National Security Network

Iran

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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

New Round of Clashes Leaves Iran Reeling

News The Huffington Post 3 March 2011
Iran

Keeping the Pressure on Iran

Report 18 February 2011
 

 

While international attention has been largely focused on the dramatic street protests taking place in the Arab Middle East, political turmoil continues to fester in Iran, with both opposition and pro-government groups taking to the streets this week.  Ominously, there are even reports of the disappearance of Mir Hussein Moussavi, the leader of the opposition Green movement. At the same time, the administration is juggling its support for the people of Iran while also keeping an intense focus on the Iranian nuclear program, which is also a source of division within the Iranian regime. 

 

This suggests that the American approach towards Iran - which is based on tough sanctions, international diplomatic isolation, and support for Iranian human rights - is having an impact on the leadership in Tehran. Therefore, it is crucial that the U.S. does not undermine this progress by promoting bellicose rhetoric and war mongering, as former Undersecretary of State Nick Burns says, this challenge is more of a "marathon than a sprint."

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Iran

Experts Debate Iran Options, Reject Military Confrontation

News National Iranian American Council 4 February 2011
Iran

Getting Iran Right

News The National Interest 3 February 2011
Iran

Iran: Next Leg of the Marathon

Report 20 January 2011
This week's round of talks on Iran's nuclear program find the regime under increased pressure as a result of sanctions, technical problems and internal political fissures.  The administration's two-pronged approach of both pressure and engagement has created space for diplomacy and given international parties more time to reach a negotiated solution. As has been the case with most diplomatic breakthroughs, dealing with Iran will continue to take both time and patience.  A solution will not come after just two days of talks. The diplomatic "marathon" is proving fruitful and continues to offer the best path forward.
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Iran

Sanctions and Stuxnet

Report 11 January 2011
 

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confirmed yesterday that sanctions have taken a toll on Iran's nuclear program. Current and former Israeli officials have also downgraded their concern in recent days, citing sanctions, covert actions and technical disruptions. As Washington Post columnist David Ignatius recently wrote, "What's increasingly clear is that low-key weapons - covert sabotage and economic sanctions - are accomplishing many of the benefits of military action, without the costs. It's a devious approach - all the more so because it's accompanied by near-constant U.S. proposals of diplomatic dialogue - but in that sense, it matches Iran's own operating style of pursuing multiple options at once."  The two-pronged approach to dealing with Iran, both pursuing coordinated pressure and offering genuine opportunities for engagement, will continue to take time and strategic patience. The "diplomatic marathon"  is proving fruitful and winning important converts.

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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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Iran

It’s not going to be a Tea Party on Iran

News The Jewish Chronicle 8 November 2010