In just over one month, representative from over 180 countries will meet in New York to review the status and condition of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. This meeting, which takes place every five years as required by the agreement, occurs in an environment more negative than at anytime in its history and the potential for the month-long meeting to produce a positive result is in serious doubt. South Korea is in a unique position to improve the prospects for a successful meeting and Seoul should take active and even aggressive steps to play a large, constructive role at the meeting.
Panel discussion on the challenges posed by Iran's nuclear program featuring Carnegie's George Perkovich.
In order to be successful, threat reduction programs must take into account the opinions of decisionmakers in recipient countries, as well as the lessons learned from threat reduction programs already in place.
The possibility of U.S. trade and investment offers a most effective way to enhance Iranian decision-making. Instead of imposing sanctions, which have punished Iranians for 24 years, a better strategy would be to demonstrate the benefits of economic cooperation with the U.S. The simplest first step would be for the U.S. to drop its objection to Iran’s joining the World Trade Organization. Indeed, the greatest resistance to economic reforms sought by Iranian progressives comes from the bazaar, the old-economy conservatives who also back the political-security hardliners. Prospective WTO membership would give progressives a lever to push reforms necessary to satisfy WTO terms and integrate Iran more deeply into the international political economy.
Amidst bold declarations among the regimes in North Korea and Iran, last week was a bad one for nuclear nonproliferation.
To mobilize all of the international actors opposing Iranian nuclear development, the U.S. must recognize that Iranian proliferation, Persian Gulf security, the U.S. role in the Middle East, Israel’s nuclear status, and Palestinian-Israeli relations are all linked and cannot be resolved without a more balanced U.S. stance.
US representatives have given the Iranian government little reason to give up its weapons program. At the same time, administration rhetoric seems to be boxing the US into a position where Washington may feel that it has no choice but to bomb Iran’s nuclear sites itself, or allow Israel to do so. This could easily lead to a spiral or retaliation leading eventually to full-scale conflict.