The tragedy of Iran is that it may not be able to reach an agreement over its nuclear program even when it knows it needs one. The Islamic Republic's political class knows its hold on power depends on sustained economic growth, and that in turn requires a resolution of the nuclear issue.
CFR Senior Fellow Steven A. Cook outlines the risk factors and warning signs of a solvency crisis in Egypt in this Contingency Planning Memorandum and offers policy options to prevent such a crisis or mitigate its consequences.
With Egyptian Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's recent entry into the country's presidential race, many consider his victory a foregone conclusion. A Sisi presidency, however, will be fraught with numerous challenges, writes Steven A. Cook, coming from the Muslim Brotherhood, a crippled economy, Mubarak-era business tycoons, and Egypt's fractious security establishment.
Turkey's recent ban on Twitter is yet another indication of the country's illiberal turn, writes Steven A. Cook in the New York Times Room for Debate, as Prime Minister Erdogan seeks to intimidate and silence critical journalists and observers in a move reminiscent of the Arab leaders during uprisings in their countries.
"Although comparisons between Egypt's 2011 uprising and the recent turmoil in Ukraine are largely unwarranted, CFR's Steven A. Cook writes that there is an important lesson for Ukraine in the Egyptian experience: the need for simultaneous economic and democratic reforms to achieve both political stability and economic prosperity."
In his testimony before the House Committee on Homeland Security's Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, Steven A. Cook addresses the current state of Egypt, the situation in the Sinai Peninsula, its potential to affect American national security interests, and what the United States can do to help the Egyptians meet the challenges they confront.
Asked by Arianna Talaie, from College of William and Mary Author: Ray Takeyh
Ali Khamenei is the Supreme Leader of Iran and has the final say on all issues pertaining to its foreign policy. The Islamic Republic has a complex constitutional structure whereby the authority of the president and the parliament are subservient to that of the Supreme Leader. All issues of war and peace, treaties and elections have to be approved by Khamenei. As such, the presidents and foreign ministers can engage in negotiations but cannot commit Iran to a final course until the Supreme Leader approves.
"The best means of guaranteeing adherence is to make certain that sanctions relief is always provisional and can be reconstituted if Iran violates its obligations," writes Ray Takeyh about the West's nuclear deal with Iran.
In his testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs; Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa & Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, Stephen Biddle argues that short term success in Afghanistan is less important than the United States' ability to secure its long term interests beyond 2014.
In his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, CFR Senior Fellow Ray Takeyh discusses the perception of Iranian president Hassan Rouhani as a reformer or pragmatist, the role of the Supreme National Security Council, and the future of the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.
The David Rockefeller Studies Program is CFR’s “think tank.” Its work is integral to achieving CFR’s goal of contributing to the foreign policy debate. Fellows in the Studies Program do this by researching, writing, and commenting on the most important challenges facing the United States and the world.