While the world waits to learn the outcome of talks on Iran’s nuclear program taking place today and tomorrow in Geneva between Iranian negotiators and their counterparts from Europe, Russia, China, and the United States, check out the latest from Brookings scholars on this issue.
- Last week, a panel of Brookings scholars previewed the prospects for diplomacy in a discussion on November 1 organized by Brookings’ Arms Control and Non-proliferation Initiative in collaboration with the Saban Center for Middle East Policy. Speakers included ACNI Senior Fellow and former senior Obama administration official Robert Einhorn, Saban Senior Fellow Kenneth Pollack, and myself. You can watch the entire discussion here, or view highlighted comments from Robert Einhorn, Kenneth Pollack, and myself. The Brookings Now blog offered a run-down of some of the conversation on Twitter about the event.
- Brookings Distinguished Senior Fellow Javier Solana, whose experience as the European Union’s foreign policy chief included leadership of the Iran nuclear negotiations in an earlier stage, offers an important take on the role of other strategic actors in U.S. policy toward Tehran, including Israel, Saudi Arabia and Europe.
- Anyone hoping for a sneak peek at the Obama Administration’s playbook for the current talks should take a look at Robert Einhorn‘s detailed analysis of what might constitute a “good deal” on the nuclear issue, in a recent speech to the Institute for National Security Studies.
- For a serious, wide-ranging examination of U.S. policy options on Iran’s nuclear program, there is no better analysis than Kenneth Pollack‘s recently-released book, Unthinkable: Iran, The Bomb, And American Strategy.
- For some perspective on the forces that have Iran’s approach to the nuclear issue, and the history of the election that brought moderate president Hassan Rouhani into office earlier this year, I’d encourage you to view the multimedia Brookings Essay from September, Iran Surprises Itself and the World. Be sure to view interviews with experts including Robert Einhorn on his experience as a U.S. negotiator and human rights advocate Mehrangiz Kar.
- And for all things Iran, please keep returning to Iran@Saban!
The question with this administration is, what will Trump see as an acceptable return for this waiver [granted to India for its trade with Russia and Iran]? Will he demand a transaction in return, some give on the trade side or a big defence deal for the US as well? Russia and Iran are sticking points, but the fact that the Trump administration is dealing with these privately is a sign of how much the relationship has changed. [Mr Trump] usually doesn’t give out freebies.
Power abhors a vacuum, and in the absence of strong U.S. leadership on Syria, Russia and Iran have been more than happy to move in. It's a measure of just how much they've come to dominate the conflict that they'll be the only major foreign powers at the summit. The White House has largely washed its hands of Syria. But with Iran entrenched in Damascus, and the Islamic State biding its time in the far countryside, it's likely only a matter of time before our hands are dirtied again. When that happens we'll likely look at these negotiations as a lost opportunity.