On Tuesday, January 27th, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Senate Committee on Banking held hearings on the prospects for the continued negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program and efficacy of additional sanctions, respectively. Read more about Congressional Commentary and Testimony
Henry Rome analyzes the newly drafted Kirk-Menendez legislation and finds the key differences between the current bill and its prior incarnation in the 113th Congress. He notes that the new bill contains significant differences specifically in regards to the suspension of sanctions, staggered implementation of new sanctions in the event of a failure of negotiations, and in the sense of Congress section. Read more about Assessing the new Kirk-Menendez sanctions legislation (Updated)
A nuclear deal will not lead to rapprochement between Iran and the U.S., according to senior Iranian security official, Iranian newspapers see renewed U.S.-Cuba relation as evidence that sanctions fail, and more in this week’s Belfer Iran Brief, covering December 16-22. Note: Belfer Iran Brief will return in January 2015.
Greg Rosenbaum, chair of the National Jewish Democratic Council, argues in the Times of Israel that the nuclear negotiations with Iran have been very successful in multiple areas, and should be allowed to continue. He points to the specific concessions that have been made by Iran, including the reduction of Iran's 20% enriched uranium stockpiles to 0 kilograms, and the freezing of construction at the Arak reactor, as reasons to believe in the prospects of the negotiations, and urges policymakers to refrain from giving Iran excuses to walk away from the negotiations before a deal is concluded.Read more about Give Iran talks the Chance to Succeed
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said he is “not opposed” to extension of negotiations, Republican lawmakers ratcheted up pressure for increased sanctions and more in this week’s Belfer Iran Brief, covering November 25-December 2, 2014.
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