The five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany have brokered a deal with with Iran for some nuclear concessions in exchange for a modicum of sanctions relief. The concessions on sanctions are in and of themselves not dramatic, but the reversal in momentum for sanctions and the loss of the psychology of impenetrable sanctions is of immeasurable value to Tehran. Here's a look at the latest from AEI's foreign and defense policy experts.
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The American strategy of first resort is dialogue, on the theory that “it never hurts to talk to enemies.” Seldom is conventional wisdom so wrong. Engagement with rogue regimes is not cost free, as Michael Rubin demonstrates by tracing the history of American diplomacy with North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Libya, the Taliban’s Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
President Obama has three significant Middle East diplomatic initiatives underway, treating, respectively, Iran's nuclear weapons program; Syria's deadly, exhausting conflict; and the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian dispute. Into these negotiations, Obama and his administration have poured enormous amounts of American prestige, time and effort.
It was during a 2007 Democratic primary debate that Sen. Barack Obama first declared “ridiculous” the idea that “not talking to countries is punishment to them.” Eighteen months later, with the world watching his historic inauguration, he reiterated his openness to dialogue with America’s enemies: “We will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”
Ever since Republicans won in a landslide in the 2010 midterm elections, the conventional view among pundits has been that the newly ascendant Tea Party is to blame for turning the country inward. While there is obviously some truth this portrayal. But it falls short of explaining the reality of the situation.
There are significant differences between Nixon and Kissinger’s opening to China and what Robert Kaplan, author and geopolitical analyst for the Stratfor consulting firm, says Obama and Kerry are doing today on Iran.
Abbas Salahi, member of the Parliament’s Social Committee, pens a plea in the conservative daily Tehran-e Emrooz (Tehran Today) to reduce Iran’s burgeoning prison population (according to the International Center for Prison Studies [ICPS], Iran imprisons 284 persons per 100,000 population).
Sectarian tension re-erupted in Bahrain in February 2011, after a near decade lull. While many journalists depicted the “Pearl Uprising” as yet another chapter in the Arab Spring, the roots of discontent in Bahrain went deeper.