National Security Network

iran

iran

Iran

Iran Under Pressure as Nuclear Talks Begin

Report 6 December 2010
A unified international coalition of representatives from the European Union, the United States, Russia, China, France, England and Germany sat down today in Geneva with the Government of Iran to begin a new round of talks about Iran's nuclear program.  Against the backdrop of a troubled nuclear program and increasing internal political pressure on the regime, Iran comes to the talks under significantly more pressure than the last time similar discussions took place 14 months ago.  The two track policy approach - pressure and engagement - has created a new window for diplomacy to take effect.  Yet despite the increasing effectiveness of this approach - or perhaps because of it - opponents of this policy are increasingly calling for dangerous, counter-productive, and self defeating military actions for dealing with the Iranian nuclear program.  These calls, if heeded, would undercut American national security in the Middle East, harm our allies, and damage our country's ability to sustainably resolve this complex issue.  Now is the moment to build on the momentum that the increasing international pressure has provided for serious diplomacy, to take advantage of political strains inside Iran, and to reassert broader American security goals.  Now is not the moment to ramp up reckless talk of war.
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Diplomacy

Using All the Tools of American Power

Report 24 September 2010

This week in New York at the United Nations General Assemblymeetings, President Obama demonstrated his commitment to both tomultilateralism and to a national security policy that advances Americaninterests through a "whole of government" approach.  In both speeches and deed, he explained how theUnited States would use all aspects of American power to advance its interests,communicated the importance of burden-sharing with our allies, and expressedconfidence in the ability of multilateral institutions to be effective partnersin fostering both diplomatic goodwill and American policy objectives.  These remarks reflected the work of theadministration over the past 20 months to integrate development and diplomacymore robustly into American national security policy.  In particular, at the Millennium DevelopmentGoals summit in New York, the president proposed a new framework forsustainable security based in practical development efforts that are alignedwith America's long-term interests.  Thisrobust activity contrasts sharply with the lack of ideas coming from the conservatives'"Pledge to America," which failed to offer any ideas on how to handle thesepressing challenges of development, diplomacy and defense in the 21st century.

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Diplomacy

Engagement with Results

Report 8 September 2010
Today, at the Council on Foreign Relations, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a speech on the America's diplomatic engagement and global leadership. 
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Iran

Strong Case against Strike on Iran Remains

Report 12 August 2010
Over the last few weeks, American neoconservatives and war hawks have peppered the media with speculation about an Israeli military attack on Iran. Yesterday, an article in The Atlantic gave added weight to this speculation by rating the likelihood of an Israeli strike in the next year at greater than 50 percent, based on more than 40 interviews with current and past Israeli officials. But the factors that make up a powerful case against military action on Iran have not changed. Nor has the clear, bipartisan apprehension among those who would have to fight such a war and live with its aftermath, from Israeli President Shimon Peres to Admiral Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
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Iran

UN Sanctions Iran

Report 9 June 2010
Today the United Nations Security Council voted 12-2 in approval of a resolution sanctioning Iran.  By enhancing restrictions on the nuclear program, but also on the regime's financial interests and military program, the sanctions approved by the Security Council are designed to place new pressure on Iran to address the international community's concerns with its nuclear activities. This internationally-backed sanctions package blocks new categories of conventional arms sales to Iran; targets the Revolutionary Guard; and tightens the net around nuclear transfers.  It is an extraordinary accomplishment for US diplomacy over the past year - and a reversal of years of major-power reluctance to support US calls for action.  By working to put Iran outside of a rough international consensus, the administration has placed the regime under tangible pressure and scrutiny, and it now has little ability to mask its intransigence. 
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Iran

Dealing with Iran Demands Flexibility

Report 17 May 2010

Iran's announcement today of an agreement with Turkey and Brazil to ship a portion of its uranium stockpile abroad left much unclear:  as the deal stands, it does not address the full range of concerns put forward by the U.S.  What is clear, however, is that the Iranian regime is under intense pressure coming from both external and internal sources.  Externally, from multilateral efforts to place sanctions on the regime for failing to comply to internationally supported demands regarding its nuclear activities. Internally, from the domestic unrest dating back to last year's controversial Presidential elections. This latest measure demonstrates how much the regime wishes to escape this mounting pressure.

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The NPT and Iran: Not a Make or Break Moment

Report 30 April 2010
When delegates arrive in New York on Monday to begin the month-long Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, all eyes will turn to the United Nations.  With Iran’s continued refusal to halt its production of enriched uranium and answer questions about its nuclear program, North Korea’s rejection of the NPT and subsequent nuclear tests, and a host of other ailments, challenges to the nonproliferation regime abound.  But the Review Conference is just one of many opportunities to strengthen the international nonproliferation regime, not an end unto itself. 
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Iran

Thinking creatively about Iran policy

News Huffington Post 14 April 2010
Terrorism & National Security

Conservatives vs. Military Leadership

Report 13 April 2010
A troubling trend has emerged in American politics: conservatives in congress, conservative presidential candidates, and the conservative punditry have staked out radical positions that continually oppose the Pentagon's efforts to keep America safe.  On major issue after major issue confronting the military and our nation's security, conservatives have time and again attacked the military's advice in order to both obstruct progress and score political points against the Obama administration.  This politicking, which is often based on factual distortions, has pitted the conservative movement against the very institutions that safeguard our freedom and security.  As NSN Senior Advisor Major General Paul D. Eaton, U.S. Army (Ret.), recently wrote: "No one is safe it seems" from these pundits. 
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