President Obama’s big legacy could be seen as empowering Tehran.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei continues to procrastinate because he hopes to tactically leverage U.S. President Barack Obama’s eagerness for a deal into even better terms.
While the United States and Iran have shared numerous adversaries, such as the Soviet Union, the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and now the Islamic Staet, the strategic enmity between the two countries has prevailed.
While Iranian president Hassan Rouhani represents the popular opinion of a population that wants to be integrated with the outside world, the main levers of power in Iran are all controlled by the office of the Supreme Leader.
If a nuclear deal with Iran is not reached within the next six months, Congress is intent on passing new sanctions.
Rapprochement with Iran or, at the minimum, a nuclear deal with Iran would be a significant part of Obama’s foreign policy legacy. The big question is whether Iran’s leadership is interested in that rapprochement.
Washington and its allies should strategically continue patient diplomacy unless Iran resumes provocative nuclear activities.
The Iranian nuclear program can at best provide only two percent of Iran’s energy needs. It is an economic catastrophe when compared to the lost foreign investment, oil revenue, and sanctions.
A big challenge for the Iranian nuclear negotiations is finding a technical resolution to what is really a political conflict.
The intent of U.S. policy should be to deter Iran’s nuclear advancement, not provoke it.