South Asia

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Iran Oil Sanctions: A Rare Case Where Transactional Diplomacy Should Work

AP/Hasan Jamali

Analysis & Opinions - Bloomberg Opinion

Iran Oil Sanctions: A Rare Case Where Transactional Diplomacy Should Work

| Apr. 22, 2019

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s most recent announcement on Iran policy has raised some eyebrows. He indicated on Monday morning that the Trump administration will not renew waivers to importers of Iranian crude and that other suppliers (meaning Saudi Arabia) have agreed to increase production in to ensure the global oil market remains well-supplied. Skeptics question whether — after last summer’s debacle — there is sufficient trust between Washington and Riyadh for this arrangement to work. What skeptics may not have digested is that, while timing remains a problem, this is a classic win-win situation. It is a near-perfect example of the very limited universe of occasions when transactional diplomacy could actually work.

Genie, the first air-to-air nuclear weapon, pictured at the missile park outside the White Sands Missile Range Museum in Dona Ana County, N.M., on April 25, 2015.

(AP Photo by: Alex Milan Tracy)

Analysis & Opinions - The Atlantic

A Nuclear Nightmare Averted

| May 22, 2015

"This week, with little fanfare, one of the world’s key restraints on the spread of nuclear weapons came under scrutiny, as a month-long review of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) concluded at the United Nations," writes Graham Allison. "Negotiated over the 1960s, the NPT was signed in 1968 and became international law in 1970. As specified by the treaty, members hold a conference every five years to assess the agreement. The exercise offers insight into our nuclear age, and perspective ahead of the coming debate over a treaty to constrain Iran’s nuclear ambitions."

Analysis & Opinions - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Why Nuclear Dominoes Won't Fall in the Middle East

| April 22, 2015

"On their own, civilian nuclear programs do not necessarily imply a military threat. Under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), member countries are allowed to pursue civilian nuclear programs. Because of a growing energy demand, many countries in the Middle East are exploring nuclear power as part of their energy mix. While some, including the United Arab Emirates, have succeeded in starting civilian nuclear power programs, others face serious financing and technical capacity issues."

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

Mission Impossible: Iran Is Too Powerful to Contain

| April 11, 2015

"...U.S. and Iranian strategic interests align on some key issues, including the fight against ISIS and the postcombat mission era in Afghanistan....Today, Tehran is the only actor involved that has enough at stake in Iraq to be willing and able to send in ground troops, should the need arise. In Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia was one of three countries to recognize the Taliban as an official government. But Iran has and continues to want the Taliban out of the picture, as does Washington."

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani (R) shakes hands with North Korean official, Kim Yong Nam, in Tehran, August 3, 2013.

Getty Images

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

A North Korean in Iran

| July 23, 2014

The death from natural causes of an old man in North Korea this month should have been the closing chapter of the tale of Pakistan's nuclear and missile cooperation with the Hermit Kingdom. Instead, it may mark the next episode in the saga of Iran's controversial nuclear program.

President of the United States, Barack Obama, talks with the President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, during a telephone call in the Oval Office on 27 September 2013.

White House Photo

Analysis & Opinions - The Huffington Post

The Peacemaking Presidency

| November 25, 2013

"The Obama Administration is on the way to becoming the peacemaking presidency, after having been handed down two wars (Iraq and Afghanistan) and having been urged to start two others (Syria and Iran). The way the President handled these challenges should ease the way for Hillary Clinton in 2016, should she decide to run."

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, center, speaks during the opening session of a high-level meeting on countering nuclear terrorism, Sept. 28, 2012 in the General Assembly at UN headquarters.

AP Photo/ Mary Altaffer

Policy Brief - Quarterly Journal: International Security

States Will Not Give Nuclear Weapons to Terrorists

    Authors:
  • Keir A. Lieber
  • Daryl Press
| September 2013

Assessing the risk of nuclear attack-by-proxy turns on the question of whether a state could sponsor nuclear terrorism and remain anonymous. A leader could rationalize such an attack—and entrust terrorists with a vitally important mission—only if doing so allowed the sponsor to avoid retaliation. After all, if a leader did not care about retaliation, he or she would likely conduct a nuclear strike directly. Giving nuclear weapons to terrorists makes sense only if there is a high likelihood of remaining anonymous after the attack.