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.
The IAEA Board released the Director General's quarterly report on progress of the NPT Safeguards Agreement with Iran, on November 16, 2012. The report provides an update on the nuclear situation in Iran since the last report of August 2012.
Matthew C. Waxman argues that international law still plays a powerful role in justifying or delegitimizing the case for military action. Just like in the Cuban missile crisis, the United States needs to present a plausible case for self-defense in order to strike Iran.
Micah Zenko says even though telling the United States that it should be more scared of Iran has failed so far, Israeli officials will continue to sound the alarm about a nuclear-armed Tehran, with the ultimate objective of changing America's threat perception.
Jeffrey H. Smith and John B. Bellinger III say that because a nuclear-armed Iran is a real threat to the United States, the president does have reason to argue for his constitutional authority to use force against Iran, but legislative approval would give him stronger legal and political ground to do so.
Ray Takeyh argues, "The United States will make genuine progress with Iran only when moderate leaders assume greater control of the state. An interim accord may provide time, but that time must be used to broaden the contours of Iran's political system."
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