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Chances for Iran-US collaboration in Iraq

Kayhan BarzegarKayhan Barzegar explains why it is so unlikely for the U.S. and Iran to work together to confront the current crisis in Iraq. Such narrow cooperation, Barzegar writes, would threaten the delicate political balance that Iran seeks to maintain in the region. In order for a coordinated effort to work, he argues, the U.S. would need to focus on the broader problem of Sunni extremism and bring its own regional partners into the process.

Video: William Tobey testimony on Iran nuclear negotiations

William TobeyWilliam Tobey testified before the House Armed Services Committee last week at a hearing on the P5+1-Iran nuclear negotiations. Tobey argued that any deal should demand that Iran provide "evidence of a fundamental decision not to pursue nuclear weapons":

"Accepting a situation in which Iran insists on keeping a loaded weapon on the table, but simply moves its finger farther from the trigger would not appear to offer sound prospects for long-term success."

Watch the full hearing after the jump.

How rational is Iran?

Avner GolovYoel GuzanskyAvner Golov and Yoel Guzansky explore the limits of rationality in Iran's nuclear decision making. They argue Iran's leaders, while likely individually rational, face structural and cultural circumstances that would lead them to act irrationally as part of a nuclear deterrence regime.

Will Iran strike a nuclear deal by July?

SamoreGary Samore writes in Politico Magazine that a comprehensive nuclear agreement is unlikely so long as the two sides remain far apart on the core issues of the negotiations: centrifuges and sanctions relief. However, the interim agreement has succeeded in “essentially freezing Iran’s nuclear program without giving up very much in sanctions leverage.” Ultimately, Samore argues, the terms of interim agreement will likely be extended past the six-month deadline on July 20 without a final deal because:

“neither [side] wants to return to previous cycle[s] of escalation of increased sanctions and increased nuclear activities with an increased risk of war. And both sides will be able to make a good case that sufficient progress is being made in the negotiations even if a final agreement has not been reached.”

Atomic amnesia: The forgotten military aspects of Iran’s nuclear program

Ali Akbar Salehi and Yukiya Amano in Tehran

Emily Landau, Ephraim Asculai, and Shimon Stein, writing in The National Interest, argue for the necessity of clarifying Iran's past military nuclear activities as part of any final deal. Concerns over those past activities, they write, are the reason for negotiations in the first place. Iran must elucidate its past actions in order for the P5+1, and for Iran itself, to be satisfied with a nuclear deal.

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