National Security Network

iran

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iran

Diplomacy

State of the Union’s Foreign Policy: Reengaging the World

Report 26 January 2010
Just over a year ago, President Obama inherited an atrophied American diplomacy, hostile global public opinion, and an agenda that had disengaged from the international community.  The last year has seen an American diplomatic resurgence.  This renewed American appetite for sustained diplomatic action has produced modest but real results.  
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Terrorism & National Security

Confidence Grows in the Ability of Progressives to Protect the Country

Report 12 January 2010
Yesterday, two polls found that an increasing majority of Americans feel confident in the Obama administration's ability to keep America safe from terrorism.  This trend has developed in the wake of the failed attack by the underwear bomber, as the Administration projected a measured, responsible and determined approach to dealing with the issue, rather than resorting to hysterics.
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Iran

On Iran, Let the President Lead

Report 5 January 2010
Yesterday, Secretary Clinton issued a firm challenge to the Iranian regime, inviting them to the negotiating table, while emphasizing that the U.S. would not stand by in the face of their continued intransigence. 
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Iran

As Pressure on Iran Mounts, Neoconservatives Press Toward War

Report 16 December 2009
In a sign of increased frustration with Iran’s unwillingness to accept America’s “outstretched hand,” the House of Representatives moved yesterday to approve broad sanctions legislation targeting Iran’s petroleum industry. For its part, the Iranian regime remained defiant, pledging continued opposition, even as it struggled to contain the persistent rifts that have emerged in the wake of last summer’s election crisis. Attention now shifts to the Senate and ultimately to the Obama administration, which supports measures aimed at pressuring Iran that receive international backing, a key ingredient for those measures’ success. They are joined in this view by a wide array of national security experts, who in addition to arguing for a multilateral diplomatic approach, have pushed for targeting sanctions on specific key regime figures and entities, as well as fitting any future steps within an overall strategy that continues to keep engagement on the table.
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Iran

On Iran, Stick to the Strategy

Report 9 December 2009
The last few weeks have witnessed significant developments related to Iran. Against this backdrop, The Obama administration’s diplomatic engagement strategy to both ramp up the pressure on and assess progress with Iran by the end of the year has continued to move forward effectively. This was in evidence when 25 countries, including all five permanent members of the UN Security Council, voted to support censure of Iran at the IAEA for its unwillingness to be fully transparent over its nuclear ambitions. In addition, instability stemming from Iran’s post-election crisis this summer has continued, with protests taking place on a scale not seen since the election itself. . Yet despite this dynamic situation, Congress is moving swiftly to impose unilateral sanctions on the Islamic Republic. While sanctions can serve as a useful diplomatic instrument and congressional pressure can send an important signal that U.S. patience with Iran is limited, moving forward with unilateral sanctions at this time may create more problems than solutions on this thorny issue.
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Iran

Smart, Strategic Diplomacy Needed with Iran

Report 29 October 2009
As international negotiations continue with Iran over its nuclear program, lawmakers in Washington have introduced several pieces of legislation to implement significant unilateral sanctions. But while some argue that the threat of increased sanctions will strengthen the Obama administrations diplomatic hand, the advancement of such sanctions is not a zero cost game and may even have the opposite effect. The strategic approach that the administration has pursued on Iran, where it has implemented smart sanctions alongside effective multilateral diplomacy buttressed by effective communication with the Iranian people - will be affected by any Congressional action on sanctions. Policy makers must be careful to ensure that such moves will not undermine the President and the current state of diplomacy with Iran.
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Iran

Pressure Builds on Iran as International Talks Continue

Report 20 October 2009
Talks are taking place in Vienna over Iran’s nuclear program amongst the United States, our European allies, and the Iranians. The Obama administration has pursued an aggressive diplomatic strategy towards Iran, rooted in international legitimacy. As a result, these talks have seen an increase in pressure on the Iranians while the international nonproliferation regime has also been strengthened. This is a welcome contrast to the Bush years, when tough sounds about Iran were made while the Iranians built up their nuclear program without delay. Because of the administration’s approach, the Iranian regime is under a level of international pressure that they have never felt before.
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Diplomacy

Conservatives Go Off the Water’s Edge on National Security

Report 5 October 2009
The mythical “water’s edge” beyond which politics plays no part in US national security policy receded further this weekend, as Senator Jim DeMint personally worked to undermine US policy toward Honduras and other Senators sought to go around the chain of command on Afghanistan and called for military strikes on Iran. It is fair to advocate these positions; it is another thing to actively lobby for them in a political manner that undercuts our country’s ability to navigate the already difficult terrain of national security policy.
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Iran

Negotiations Take a Step Forward

Report 2 October 2009
Yesterday in Geneva negotiations between Iran and diplomats from the United States, France, Britain, Russia, China, and Germany--the so-called P5+1-- got off to a promising start. Iran preliminarily agreed to: let international inspectors into the previously-secret enrichment facility and Qom within two weeks; give up most of its stockpile of uranium; and intensify talks in the coming weeks. The results from yesterday’s meetings demonstrate that the administration’s broader efforts to strengthen the global nonproliferation regime are also building support for its hardheaded policy towards Iran. Yet despite robust evidence of international legitimacy and support for the administration’s approach – as well as real results – conservatives are fuming.
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