Sven-Eric Fikenscher, Research Fellow with the International Security and Managing the Atom Programs at the Belfer Center, and Robert Reardon, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the School of Public and International Affairs, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, write in The Washington Quarterly that aiming for a final comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran may be unfeasible, but this does not mean that the P5+1 should cease the negotiations. They propose that the US seek incremental progress on issues of concern, in order to build trust with Iran and lead to greater breakthroughs on sticking points such as number of centrifuges and possible military dimensions. Read more about The Fool’s Errand for a Perfect Deal with Iran
Sven-Eric Fikenscher, Research Fellow with the International Security and Managing the Atom Programs at the Belfer Center, argues in the LA Times that while Iran may be unlikely to make the necessary concessions to reach a comprehensive nuclear agreement, this does not mean that the United States and other P5+1 nations should abandon the negotiations. Rather, he suggests that the US seek to expand certain aspects of the Joint Plan of Action (JPA), such as providing slightly more access to frozen Iranian assets, in exchange for measures such as reducing the Iranian stockpile of low-enriched uranium or restrictions on research and development. Read more about Expanding joint plan with Iran on uranium is best course for U.S.
Henry Rome assesses the reaction of Iranian news outlets to the further extension of nuclear negotiations with the P5+1. There is a clear divide between more moderate and reformist newspapers, which emphasize the continued prospects of diplomacy, while conservative and more hardline outlets are skeptical of the continued efficacy of the talks. Read more about Iran Edition: “Nothing!” vs. “Extension of Hope”
Laura Rockwood, Senior Research Fellow in the Project on Managing the Atom at the Belfer Center, discusses the likely outcome of the current phase of Iranian nuclear negotiations, which conclude on November 24th, in an interview with Deutsche Welle. She doubts that a full comprehensive agreement will be reached on the 24th, and argues that some extension of the Joint Plan of Action (JPA) will continue with an extension of the negotiations.
William Tobey writes in Foreign Policy that the Obama administration should be cautious about going forward with its plan to roll back Iran sanctions by executive order in the event of a comprehensive nuclear deal. That plan, Tobey argues, would leave the deal vulnerable to the whims of the next president and to a larger backlash from the American public. He writes:
[President Obama] must not "bypass" Congress. Even if he chooses not to seek a Congressional vote on an Iran deal, he will need to make a convincing case to skeptics of both parties that he has addressed their concerns and seeks their support. He should do this even as negotiations proceed. If he finds that he is unable to answer their arguments successfully, he should perhaps reconsider his positions.
Henry Rome examines how the Iranian media is handling the challenge of naming the Islamic State. As Western news organizations continue to use a wide variety of English names and acronyms for the Sunni militants, Iranians have mostly found agreement behind the Farsi acronym "Da'esh." Read more about Iran Edition — Debating “Da’esh”
Gary Samore, speaking in Oslo on September 20th at the International Institute for Strategic Studies's Global Strategic Review, reiterated his skepticism that a final nuclear accord will be reached with Iran in the near future. Despite steps forward in the structure of negotiations, he argued, underlying factors make a comprehensive deal unlikely. Watch the video and read the full text of his speech after the jump. Read more about Watch: Gary Samore on the future of the Iran nuclear negotiations
Olli Heinonen argues for putting Iran's ballistic missiles on the table in nuclear negotiations. Leaving concerns about Iran's nuclear delivery systems unaddressed, he argues, would weaken any safeguard and verification regime in a possible comprehensive nuclear deal. Read more about Why Iran’s ballistic missiles matter