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

One Year Later, Reflecting on the State of the Green Movement

Report 11 June 2010
One year ago, as Iranians headed to the polls for their Presidential election, few could have anticipated the dramatic events that would unfold in the days and weeks to follow.  Allegations of massive electoral fraud and interference by the regime erupted into street demonstrations of a proportion not seen since the 1979 Iranian revolution.  Western observers, stunned by the appearance of popular Iranian discontent with the regime, placed huge hopes in the newly emerged opposition Green Movement, anticipating the imminent collapse of the regime.
More »
Iran

Tehran's Lost Connection

News Foreign Policy 10 June 2010
Iran

UN Sanctions Iran

Report 9 June 2010
Today the United Nations Security Council voted 12-2 in approval of a resolution sanctioning Iran.  By enhancing restrictions on the nuclear program, but also on the regime's financial interests and military program, the sanctions approved by the Security Council are designed to place new pressure on Iran to address the international community's concerns with its nuclear activities. This internationally-backed sanctions package blocks new categories of conventional arms sales to Iran; targets the Revolutionary Guard; and tightens the net around nuclear transfers.  It is an extraordinary accomplishment for US diplomacy over the past year - and a reversal of years of major-power reluctance to support US calls for action.  By working to put Iran outside of a rough international consensus, the administration has placed the regime under tangible pressure and scrutiny, and it now has little ability to mask its intransigence. 
More »
Iran

Sanctions Should Not End Diplomacy on Iran

Report 20 May 2010
News that the U.S. has reached agreement with the other four permanent members of the U.N. Security Council on a draft resolution intended to sanction Iran for its troubling nuclear activities confirms the regime's growing international isolation.  The news came a day after Iran made an agreement with Brazil and Turkey intended to head off sanctions, yet instead only served to demonstrate its isolation.  The clock is now ticking for Iran to submit its implementation plan from the Iran-Turkey-Brazil deal to the International Atomic Energy Agency, a plan that can either raise or diminish international confidence in Iran's intentions.
More »
Iran

Dealing with Iran Demands Flexibility

Report 17 May 2010

Iran's announcement today of an agreement with Turkey and Brazil to ship a portion of its uranium stockpile abroad left much unclear:  as the deal stands, it does not address the full range of concerns put forward by the U.S.  What is clear, however, is that the Iranian regime is under intense pressure coming from both external and internal sources.  Externally, from multilateral efforts to place sanctions on the regime for failing to comply to internationally supported demands regarding its nuclear activities. Internally, from the domestic unrest dating back to last year's controversial Presidential elections. This latest measure demonstrates how much the regime wishes to escape this mounting pressure.

More »
Iran

Don’t Impede the Obama Administration’s Approach to Iran

Report 26 April 2010
A report in this Sunday's Washington Post on the increased flow of intelligence on Iran from disaffected government officials highlights the growing split between the Iranian regime and its people.  This information, which has provided valuable insights into both the state of the regime and the country's nuclear program, might not have been possible were it not for the increasing disillusionment with the government following the election turmoil last year.  This intelligence dividend caused by the split between the regime and many of its key people demonstrates the sensitive nature of the political environment inside of Iran.  As Congress steps to the precipice of forwarding on tough sanctions legislation to the President, it would do well to account for how its actions may inadvertently close this split, an outcome that could benefit the regime at the expense both of its opponents and our country's efforts to stop an Iranian bomb.
More »
Iran

The Obama Administration's Consistency on Iran

Report 19 April 2010
A report from this weekend's New York Times about a leaked classified Iran memo written in January by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates provided an interesting view into the workings of the Obama administration's Iran policy.  What it did not do was contradict the methodical, strategic approach that the Administration has been pursuing towards that country.  As Secretary Gates made clear yesterday in response to the leak, the Administration has been taking consistent steps to prepare for the full-range of possibilities for dealing with Iran, including an engagement policy that has brought more clarity and international focus to the issue.  The combination of an engagement policy, rooted in multilateralism, with the potential for increased pressure on Iran has been the consistent approach of the Administration since it took office.  This record stands in stark contrast to the undisciplined Iran policy of the previous Bush administration.
More »
Iran

Multifaceted U.S. approach to Iran remains viable

News Orangeburg (South Carolina) Times and Democrat 17 April 2010
Iran

Thinking creatively about Iran policy

News Huffington Post 14 April 2010