With world demand for oil mounting and oil prices so high it’s very difficult to isolate Iran financially these days. Sanctions against Iran will have more impact in Moscow, Beijing, and European capitals than in Tehran.
The Bush administration, following its own pronouncements as well as House and Senate legislation, is expected to decide soon whether to classify Iran's most formidable military force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, as a terrorist organization. This would be a serious mistake. By labeling all 125,000 Revolutionary Guards untouchable "terrorists," Washington would forgo the possibility of exploiting the organization's internal divisions and further decrease the likelihood of diplomatic progress with Tehran.
In this September 28 discussion, Carnegie's Amr Hamzawy and Nathan Brown, professor at George Washington University, argue for shifting the debate about democracy promotion beyond U.S. policy in the region's failed states, while Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Suzanne Maloney warns about the liabilities of direct democracy promotion in Iran.
Carnegie's Iran expert, Karim Sadjadpour, a friend of Haleh Esfandiari, talks about the case with NPR's Melissa Block.
As political instability continues to plague the Iraqi government, a more inclusive process that includes both groups outside the government inside Iraq and Syria and Iran is needed.
Interview with Amal Saad-Ghorayeb on the status of Hezbollah.
George Perkovich says that among the current problems with North Korea, India, and Iran, Iran is the most important to resolve because the Iranians are trying to defy international opinion and produce a nuclear weapons capability after having been exposed in the act of trying.
The U.S. plan to sell over $20 billion worth of weaponry to Arab allies, to counter Iran's ascendance, attempts to contain Iran and force it to spend money on an arms race instead of developing its economy, intimidating it into bankruptcy. One major flaw in this plan is its failure recognize that Iran's growing influence is not due to hard power but to its use of soft power and militias.