal crises and foreign threats underlines the fact that Iran enjoys a relatively rational decision-making process. The central slogan of the Iranian Revolution was "Independence, Freedom, and Islamic Republic." Today, Iran is an independent state, as it does not belong to an Eastern or a Western bloc. Although the country has not realized its ambition of economic independence, the revolution has provided economic welfare. Rural development has improved people's lives by providing villages with water, electricity, and infrastructure. The essence of independence also
referred to the specific relations between the Iranian monarchy and the United States. The US-sponsored 1953 coup against the popular Muhammad Mosaddeq government made Iran an American client state, leading to Iranian dependence in all aspects."

Analysis & Opinions

Stephen M. Walt on the U.S., Iran, and the New Balance of Power in the Persian Gulf

| August 5, 2008

Walt: “…..by maintaining a (new) balance you don’t get conflict breaking out and you tilt in favour whichever side seems to be falling behind. At the same time, you do try to discourage conflict whenever possible. You certainly don’t try to control the region yourselves and if the balance breaks down as it did in 1991 and you have to intervene you go in, you get out as quickly as possible. But you don’t try to organize these societies. You don’t try to tell them how to live. You don’t try to tell them how their governments should be organized and you don’t try to transform them at the point of a rifle barrel. This is not disengagement, but it is also not trying to control the region or dictate its political evolution.”

“…we are not going to have a stable long-term situation in the Persian Gulf until the United States and other countries in the region—including Iran—do come to some understanding about the various issues that concern them.  Achieving that goal will require genuine diplomacy…The United States will also have to recognize that Iran’s size, potential power, large population, and its geo-strategic location inevitably make it a major player in the security environment in the Persian Gulf, and ignoring that fact is unrealistic…”