Gary Samore, the Belfer Center’s executive director for research and former White House coordinator for arms control and WMD, recently addressed the IISS Manama Dialogue in Bahrain:
The agreement is not a Historic Breakthrough that ushers in a new era of American-Iranian condominium and geopolitical realignment the region. Nor is it a Historic Blunder that signals US acceptance of Iran as a nuclear power. Instead, the interim deal is simply a six month truce.
As the P5+1 and Iran emerge from discussions this week on implementing the interim deal good for six months, much of the analytical community has begun to look at possible terms of a final, comprehensive agreement. Here is our latest selection of best analyses on this question and on what’s next for the nuclear negotiations.
Achieving a long-term deal in the next five months requires not just negotiating with the P5+1, but also winning the battle against [President Rouhani's] critics at home. His real challenge, therefore, goes beyond reaching a deal with the West or selling it to Iran’s middle class. It is to convince the poor and working class that there is something for them at stake in a rapprochement with the West.
Although the first semester of the 2013/14 academic year is coming to a close on campus and residential students are finishing up coursework and preparing for the break, the timelines are more asynchronous for students registered for 10 currently running online offerings. This batch of 10 consists of courses and modules launched by HarvardX at different times during the Fall of 2013.
Continuing his trip through the region, Gary Samore writes in from Saudi Arabia:
On the Iran nuclear issue, I was struck that the Saudis are less concerned with the details of the nuclear negotiations and more with how the nuclear issue fits into the broader geopolitical threat they perceive from Iran. Unlike Israelis, who see the Iranian nuclear program as an existential threat, the Saudis see the Islamic Republic itself as an existential threat.
The interim agreement on Iran’s nuclear program holds important implications not only for international security and global affairs but for domestic Iranian politics as well. The deal has preserved and broadened the support base of President Hassan Rouhani’s administration—one that was already the most plural and cross-factional in the history of the revolution. It has also furthered the rebalancing of the Iranian elite toward moderate political forces and kept open the door for the possibility of meaningful economic and political reforms in the future. How this transformative process unfolds though will largely depend on both the developments that occur regarding a final nuclear deal as well as the political fissures and interplay among the elite and the populace. The domestic implications of a final comprehensive settlement, however, would be tremendous.
I am leaving Israel more concerned than when I arrived. The level of distrust and anxiety among Israeli officials over the Iran deal is worse than I expected. . . . Whatever progress is made (in upcoming U.S.-Israeli deliberations), the suspicion and mistrust will linger. And, as one Israeli said to me, 'Bibi thinks he can play the Congressional card.' That's a dangerous card to play.