Analysis Brief


Iran's nuclear gambit rumbles on, with an emergency meeting of the IAEA now scheduled for February 2. Efforts by Tehran to avoid referral to the UN Security Council are being rebuffed by Europe and the United States, who meanwhile are seeking to assure a nervous Russia that no confrontation is imminent.

See more in Proliferation; Iran


Iran, Sanctions, and the Illusion of a Better Bargain

Author: Miles Kahler

At this point in time, given the current Iranian leadership, the state of Iranian public opinion, and Iranian economic conditions, relying on unilateral economic leverage to obtain a better deal is an illusion, argues Miles Kahler. More likely it would drive Iran further in the direction of North Korea—an unrestrained nuclear program and an economically isolated, unreformed regime. 

See more in Iran; United States; Treaties and Agreements


How Iran Can Game the Deal

Author: Ray Takeyh
Politico Magazine

The numerous concessions to Iran in the framework agreement means that the Islamic Republic should be able to manufacture bombs on short notice after the sunset clause expires, writes CFR’s Ray Takeyh. Nevertheless, the Iran deal is not beyond repair and the United States needs to address the deficiencies of the accord in the coming months to close all remaining holes.

See more in Iran; United States; Diplomacy and Statecraft


Iran Becomes a 'Front Line' State

Author: Elliott Abrams
Weekly Standard

In an article for The Weekly Standard, Elliott Abrams discusses  Iran’s transformation into a "front line state" against Israel. This turn of events alarms Israelis and Arabs alike, but not nearly so much as another fact: that Iran's expansionism and military adventurism are being met with approval from the Obama administration.

See more in Iran; Israel; Conflict Assessment


Missing Mahmoud

Author: Reza Aslan
Foreign Policy

With Ayatollah Khamenei set to replace Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with a "fawning admirer" of his choosing, Ahmadinejad may be missed for his ability to challenge the Islamic Republic's ruling religious hierarchy.

See more in Iran; Global Governance


Final Countdown

Author: Micah Zenko
Foreign Policy

In the past, U.S. officials have been less than eager to define a specific redline for the Iranian threat. While setting a March deadline could provide more certainty and coercive leverage to compel Iran to cooperate with the IAEA, it also places U.S. "credibility" on the line, says Micah Zenko.

See more in United States; Iran; Proliferation


All the Ayatollah's Men

Author: Ray Takeyh
The National Interest

Ray Takeyh argues that, even two decades after his death, the legacy of Aya­tollah Ruhollah Khomeini still permeates policymaking in Iran—and often in ways Western observers are unable to understand.

See more in Iran