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?
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.
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". Read more about Sharon Kelleher
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.
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.