With popular protest movements engulfing the Middle East, Iran’s opposition movement hopes to rekindle the momentum that brought millions of Iranians to the streets in the summer of 2009.
The aim of U.S. diplomacy should be to reconcile Iran's nuclear ambitions with international concerns about proliferation and to address the broader issues raised by Iran's regional behavior.
Syria’s persistent refusal to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over allegations of covert nuclear activities remains a source of tension, but political considerations make it unlikely that the IAEA will take any actions that might escalate the conflict.
Since Iran’s power in the Middle East is due chiefly to its political influence, rather than its military prowess, U.S. policy should aim to dilute Tehran’s influence abroad and strengthen moderate forces within Iran.
Since the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council are nuclear weapon states, they struggle in their attempts to convince other nations, like Iran and North Korea, not to develop a nuclear weapon program.
Although a new round of talks regarding Iran’s nuclear program is taking place in Turkey, the nation's leaders will play a minimal role in the negotiations as the P5+1 works to curtail an Iranian bomb.
The mutual distrust between the P5+1 and Iran can only be overcome incrementally through a succession of positive actions by both sides. However, if Iran continues to defy existing UN Security Council resolutions, further sanctions are inevitable.
As the P5+1 conduct their first meetings in a year with Iran on its nuclear program, their objective is to begin a process that will lead Tehran to agree to meaningful and binding nuclear compromises and greater transparency.
The latest round of negotiations between Iran and its critics faces the same significant obstacles and political constraints as previous diplomatic efforts.
By focusing the new round of negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 on swapping nuclear materials in order to reduce Iran’s fissile stockpile, negotiators are engaging in stalling tactics rather than creating the foundation for a long-term solution.