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  • Author: Anthony H Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Much of the examination of the Iran nuclear agreement has focused on the funds that would be released once Iran complied with the terms of the agreement. Some estimates of the near term cash benefit that Iran will receive have gone as high as $150 billion – although U.S.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Diplomacy, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Gary Samore
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This report has been produced in the interest of contributing to informed Congressional review and public discourse on a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran—the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). It provides a concise description of the agreement and the accompanying UN Security Council Resolution 2231. It also includes a balanced assessment of the agreement's strengths and weaknesses with respect to its central objective to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. The team of experts who prepared the report includes Democrats, Republications, independents, and internationals. Noting areas of disagreement among themselves, they agreed that this report provides an accurate description and balanced assessment of the agreement.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Cornelius Adebahr
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: After years of tension, sanctions, and deadlocked negotiations, Hassan Rouhani, Iran's relatively moderate new president, has provided an opening for improved relations between the Islamic Republic and the West. While Rouhani has not ushered in a new Iran, Tehran has adopted a more conciliatory tone on its nuclear program since he took office. This shift is more than just talk, but the West will have to carefully calibrate its response to determine whether Rouhani's changed rhetoric signals the beginning of a new direction for Iran.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Islam, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Michael Singh
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: If Washington is to secure an Iranian nuclear deal that is sustainable and advances American interests, it must make several adjustments to its diplomatic strategy. The Iran nuclear talks are set to resume in Vienna today, with the aim of reaching a long-term agreement to succeed the first-step "Joint Plan of Action" (JPOA). Negotiating an agreement that advances U.S. interests will require the Obama administration to deemphasize political battles in Washington and focus on the larger issues at stake, such as Iran's regional activities and the ultimate fate of the nuclear program. It should also endeavor to transform its fractious array of domestic and international allies from a weakness into a strength. Despite their tactical differences, these allies share an interest in preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, as well as avoiding a military conflict and promoting regional stability and global nonproliferation.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, International Security, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: America, Iran, Washington
  • Author: Simon Henderson, Olli Heinonen
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Although Iran's nuclear potential will likely dominate talks between President Obama and King Abdullah on March 29, Riyadh's own nuclear plans should also be part of the discussion. A major probable consequence of Iran achieving a nuclear weapons capability is that Saudi Arabia will seek to match it. With President Obama currently rating the chances of diplomatic success as 50-50 and Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei giving a "zero" probability, this weekend's U.S.-Saudi summit will be an opportunity to check whether Saudi planning can help the diplomacy rather than hinder it.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The current impasse in Israeli-Palestinian talks is buffeted by a series of profound global and regional challenges, including Ukraine, Iran, and Syria, among others. In the immediate arena, while Israel and the Palestinian Authority may have dysfunctional political and diplomatic relations, they also have reasonably effective security cooperation and economic coordination. Therefore, a principal challenge for U.S. policy and for local leaders is to find ways to preserve, even enhance, the latter even as disagreement over the former worsens.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Ukraine, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Syria, North America
  • Author: Steven Ditto
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The Islamic Republic has added to its nuclear negotiating team a law professor who has extensive experience making Iran's case in international disputes. On April 9, Iran and the P5+1 (Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States, plus Germany) concluded the latest two-day round of talks on a nuclear deal, setting the next round for May 13. Earlier in the week, on April 7, Iranian media reported the appointment of Dr. Jamshid Momtaz as head of a "legal advisory group" to the Iranian negotiating team. A French-educated expert on sanctions, disarmament, and UN procedure, Momtaz has represented the Iranian government in some of its highest-profile international legal proceedings, including in claims against the U.S. government at the Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ). Momtaz's familiarity with the United Nations, his extensive practice in Europe, and his proven history of leveraging complex legal arguments to advance Iran's international interests indicate that in these latest rounds of P5+1 talks Tehran is likely looking for unconventional ways to "address" and "bring a satisfactory conclusion to" the UN Security Council resolutions against it, as called for in the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) agreed to in Geneva last November.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, Human Rights, International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons, Sanctions, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Iran, France
