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.

Obama’s key nuclear deal with Russia

By Michael O'Hanlon and Steven Pifer
July 8, 2013

President Barack Obama recently unveiled in Berlin a new proposal to have the United States and Russia reduce their long-range deployed nuclear weapons by roughly one-third, relative to levels under the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START).

Helping Iran safeguard its nuclear stockpile

By Yousaf Butt and Peter Jenkins
April 4, 2013

Diplomats from six world powers  are due back in Kazakhstan on Friday for talks with Iran about its controversial nuclear program. From the hawkish “bomb-bomb-bomb-Iran” crowd to the “jaw-jaw-not-war-war” folks, there is no shortage of ideas about how to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue.

Can diplomacy prevail with Iran?

By Michael Adler
March 1, 2013

New talks with Iran ended Wednesday with a surprising forward spin. More meetings are planned in the now decade-long American-led effort to ensure the Islamic Republic does not get nuclear weapons.

How close is Iran to nuclear weapons?

By Yousaf Butt
February 22, 2013

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed last week that new second-generation centrifuges, which Iran plans to start up at its Natanz uranium enrichment facility, could cut by a third the time needed to create a nuclear bomb – underlining his deadline of this summer to take military action against Iran.

The U.S. needs a completely different approach to Iran

By Flynt and Hillary Leverett
January 31, 2013

As Washington and its great power partners prepare for more nuclear negotiations with Iran, the Obama administration and policy elites across the political spectrum talk as if America is basically in control of the situation. Sanctions, we are told, are inflicting ever-rising hardship on Iran’s economy. Either Tehran will surrender to U.S. demands that it stop enriching uranium or, at some point, the American military will destroy Iranian nuclear installations.

Will this be the year that Israel goes to war with Iran?

By Daniel Serwer
January 3, 2013

Israel did not bomb Iran last year. Why should it happen this year?

Because it did not happen last year. The Iranians are proceeding apace with their nuclear program. The Americans are determined to stop them. Sanctions are biting, but the diplomatic process produced nothing visible in 2012. Knowledgeable observers believe there is no “zone of possible agreement.” Both the United States and Iran may believe that they have viable alternatives to a negotiated agreement.

Mideast’s WMD ‘red line’ gauntlet

By Bennett Ramberg
December 3, 2012

“Red lines” are all the rage this year. Even as the swirl of Middle East headlines focus on Gaza and Egyptian politics, the region remains under two “red lines.” If Iran and Syria, respectively, cross the nuclear and chemical weapons thresholds, it would generate a strong, if undefined, Israeli and American response.