Samuel Cutler, policy adviser at Ferrari & Associates, P.C., highlights budgetary struggles of the offices of the Treasury Department responsible for administering sanctions against Iran. These offices, he argues, should receive attention from policymakers to ensure the continued strength of the American sanctions regime. Read more about The importance of funding sanctions enforcement
Sam Ratner examines claims by opponents of the Joint Plan of Action that Iran's rising oil exports represent the crumbling of the U.S. sanctions architecture against Iran. The claims, he argues, are misleading, but the Obama administration's claim that exports will remain flat is still a political misstep. Read more about Are increasing Iranian oil exports undermining sanctions?
The IAEA withheld a report on Iran’s weaponization activities last year, Senate Republicans failed again to get a vote on new sanctions, Iran talked with Iraq and North Korea, and more in this edition of weekly news from the Iran portfolio for February 22-28, 2014.
William Tobey wrote a post for the Shadow Government blog at Foreign Policy detailing his concern that the Obama administration's slow progress in dealing with Bashar al-Assad and his chemical weapons stockpile sets the stage for failure in nuclear negotiations with Iran. For Tehran, Tobey said, the lesson of America's efforts in Syria is obvious:
Reach an interim agreement that deflates international pressure for action, drag your feet on implementation, and keep your illicit weapons program as the world dithers.
As the P5+1 and Iran approved an agenda for future talks, Iran’s supreme leader and others tempered expectations back home, and more, in this edition of weekly news from the Iran portfolio for February 15-21, 2014.
Gary Samore sat down with Jeffrey Goldberg of Bloomberg View to discuss prospects for a final nuclear agreement with Iran. Samore was not optimistic, saying:
I don’t think the Iranians feel compelled to make these kinds of concessions [that the U.S. is demanding]... This won’t work in terms of finding a comprehensive solution. These negotiations can lead to an interim solution, so that’s what is happening now... But this is a truce. It’s a classic truce.
Seven members of the Belfer Center's Iran Working Group--Graham Allison, Nader Habibi, Payam Mohseni, Gary Samore, Will Tobey, Jim Walsh, and Stephen Walt--offer their thoughts and predictions on the current round of P5+1 nuclear talks being held in Vienna.
Annie Tracy Samuel argues that many Western analysts and news outlets are misstating the position of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps on nuclear negotiations. The Guards, she writes, are "cautiously open" to an agreement, despite speculation that they are among the main agitators against the negotiations.
Nasser Hadian, professor of international relations at the University of Tehran, came to the Belfer Center and spoke with Payam Mohseni, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Center, about Iranian domestic politics and the P5+1 negotiations.