National Security Network

Iran

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A Difficult Challenge Requires Firm Diplomacy Not Bluster

Iran
We need leadership that can engage Iran using smarter diplomatic strategies and tough-nosed negotiations, instead of depending on overblown rhetoric and threats of war. While the Bush administration refused to talk to Iran, the country’s influence throughout the Middle East increased, and the threat of its nuclear program grew. Bluster, isolation and incompetence have failed. Smart, strong leadership is needed.
Read the full paper: The Progressive Approach: Iran »

Iran

NSN Special Update: The Iran Plot: What We Know

Report 11 October 2011

Earlier today, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Department of Justice has charged two men for allegedly participating in a plot to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the United States and subsequently attack the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Washington, DC. Much remains unclear about the sources, aims and structure of the plot.  But as we wait for more facts to emerge, three things are clear:  civilian federal agents worked together to successfully disrupt the plot; the U.S. is committed to holding all parties responsible; and close partnerships with allies were necessary to stop the plot and will be vital going forward to ensure Iran’s international isolation deepens.  

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Iran

Good job, Law Enforcement

News CNN 11 October 2011
Iran

Abdo: Fate of the Green Movement Leaders

News The Iran Primer 11 October 2011
Iran

Iran: Diplomacy Builds Pressure

Report 21 September 2011
President Obama stepped to the podium this morning at the United Nations General Assembly and declared, "This year has been a time of transformation.  More nations have stepped forward to maintain international peace and security. And more individuals are claiming their universal right to live in freedom and dignity." Yet Iran stands out, oppressing its people, defaulting on its international obligations and sending to New York a leader who is weaker than ever before. U.S. leadership, coalition pressure and the prospect of diplomacy have put Iran under unprecedented pressure, even as outgoing Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mullen reminded us yesterday that diplomacy and outreach between our countries was "something we all need to spend a lot of time on."
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Iran

Iran: Isolated and Under Pressure

Report 14 September 2011
When Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrives in New York next week to address the UN General Assembly, he will do so with little power at home and as one of the last remaining authoritarian figures in the region. International pressure continues to mount against Iran as questions about its nuclear program go unanswered and its internal crackdown persists. Iran is clearly feeling this pressure. In recent days, Iran has signaled that it may be open to discussing nuclear issues that it had previously refused to address and has launched an all-out "charm offensive" against additional pressure and isolation.
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Iran

Dealing with Iran

Report 8 September 2011
Iran returns to the world stage this week, in U.S. electoral politics and in anticipation of a discussion of its nuclear ambitions, human rights violations and political weakness at the United Nations General Assembly and International Atomic Energy Agency next week. Iran presents itself with menacing actions that consistently come up short - technical delays in its nuclear program, regional allies turned pariah in Syria, autocracy left behind by its "Arab Spring" neighbors. Dealing with Iran will require persistence, international unity and strategic patience - we have opportunities for influence, but no magic bullets.  
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Iran

Abdo: Iran: Ahmadinejad vs Khamenei

News Al Jazeera English 6 July 2011
Iran

Remaining Focused on Iran

Report 23 June 2011
This week Iran is giving off new signs of both the complexity of its internal affairs and the relative weakness of its international position: an inconclusive meeting with Director General Yukiya Amano of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); dwindling regional influence; economic woes and an ongoing power struggle between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Diplomacy, coupled with smart punitive measures like sanctions, offers the best way forward. “Sanctions were never supposed to become an end [unto] themselves, but unfortunately they can easily become so, because they are something we know how to do,” said John Limbert, the former top State Department official dealing with Iran, “Changing relations with Iran is much harder [than imposing sanctions]—particularly if the other side is not going to be very cooperative.” But it’s the best approach. Israel’s outgoing intelligence chief has also joined the numerous national security experts in warning that a fourth military campaign in the Middle East would be “stupid,” not to mention “messy and protracted.”
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