The Great Debate

For U.S.-Iran, it’s all in the timing

By Trita Parsi
September 24, 2013

Four years after President Barack Obama famously extended his hand of friendship to Iran, Tehran finally seems willing to unclench its fist. The most decisive geopolitical handshake of this decade may take place today at the United Nations.

On U.S.-Iran deal, devil is in the details

By Michael Adler
September 23, 2013

The feel-good mood engendered by promising overtures from Iran’s new president Hassan Rouhani and President Barack Obama has raised hopes for a settlement in the Iranian nuclear crisis. But the devil — especially in this case — is in the details.

from David Rohde:

Iran’s offer is genuine — and fleeting

By David Rohde
September 19, 2013

President Barack Obama’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Tuesday is not expected to generate much excitement. Battered by his uneven handling of Syria, no bold foreign policy initiatives are likely.

A potential turning point for Syria

By Mona Yacoubian
September 11, 2013

In the dizzying debate over U.S. military intervention in Syria, one key point of consensus stands out: Both the Obama administration and Congress recognize that the resolution to Syria’s conflict must come through a negotiated settlement. Key international actors share the same conclusion.

In Syria, try banks before bombs

By Sonni Efron
August 29, 2013

As President Barack Obama weighs the U.S. response to chemical weapons attacks against Syrian civilians, one soft power option should still be at top of his to-do list: cutting off access to the U.S. financial system to those doing business with Syria’s Bashar al-Assad.

Time for action on Syria

By Anja Manuel
August 23, 2013

The Syrian civil war now threatens to split the Middle East along a Sunni-Shia chasm. The horrifying news reports Wednesday about the Assad government’s possible chemical attack on civilians, if proven true, mean that the Obama administration’s “red line” has been crossed yet again.

More anxious to agree than to disagree?

By W.H. Luers, J.T. Mathews and T.R. Pickering
August 1, 2013

Iran’s recent elections produced a striking result. In a six-man race, one candidate won an easy victory without the expected runoff. More to the point, Hassan Rohani campaigned for policies of negotiation and engagement with the West, to lessen Iran’s international isolation.

The oil boom’s foreign policy dividend

By John Hannah and Nouriel Roubini
July 19, 2013

The domestic benefits of the U.S. oil production boom are well documented — everything from the creation of high-paying jobs to sending less money to foreign oil producers.

D.C. scandals: They had Nixon ‘to kick around’

By Conrad Black
July 3, 2013

President Richard Nixon at a White House press conference during the Watergate scandal. REUTERS/Courtesy Nixon Library

Why D.C. is wrong to discredit Iran’s new president

By Trita Parsi
June 28, 2013

America finds itself exactly where Iran was four years ago. Back then, America had just elected a new, articulate president who offered hope and promised a new approach to the world and Iran. His election was a direct rejection of the foreign policy of his predecessor, President George W. Bush, whose favorite tools of statecraft appeared to be military force and confrontational rhetoric.