Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s demand that all sanctions must be lifted in exchange for an agreement indicates that Iran’s top decision-maker may not be involved in the negotiation process, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh. In that case, there is little value in the agreement and little faith that Iran would fulfill its obligations.
Authors: Ray Takeyh, Michael V. Hayden, and Olli Heinonen Washington Post
Asnegotiationsbetween Iran and the great powers press forward, Secretary of State John F. Kerry seems to have settled on this defense of any agreement: The terms will leave Iran at least a year away from obtaining a nuclear bomb, thus giving the world plenty of time to react to infractions.
On March 20, 2015, three hundred and sixty-seven House lawmakers signed a letter to President Obama regarding nuclear negotiations with Iran. The letter lists concerns the lawmakers have regarding Iran's ability to build a nuclear weapon and the Iranian government's relations with Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.
The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) on April 2, 2013. The press release says the treaty makes it "harder for human rights abusers, criminals and arms traffickers to obtain weapons" and gives a brief history of the treaty from the 1990s. ATT went into effect December 24, 2014. The United States signed the treaty, but Senate has not yet ratified it.
Authors: Eric Edelman, Dennis Ross, and Ray Takeyh The Washington Post
With the extension on the nuclear deal with Iran, Western powers would do well to reconfigure their assumptions on how to pressure Iran into a deal, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh. Instead of economic or diplomatic punitive measures, the United States needs a comprehensive and coercive strategy that would mend fences between the White House and Congress on the foreign policy front, strengthen alliances in the Middle East, and isolate Iran from its partners.
Sheila Smith examines how domestic pressure in Japan, the release of U.S. citizens detained by North Korea, and a new UN resolution referring North Korean leaders to the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity could potentially shape Tokyo’s ongoing efforts to learn the fates of Japanese citizens abducted by Pyongyang decades ago.
China’s unexpectedly easy cooperation with the U.S. on climate change, security and trade says a lot about the interests at the very top: Barack Obama’s legacy and Xi Jinping’s ambitions, says Elizabeth Economy.
Dr. Jendayi Frazer explores four areas prominently featured during the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, which took place in Washington, DC in August 2014. She discusses how the Obama administration can help solidify the initial steps taken at the Summit for long-term U.S. involvement with the African continent.
On August 20, 2014, U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Jewell issued an order regarding the department's responsibilities toward Native American tribes, including "supporting tribal sovereignty and self-determination; protecting tribal lands and resources; building partnerships; practicing responsiveness and timeliness; and seeking legal advice to ensure compliance with the trust responsibility." Secretarial Order 3335 is part of the Indian Trust Settlement, also known as the Cobell Settlement, which relates toa dispute about use of funds held in trust by the federal government for leasing Indian land for commercial uses.
Admiral Dennis Blair spoke at Japan's New Security Policy and Capabilities: Domestic Politics, International Views and Practical Implications, a conference held April 30, 2014, at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA (SPFUSA). Admiral Blair was appointed SPFUSA chair on May 1, 2014.
In mid-February, the United States government's long-standing position that it does not opine on sovereignty disputes in the East and South China Seas was given an important and long-implicit caveat: Washington does insist that all sovereignty claims accord with international law, and as has long been stated, these cannot rely on coercion.
Elliott Abrams argues that U.S. policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian peace process should focus on pragmatic, achievable goals rather than raising expectations for a comprehensive peace settlement that is not now attainable.
The National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces leaked this United Nations invitation sent to opposition President Ahmad Jarba requesting his attendence at the Geneva II meetings on January 22 to 24, 2014. The letter explains the priniciples and rules of the conference for officials addressing the conflict in Syria.
The French newspaper Le Monde interviewed Afghan President Hamid Karzai on December 10, 2013. He discussed the U.S.-Afghan Bilateral Security Agreement about U.S. military assistance in Afghanistan after 2014 and his conditions for signing it.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Koblentz argues that the United States should work with other nuclear-armed states to manage threats to nuclear stability in the near term and establish processes for multilateral arms control efforts over the longer term.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »