Friday, March 13, 2015
Iran Deal: Implications
What Congress's Iran Letter Signals about Obama's Diplomacy
- Michael Singh
Members of Congress in both parties have deep reservations about the trajectory of U.S. diplomacy with Iran. A Wall Street Journal/NBC poll this week found that this skepticism is shared by 71% of Americans.
Some foreign partners - including Israel but also Arab allies in the Middle East - share many of the stated congressional concerns. They worry that a "bad" deal will leave in its wake an empowered Iran and disengaged U.S. Most of those who are skeptical about a deal are not warmongers but support a negotiated agreement.
To gain skeptics' support, the president needs to be willing to take their concerns on board. Diplomacy is not just about negotiating with adversaries. It is also about bringing along one's allies and domestic constituencies, without whose support an agreement would be a hollow achievement.
The writer, managing director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, worked on Middle East issues at the U.S. National Security Council from 2005 to 2008.
(Wall Street Journal)
Iran's Expansion Will Reshape Lebanon - Michael Young
As Iran expands its power throughout the Middle East, it is seeking to reshape the political landscape in ways designed to enhance its leverage and that of its allies. Nor is anybody successfully hindering this.
It has become increasingly apparent that the U.S. has no intention of challenging Iran's sway in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Gone are the days when the American priority was containment of Iran in the region. The U.S. appears to favor a new regional order in which Iran will be granted a choice role.
Lebanon has particular importance for Iran. It seems highly probable that Iran will seek to modify the political system to the advantage of the Shiite community, led by Hizbullah. Moreover, as Iran puts in place a broad strategy for the expansion of its power in the Arab world, Lebanon and the Golan Heights take on exceptional value.
Concessions to Iran in Nuclear Negotiations
United Against Nuclear Iran is releasing a new analysis of the current status of negotiations between Iran and the P5+1. The analysis compares the positions of the U.S. and Iran on each of the core components of an emerging nuclear accord.
[United Against Nuclear Iran]
The Risks in Negotiating with Syria's Assad - Aaron David Miller
Secretary of State John Kerry's comments that the Obama administration is considering negotiating with the Assad regime to achieve a political settlement in Syria will feed the perception that Washington recognizes that Iran - Syria's key patron - is the region's preeminent power.
The rise of Islamic State forced the administration to prioritize. ISIS's anti-American agenda, with its savage beheadings, led the administration to see Assad as the lesser of two evils.
But Kerry's comments will further demoralize the U.S.-backed Syrian opposition; anger Gulf Arabs, who believe that Washington is appeasing Tehran in an effort to conclude a nuclear agreement; and delight Iranians.
The writer is a vice president at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars.
(Wall Street Journal)