National Security Network

Iran

Iran Iran

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

Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions in a Changing Middle East

Report 1 June 2011

A recent high-profile piece in The New Yorker by Seymour Hersh has brought renewed attention to Iran's nuclear ambitions. Policymakers face complexity and few clear facts.  Iran's refusal to answer questions and clarify the nature of its nuclear program raises serious questions, as does a recent report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which points to new information regarding "possible military dimensions" of Iran's nuclear program. Yet as the 2011 National Intelligence Estimate concludes, "We do not know... if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons."

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Iran

Not Your Ayatollah’s Iran

News RealClearWorld 12 May 2011
Iran

Iran’s Standoff: Khamenei vs Ahmadinejad

News Al Jazeera English 12 May 2011
Iran

Shia in Bahrain: Repression and regression

News Al Jazeera English 1 May 2011
Iran

Maintaining a Focus on Iran

Report 14 April 2011
 

Iran's nuclear program, its role in the region and its human rights abuses form core U.S. policy concerns - even as the Middle East uprisings change dramatically the environment in which they play out.  Most recently, the international community coalesced around serious action on human rights, appointing a special UN investigator to look into the regime's abuses, increasing international pressure on the regime. While it's not possible to declare winners and losers in recent events in the Middle East, Iran's abuses have highlighted the hypocrisy of the regime in the region. If handled correctly, this opening could present the U.S. with considerable opportunities. Bellicose rhetoric, however, only serves to embolden the hardliners in Iran, undermining these opportunities.

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Iran

Iran's Challenges in a New Middle East

Report 8 April 2011
 

As events continue to unfold in the Middle East, Iran is facing increasing internal dissent, making serious efforts to co-opt Arab protest movements, and encountering stiff international resistance to its moves. Yet despite the rapidly changing political environment in the region, the regime has once again moved to silence its own protestors while Iran's economy continues to be plagued by high unemployment and inflation. It has also attempted to - unconvincingly - mischaracterize the roots of the protest movements that are sweeping across the Middle East and North Africa. For example, in places such as Bahrain, the very people that Iran claims to support have rejected Iran's interference and focused instead on the pursuit of a constitutional monarchy, rejecting the Iranian model of governance in the process. Against this backdrop, American engagement with Iran to resolve our disputes will continue to be essential, providing new opportunities to exert American influence in the region even if Iran does not appear inclined to reciprocate positively to American overtures.

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Iran

Misunderstanding Bahrain’s Shia protesters

News Al Jazeera English 3 April 2011
Iran

Khamenei Narrows Circle of Regime Insiders

News The Huffington Post 15 March 2011
Iran

Assessing Iran's Political Will

Report 11 March 2011
 

Yesterday, in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the worldwide threat assessment, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper concluded, "We continue to assess Iran is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons in part by developing various nuclear capabilities that better position it to produce such weapons, should it choose to do so.  We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons." DNI Clapper further noted that this makes "the central issue its political will to do so."

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