While new outcomes are not expected on Iran and Syria's nuclear programs at the IAEA's last 2010 Board of Governors meeting, a vote on a nuclear fuel bank is likely to pass despite opposition from some developing countries and members of the Non-Aligned Movement.
Even as the West struggles to understand the Islamic Republic and determine the best way to deal with Tehran, Iran remains central to many of the chief foreign policy challenges facing the United States.
Given the current status of nuclear security and nonproliferation in South Asia, nuclear powers like China, Russia, and the United States should look for a path of engagement for India and Pakistan to be brought into the global nonproliferation regime.
Conflict has escalated in the IAEA's decision-making bodies, in part due to Iran and Syria's support in the Non-Aligned Movement and because the same states have attacked Director General Yukiya Amano's hands-off approach to Israel.
In the aftermath of Iran’s 2009 contested presidential elections, the economy is under serious strain and there are rumors of tensions between President Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Khamenei.
Iran increasingly dominates international newspaper headlines and foreign policy agendas, but its people and regime remain poorly understood in the West.
The IAEA's expected inability to move forward on the nuclear programs of Iran, Syria, and Israel and the goal of a nuclear-free Middle East demonstrates the dysfunctional relationship between advanced, largely Western, nuclear countries and the developing and non-aligned states that constitute the majority of the IAEA's membership.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei is one of the most important leaders in world affairs and understanding his comprehensive control over politics, economics, and society in Iran is critical to any discussion of the future of the Islamic Republic.
International tension over Iran’s nuclear ambitions has turned the nuclear program into a major domestic political issue and has caused conflict between the regime and conservatives as well as the opposition.
In considering Israel’s response to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Prime Minister Netanyahu must set aside personal animus and consider the nature of Iranian politics and the character of the regime in Tehran.