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The Iran Project: Strategic Options for Iran: Balancing Pressure with Diplomacy

Authors: William Luers, Priscilla Lewis, and Iris Bieri
April 18, 2013

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"It is time for Washington to rebalance its dual-track policy toward Iran, strengthening the diplomatic track in order to seize the opportunity created by the pressure track. The United States should now dedicate as much energy and creativity to negotiating directly with Iran as it has to assembling a broad international coalition to pressure and isolate Iran. Only by taking such a rebalanced approach might the United States achieve its objectives with respect to Iran's nuclear program."

In this third report from The Iran Project, we consider the successes, shortfalls, and risks of strategies designed to pressure the Iranian government into changing its policies. We explore some of the advantages and disadvantages for U.S. interests in the Middle East that might flow from bilateral negotiations with Iran to achieve a nuclear deal, and propose steps that the President might take to establish a frame-work for direct talks with Iran's leadership that would build on the latest round of multilateral negotiations and proposals.

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