National Security Network

iran

iran

Iran

Amidst Conservative Hysteria, U.S. Talks to Iran

Report 1 October 2009
Today, Iran and the international community are finally sitting down for much anticipated talks. The meeting in Geneva between Iran and the U.S, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany, also known as the “P5 + 1,” comes at a momentous time. Since President Obama’s inauguration nine months ago, the administration has made strong efforts to draw Iran into negotiations. This has occurred against a tumultuous backdrop that has included unprecedented turmoil inside Iran following its controversial June elections, as well as recent revelations of a secret facility at Qom. While conservatives have been using the same old talking points, beating the war drums, calling for regime change, and treating the talks as if anything less than the complete disappearance of Iran’s nuclear program will be a failure, the Obama administration has harbored no such illusions. Negotiations will not be easy. Iran’s internal instability, coupled with its duplicity over the nuclear issue means that the meeting in Geneva will likely be a starting point for hard-nosed diplomacy.
More »
Terrorism & National Security

Foreign Policy Sunday Blitz

Report 28 September 2009
After a week of intense international engagement, the administration’s top foreign policy officials hit the Sunday morning talk shows to discuss the difficult foreign policy decisions that lie ahead. Fareed Zakaria laid out the stakes for the Administration, taken together: “He wants to demonstrate at home that engagement does not make America weak.” This weekend, the President’s top advisors took on a number of serious issues: Afghanistan, Iran, Russia, the detention center at Guantanamo Bay – and confirmed that the Administration is moving forward with its core strategy of strength through engagement while carefully considering the implications of its policy decisions. On ABC’s ‘This Week’ Bob Woodward drew a contrast with the past: “As we all know from covering George W. Bush, all you had to do was find out what his gut was and then they would have meetings about how to implement what his gut was. In this case, I don’t think Obama has a gut, and he has opened the door very aggressively to other options, and they’re not going to be rushed.”
More »

Obama Achieves Progress on Nonproliferation

Report 24 September 2009
President Obama has put nonproliferation policy at the center of his vision of American security – and made significant advances to reduce the threat from nuclear weapons. Yesterday at the UN General Assembly, Obama not only pledged American leadership in the effort to strengthen international nonproliferation treaties, but gained Russian and Chinese support as well. Today, a meeting of the UN Security Council convened and chaired by Obama agreed to take significant steps to tackle the threat. These efforts directly relate to preventing rogue states like Iran and North Korea from developing nuclear weapons. And on this front, President Obama was able to gain Russian support for a unified international response if talks fail with Iran. The U.S. has embraced a path that meets the nuclear threat with tough negotiations, strong safeguards, and an approach that builds on the strengths of other nations, rather than excluding them.
More »
Military

Obama Responds to 21st Century Threats, With Conservatives Still Fighting the Cold War

Report 18 September 2009
Yesterday President Obama unveiled a plan to deploy proven systems that can defend against short and medium range missiles – the missiles Iran actually possesses – as opposed to wasting a decade and billions of dollars developing Bush’s ground based missile defense system that is intended to counter a threat – long range ballistic missiles - that doesn’t exist.Domestically, the fallout from the Obama administration’s decision has been clarifying. This debate has exposed that while President Obama is seeking to deal with 21st century challenges, conservatives remain firmly focused on those of the 20th.
More »
Military

Ending a Failed Missile Defense Program

Report 17 September 2009
President Obama announced this morning that he is terminating the Bush administration's failed Eastern European missile defense system: "The best way to responsibly advance our security and the security of our allies is to deploy a missile defense system that best responds to the threats that we face, and that utilizes technology that is both proven and cost effective." Not only do the cancelled missile defense systems have significant technological shortfalls, but they would also fail to protect against Iranian missiles. From a geopolitical perspective, the European missile defense worsened relations with Russia without providing a credible defense against their nuclear arsenal. Because there is no strategic benefit to maintaining the program - either militarily or diplomatically - the Obama administration has wisely has decided to eliminate this program and to develop a more adaptable missile defense system that better protects Europe.
More »
Iran

Talking with Iran

Report 15 September 2009
After a tumultuous 6-month period which included unprecedented attempts at engagement by the Obama administration as well as a deeply flawed Presidential election, Iran has finally agreed to sit down for talks with the P5 + 1 group, representing 6 global powers. The initial talks, scheduled for October 1, will not be easy. Iran’s ongoing internal instability has already complicated U.S. policy, and the document put forward by Iranian negotiators contains only oblique references to the nuclear issue, considered a central U.S. concern. For these reasons, the meeting is likely to be a starting point for negotiations between Iran and the international community.
More »
Iran

G-8 Issues Strong Statement on Iran – Signalling Greater International Convergence

Report 10 July 2009
The G-8 summit issued a joint communiqué strongly condemning the post-election crackdown in Iran today. This is reflective of a growing convergence of international opinion on Iran – forged both by the diplomatic efforts of the Obama administration and by the appalling actions of the Iranian regime. The Obama administration is clearly demonstrating that it understands – unlike its predecessor – the role of international cooperation in effectively dealing with Iran.
More »
Iran

Iran Exposes Deep Conservative Split on Foreign Policy

Report 23 June 2009
A clear and striking split has emerged amongst conservatives in response to the situation in Iran. Moderates, realists and GOP foreign policy leaders have all come out in support of the Administration’s approach and attacked neoconservative calls for meddling more in Iran. On the other hand, neoconservatives and the party’s political leadership have taken to the op-ed pages and the airwaves to denounce Obama’s approach and have called for more direct intervention in Iran.
More »
Iran

Progressive Realism And Iran

News NewsHoggers 23 June 2009
Iran

After 8 Years of Failure, Neocons in No Position to Critique Democracy Promotion Efforts

Report 18 June 2009
In the last few days, a prominent faction of conservatives has attacked the Obama administration's approach to Iran.These attacks are rooted in the neoconservative theory of democracy promotion: that tough American talk backed by the threat of force - in the case of Iraq, the actual use of force - and intrusive American intervention was the best method to promote democracy in the Middle East.
More »