June 09, 2014

Risky Business: Why Iran's Nuclear Demands Could Backfire

By Colin H. Kahl

This week, Iranian and U.S. diplomats raced to Geneva for unscheduled, high-level bilateral talks. The news might have come as a surprise, but it shouldn’t have. The deadline to reach a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran -- July 20 -- is fast approaching, and the parties still have significant differences to overcome. In particular, unless Tehran changes its tune on the all-important issue of uranium enrichment, and does so soon, the prospects for a peaceful diplomatic solution are nil.

Five months ago, Iran and the P5+1 (the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany) reached an interim nuclear agreement known as the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA), which froze and then modestly rolled back Tehran’s nuclear program. The JPOA was designed to buy time for both sides to negotiate a final accord that would ensure that Iran would not weaponize its nuclear program. Iran and the P5+1 have made some real progress since then, but they remain very far apart on the critical issue of enrichment: the process of purifying uranium to produce fuel for nuclear reactors and, potentially, atomic bombs.

Read the full piece at Foreign Affairs. 

  • Commentary
    • The Washington Post
    • March 19, 2020
    9/11 swallowed U.S. foreign policy. Don’t let the coronavirus do the same thing.

    For two decades, American foreign policy has been shaped by the 9/11 attacks. The catastrophic wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, our failure to see the full threat posed by Russia...

    By Ilan Goldenberg

  • Commentary
    • Foreign Policy
    • March 6, 2020
    Big Ideas for NATO’s New Mission in Iraq

    Following U.S. President Donald Trump’s calls for America’s allies to “get more involved in the Middle East,” NATO defense ministers last month agreed to “enhance” the Atlanti...

    By David H. Petraeus & Vance Serchuk

  • Commentary
    • The New York Times
    • February 12, 2020
    The Iranian Missile Strike Did Far More Damage Than Trump Admits

    Over 100 American soldiers have been treated for traumatic brain injuries following Iran’s missile strike on Al Asad Air Base in western Iraq. The strike came in retaliation f...

    By Loren DeJonge Schulman & Paul Scharre

  • Podcast
    • February 11, 2020
    Grappling With the Costs of Combat

    Kayla Williams joins Ilan Goldenberg to discuss her time serving as an Arabic linguist in the U.S. Army and the human costs of armed conflict....

    By Ilan Goldenberg & Kayla M. Williams

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia