April 01, 2015

Why Obama chose the Iran talks to take one of his presidency’s biggest risks

Featuring Julianne Smith, and Shawn Brimley

Much of President Obama’s foreign policy agenda has been foisted upon him during his six years in office. He inherited two wars, in Iraq and Afghanistan, neither of which he’s been able to end. He’s had to react to chaos in the Middle East and a Russian incursion in Ukraine.

The negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program are a different matter. They are Obama’s choice, and he’s fought to keep them moving since the beginning of his presidency despite setbacks and second-guessing from Republicans, fellow Democrats and longtime foreign allies.

The latest setback came Wednesday when the White House agreed, for a second time in two days, to suspend its self-imposed March 31 deadline for an agreement, amid complaints from the United States and its allies that Iran was not offering serious counterproposals.

Secretary of State John F. Kerry said he would stay in Switzerland and continue negotiations until at least Thursday morning.

Read the full article at The Washington Post.


  • Julianne Smith

    Former Adjunct Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Security Program

    Julianne (“Julie”) Smith is a contributing editor to Foreign Policy, where she coedits “Shadow Government.” She is also a senior advisor at WestExec Advisors, an adjunct senio...

  • Shawn Brimley

    Former Executive Vice President and Director of Studies

    Shawn Brimley was the Executive Vice President and Director of Studies at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), where he managed the center’s research agenda and staf...