Archive: December 2013

Why a deal with Iran may be easier than one with North Korea

KimsNKWalter Clemens, Jr., Harvard associate and Boston University professor, writes that:

A grand bargain with Iran should be far easier to reach than with North Korea. . . . North Koreans and Americans cannot forget their bloody encounters from 1950 to 1953. Iran and the United States, by contrast, have never fought. Their disputes have been less serious than those that drove the U.S.-Soviet Cold War. Americans have far more in common with Iranians than with North Koreans. But will this heritage ease the task of negotiating the next steps and living with a more extensive agreement if signed?

The macroeconomic costs of Iran’s nuclear program

By Nawaf Obaid

Nawaf Obaid

As the new government of Iranian President Rouhani celebrates the temporary Geneva nuclear deal, an extremely dim picture is emerging of the drastic costs to Iran from pursuing a nuclear program under the cloud of domestic economic mismanagement and international sanctions. The IMF just released its final economic and financial statistics for 2013 and the Iranian numbers are appalling and extremely worrying for the stability of the current government.

Sharon Kelleher

During the fall I lived at home in Belmont, MA and volunteered with Horizons for Homeless Children, took cake decorating classes, took a class on "Law and Ethics" at the Harvard Extension School, tutored/nanny-ed, and visited friends at their colleges.  In the spring I travelled to Bolivia and Peru for 13 weeks with "Where There Be Dragons".  My favorite memory was definitely living with homestay families in the Andes of Bolivia as well as visiting Machu Picchu.  I took a year off after being accepted deferred at Harvard and it turned out to be the best "blessing in disguise".

Gary Samore's speech to the 2013 Manama Dialogue

Samore IISS Manama Speech

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.  

Iranians worry more about economic woes than the nuclear deal

Djavad Salehi-Isfahani

In a post from Neishabour, Iran, economist Djavad Salehi-Isfahani writes that:

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.

Gender Balances: A look at the makeup of HarvardX registrants

by Sergiy Nesterko, HarvardX Research Fellow

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.

Dec 9: "Biometrics In Beta – India's Identity Experiment" (Malavika Jayaram, Berkman Fellow)

Technology in Government (TIG) and Topics in Privacy (TIP)

12/9/2013 refreshments served at 2:30p, discussion 3 to 4pm in room K354, at 1737 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Title: Biometrics In Beta – India's Identity Experiment

Discussant: Malavika Jayaram, Berkman Fellow

Nuclear sands of Arabia

SamoreContinuing 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.