In July 2015, foreign ministers from China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States (E3/EU+3) met with the foreign minister of Iran in Vienna to negotiate the text of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), developed in April 2015. On July 14, the foreign ministers agreed to the plan, which involves limitations on Iran’s nuclear program and lifting of some United Nations Security Council and other multilateral and national sanctions on Iran related to its nuclear program. The JCPOA includes a main text and annexes on nuclear, sanctions, civil nuclear energy cooperation, a joint commission, and implementation.
U.S. and foreign policymakers increasingly pursue their national objectives through narrower and more flexible frameworks whose membership varies with situational interests, shared values, and relevant capabilities. The trick for the United States and other major governments is to design à la carte mechanisms that complement and reinvigorate, rather than undermine and marginalize, the prix fixe menu of formal international organizations upon which the world continues to depend, argues Stewart Patrick.
Leaders of euro member states held a special Euro Summit on Greece. On July 12, 2015, the leaders "agreed in principle that they are ready to start negotiations on an ESM [European Stability Mechanism] financial assistance programme for Greece."
Leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa met on July 9, 2015, in Ufa, Russia for the Seventh BRICS Summit, which marked the entry into force of the BRICS's New Development Bank (NDB), which the leaders expect to begin accepting investment requests in the beginning of 2016. The declaration also states the leaders' concerns on international security issues such as corruption, nuclear weapons, instability and conflict, and terrorism, and their commitments to social issues like global health and education.
If an Iran nuclear deal is reached, there are three areas of debate: the deal would disarm the U.S. psychologically; the Iranians might cheat; and the Iranians comply. If Iran does abide by the agreement, the Obama administration could respond in two ways—intrusive inspections, or does not fully accept the agreement.
The U.S. and Iran are struggling to conclude what could be one of the most permissive arms-control agreements in history. Defenders of a deal insist that the U.S. could still hold Iran accountable for its pernicious policies, regardless of an accord. Such assurances miss the point that maintenance of an arms-control agreement is inconsistent with a coercive policy.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is expected to welcome India and Pakistan as full members at its fifteenth annual summit in Ufa, Russia. CFR's Elizabeth C. Economy and William Piekos weigh the rewards and risks of expansion.
Steven A. Tananbaum Senior Fellow for International Economics Robert Kahn argues that if Greece exits the eurozone, introducing a new currency could occur quickly; getting broader economic policies right is the more difficult challenge facing the country.
Kurds have become critical players amid domestic upheaval and political changes throughout the Middle East. Explore the history of the Kurdish people and why some Kurds may be on the verge of achieving their century-old quest for independence.
Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (known as the "BRICS") are forming multilateral bodies intended to reduce Western influence over the global financial system, explains CFR's Stewart Patrick.
To obtain better value for health-care dollars, it's important to evaluate in detail which ones are well-spent and which are not. The $150-billion-a-year market for implantable medical devices in the U.S. -- which includes everything from artificial hips to pacemakers -- is a good illustration of this challenge and how to meet it.
National People's Congress of China released this draft text on July 6, 2015, and it will be available for public comment through August 2015. The law outlines the Chinese government's goals for security standards for technical systems, networks, and user data. It requires companies with operations in China to comply with government requests for regulating and restricting technology use. See also the broader National Security Law passed on July 1, 2015.
Shale gas is no panacea but, with the right policies to protect communities where gas is produced and to harness the fuel as part of a broader climate strategy, it can play a critical role in confronting global warming, argues Michael A. Levi in a Democracy article.
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.
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 »