  • Author: Frederick W. Kagan
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Iran's national security decision-making process is not remotely as opaque as it sometimes appears. The recent crisis in Iraq and the nuclear negotiations in Geneva have opened a fascinating window into the efforts of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to bring rival groups within his government together behind a single set of policies. He appears to have been remarkably successful in mediating tensions between President Hassan Rouhani and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps senior leaders. They have come together, at least for the moment, behind a coherent set of strategies for dealing with a number of thorny problems in Iraq, the nuclear negotiations, and even economic reforms. It remains to be seen if these accommodations will survive the current crisis, of course, but the success of Khamenei's efforts so far is impressive.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Politics, Governance, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: It now seems unlikely that the P5+1 countries of the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany can reach a comprehensive agreement with Iran by the end of November. A final agreement remains a possibility, but it seems far more likely that if an agreement is not reached, the negotiations will be extended rather than abandoned all together. The question then arises as to how to judge the outcome of this set of negotiations, be it an actual agreement, an extension, or the collapse of the negotiations.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, International Security, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, United Kingdom, Iran, France, Germany
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Abdullah Toukan
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Recently there has been a lot of attention given to the “Possible Military Dimension” of the Iran Nuclear Program, in particular concerns over Iran's ballistic missile program and its nuclear delivery capability. Iran's potential acquisition of nuclear weapons, and future ability to arm its missiles and aircraft with such weapons, represents the most serious risk shaping US, Arab, Israeli, and EU relationship with Iran. It is also an area where the exact details of threat perceptions are particularly critical, although many key aspects of Israeli, US, and G ulf perceptions – as well as the perceptions of other states – are impossible to determine at an unclassified level.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, International Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Iran
  • Author: Mariano Aguirre
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: The debate about the Iranian nuclear programme has heated up over recent months, with the danger that the situation could get out of control and violence may erupt. Currently, the main threatis an escalation of violence between Iran and the U.S. Strategically, an attack will further decrease U.S. legitimacy in a region already in turmoil and will isolate Israel even further. The consequencesof these processes are both serious and unpredictable.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Austin Long
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: The possibility of Israeli military action against the Iranian nuclear program has existed since at least 2002. However, beginning in the fall of 2011, Israeli rhetoric and international concerns about military action against Iran have reached unprecedented levels. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak began to proclaim that Iran was nearing a “zone of immunity” to Israeli attack and therefore Israel would have to act soon. In contrast, former heads of Israel's foreign and domestic intelligence services question the utility of such an attack.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Diplomacy, Islam, Nuclear Weapons, Sanctions, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Olli Heinonen
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: International diplomacy efforts dealing with Iran's nuclear program continue to fill the daily news headlines. The efforts of P5+1, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) have tried, in various formats, to encourage and enforce Iran to comply with the provisions of the Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) and its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement (CSA) to ensure that Iran's nuclear program is not used as a cover for the development of nuclear weapons. The challenge of discovering what has taken place as well as currently with Iran's nuclear ambitions is difficult not only because of Tehran's obstructionism, but also because the same nuclear technologies, particularly uranium enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing, can be used for both civilian and military purposes.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Sanctions, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran
  • Author: Miriam Shabafrouz, Matthias Basedau, Annegret Mähler
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Causal mechanisms and related contextual variables are crucial to the study of the resource–conflict link, but little systematic research has been done on their exact functioning. This paper contributes to the filling of this gap by comparing four major oil exporters (Algeria, Iran, Nigeria, and Venezuela) with differing levels of internal violence. To capture the causal complexity of the resource–conflict link we created a questionnaire with some 150 variables that distinguish between resource-specific (RS) and non-resource specific (NRS) conditions. The causal mechanisms are measured by assigning pertinent RS and NRS indicators to them. Our results suggest that the role of resources may be less prominent than is widely assumed. Only three resource-related causal mechanisms provide limited explanatory value (motive at subnational level, indirect economic, and institutional mechanism) by distinguishing Venezuela—the most peaceful case—from all the others. Only a mixed mechanism that combines 13 RS and NRS (economic and geographic characteristics, identity, intergroup relations, as well as political and institutional variables, including elite behavior) conditions can explain the differences between the countries with regard to the dependent variable comprehensively.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Diplomacy, Oil
  • Political Geography: Iran, Algeria, Nigeria
  • Author: Barbara Zanchetta
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The election of Barack Obama unleashed unprecedented hopes around the world for a renewed leadership of the United States. Due to the controversial foreign policy record of the previous presidency and because of Obama's widespread appeal, deriving from both his personal life story and from his exceptional oratory skills, the inauguration of the first African-American president seemed, indeed, to represent a new beginning. The President himself, after campaigning on a platform of change ("yes we can"), repeatedly underscored the notion of a renewed America in his Inaugural Address. Referring not only to the repercussions of the economic crisis but also to the US global role, Obama called for a "new era of responsibility." The United States, stated the President, "are ready to lead once again," but in a rapidly evolving world order in which responsibilities have to, necessarily, be shared.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, International Affairs, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Iran
  • Author: Yossi Alpher
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: Israel's approach to Turkey and Iran must be understood against the backdrop of its “periphery doctrine” of forming alliances with non-Arab and non-Muslim regional actors and its search for a Middle Eastern identity. The “periphery strategy” it pursued in the 1950s led to alliances with, among others, Turkey and Iran, who were viewed as natural allies against the hostile and powerful Arab “centre” spearheaded by Nasserism. In Israel's eyes, “periphery” peoples also seemed to have broadly accepted the legitimacy of having a Jewish state in the heart of the Middle East.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Sinan Ülgen
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Turkey's vote against additional UN Security Council sanctions on Iran this year was viewed by many observers as a sign that Turkey is drifting away from the West. In reality, Ankara's relationship with the United States and the EU is much more complicated. Turkey's ambitious foreign policy and growing influence present the West with an opportunity to demand that Turkey play a more constructive role in the international community.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Iran, Central Asia, Turkey
  • Author: Benjamin Miller, Moran Mandalbaum
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Peace and Security Studies
  • Abstract: Following the post - 2003 US intervention in Iraq, and with a potential US use of force against Iran, one key analytical question stands out, which has major policy implications: Does military defeat by the great powers have stabilizing or de - stabilizing effects on the aggressive behavior of revisionist states? Somewhat similarly to the pre - 2003 Iraq invasion debate, the great powers have a number of options for dealing with the potential Iranian nuclear threat: diplomatic engagement, deterrence, or resort to military power -- either to bring about a regime change, or to destroy Iran's nuclear capabilities. Taking into account the possibility of resorting to force against Iran, an intriguing question emerges: what does IR theory lead us to expect -- and what does the historical record show -- with regard to the effects of military defeats on the war - propensity of revisionist states? In other words, why do some militarily defeated states become war - like, while others peaceful?
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Germany
  • Author: Marina Ottaway
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Any effective diplomatic approach to Iran must involve a regional strategy. While Iran's nuclear program is presently the most urgent dimension for the United States and the international community to confront, unless the country can be reintegrated into a normal web of international relations, any progress made on that front is likely to be short-lived. Iran's neighbors — particularly the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which share a concern for Gulf security — can be important players in that process of reintegration. These six states, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman, are afraid of Iranian hegemony in the Gulf, but are too small or too timid to challenge their northern neighbor, so they seek to develop normal relations with Tehran while protecting their interests.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Kuwait, Tehran, Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman
  • Author: Ramin Jahanbegloo
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: For much of the last 30 years, official relations between the United States and Iran have been strained. The most visible indication of this was US President George W. Bush's labeling of Iran as a member of the "axis of evil" in 2002. Breaking with the past, the new US administration is taking a more conciliatory tone. President Barack Obama has demonstrated that Washington is willing to open the lines of communication with Iran. This paper seeks to locate the Obama administration's efforts within the history of US-Iranian relations while also highlighting the contemporary issues that would inform a constructive dialogue, such as the upcoming Iranian presidential elections. Improved dialogue between the two countries could help to improve the situations in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, demonstrating how overlapping areas of interest may provide a new path for US-Iran relations.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Affairs, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Washington