P5+1 and Iran Framework Agreement


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NonproliferationRule of Law and DiplomacyCongressIran Negotiations

Congress Takes on Risky Role in Iran Deal

Congress Takes on Risky Role in Iran Deal April 20, 2015 Last week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee removed the most toxic provisions from a bill that would allow Congress to review and vote its approval or disapproval of a nuclear agreement with Iran. The legislation could come before the Senate floor as early as this week and represents a compromise between the original bill, spearheaded by Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), and more pro-diplomacy positions.… Read More ›

Defense BudgetdiplomacyIranMarco Rubio

Rubio’s Platform Is All Criticism, No Alternatives

Rubio’s Platform is All Criticism, No Alternatives April 14, 2015 Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) punted on foreign policy and national security issues in his speech  announcing his candidacy for president,  limiting his discussion of these issues to a single paragraph. Still, his positions are as clear as they are familiar: Sen. Rubio espouses the same Cold War mentality that made Sen. John McCain such a troubling candidate for commander-in-chief in 2008. He is quick to… Read More ›

Middle East and North AfricadiplomacyIran Negotiations

Sen. Corker’s Iran Legislation: A Bad Bill Beyond Repair

Sen. Corker’s Iran Legislation: A Bad Bill Beyond Repair April 13, 2015 Tomorrow, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected to mark up the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, a bill proposed by Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ). The bill has been percolating in Congress for months and has been described as a reasonable alternative to sanctions legislation that would derail the P5+1 Iranian nuclear negotiations. However, Sen. Corker’s… Read More ›

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Removing Cuba from the State Sponsors of Terrorism List

Recognizing Reality: Removing Cuba from the State Sponsors of Terrorism List April 10, 2015 Starting today, President Obama will attend the two-day Summit of the Americas held in Panama, where he is expected to interact with Cuba’s Raul Castro. The summit, which takes place every three years, comes as the Obama Administration’s policy of normalizing relations with Cuba is set to proceed. Most notably, the State Department has just recommended that Cuba be removed from… Read More ›

CounterterrorismDefense BudgetRand Paul

What is Sen. Rand Paul Actually Advocating on Foreign Policy?

What is Sen. Rand Paul Actually Advocating on Foreign Policy? April 8, 2015 Yesterday Sen. Rand Paul announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination in a speech in Louisville, Kentucky. Sen. Paul has been an outlier among conservatives in the Senate and has set himself apart from the hawks within his party, particularly on civil liberties and foreign intervention issues. Last December, he cited the National Security Network while discussing the precedent for placing… Read More ›

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Middle East and North AfricaSaudi ArabiaYemen

Misunderstanding Wars in Yemen, Vietnam, and Yemen Once Again | J. Dana Stuster

Misunderstanding Wars in Yemen, Vietnam, and Yemen Once Again By J. Dana Stuster, NSN Policy Analyst April 6, 2015 | Foreign Policy There’s an moment in the 2003 documentary The Fog of War in which former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara lays out what he got wrong in Vietnam. “We saw Vietnam as an element of the Cold War,” he says. “Not what they [the Vietnamese] saw it as: a civil war.” I thought of that the other day as I listened to Adam Baron, a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, talking about the Saudi intervention in Yemen. “This is treated as a sectarian battle between Iran-backed Shia and Saudi Arabia-backed Sunnis, but really when you look at the essence of Yemen’s problem, that’s not really it,” Baron told NPR. Iran actually has very little stake in the Yemeni Houthi rebels, which ousted the country’s transitional government from the capital in January and had been advancing toward Aden until the Saudis began airstrikes last week. The war in Yemen is a struggle between domestic forces: the Houthi rebels; the former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was ousted in 2011 and whose support has been essential to the… Read More ›

Middle East and North AfricaNonproliferationIranP5+1 Talks

A Window onto Iran | Tara Sonenshine

A Window onto Iran By Tara Sonenshine April 3, 2015 | The Hill Many months of negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program have given the U.S. and the West an unprecedented window onto Iranian thinking and policy. Regardless of where one stands on the merits of the diplomatic outcome, diplomacy usually leads to better policymaking. It is far wiser to understand other countries — particularly longstanding adversaries — than misread them or have them misread you. The framework agreement announced yesterday between the P5+1 nations (the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, plus Germany) and Iran represents historic progress toward the goal of preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. While much work remains to be done to achieve an effective and verifiable comprehensive agreement, the framework agreement demonstrates that the Obama administration and international partners have taken a responsible approach to the negotiations and have resisted signing any deal that would not ensure the peaceful and civilian nature of Iran’s nuclear program. To continue reading, click here.   E.U. High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif address reporters following negotiations between the P5+1 member nations and Iranian officials about the future of… Read More ›

Middle East and North AfricaYemen

How Regional Power Struggles Stoke Yemen’s Conflict | Brian Katulis

How Regional Power Struggles Stoke Yemen’s Conflict By Brian Katulis, NSN Board of Directors Chair March 26, 2015 | Wall Street Journal For all the complaints from the Middle East about the Obama administration’s reticence to involve itself deeply in conflicts such as those in Syria and Yemen, nations in the region act on their own when motivated. Saudi military intervention in Yemen‘s civil war–actually a joint effort by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, and Bahrain–underscores a broader struggle for power that is accelerating the collapse of states across the Middle East. The key question now is whether regional actions will lead to stability or further turmoil. At its core, Yemen’s conflict is an internal struggle for power between long-competing factions. But in the past year it has taken on dimensions of the broader fight between Saudi Arabia and Iran in the Sunni-Shiite sectarian conflict that has plagued Iraq and Syria. The United States is mostly focused on achieving a nuclear deal with Iran and countering terrorist threats to its homeland. But U.S. officials should closely monitor these broader Mideast dynamics and remain prepared to take targeted action to support stability and peace. Figuring out how to engage in this cauldron is easier said than done. Three things stand… Read More ›

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CounterterrorismMiddle East and North AfricaIraqIslamic StateSyria

Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton (Ret.) Quoted Following Cincinnati Event

Retired General Visits Cincinnati, Talks ISIS Huy Nguyen April 8, 2014 | The News Record As the global ISIS threat continues, Retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton arrived in Cincinnati April 1 to address how exactly ISIS began and what America can do to stop it. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh, continues to rampage through the Middle East, dismantling families and government institutions. Within four months after its rise in June of 2014, ISIS had murdered over 5,500 people, according to Newsweek. Just this Tuesday, it was discovered that a mass grave in Tikrit exceeded 3,000 victims, Newsweek reported. Eaton attended a dinner in Xavier University’s Conaton Board Room led by the Foreign Policy Leadership Council in order to raise awareness about the ISIS threat and what kind of strategies the United States should conduct to defeat them. Eaton was tasked with training and preparing the Iraqi armed forces beginning in 2003. After retirement, Eaton followed the course of the Middle East as Senior Advisor of the National Security Network think tank in Washington, D.C. To continue reading, click here. Read More ›

Middle East and North AfricaNonproliferationIransanctionssandy berger

Sandy Berger: the Fantasy of a Better Iran Deal

Writing in Politico Magazine, NSN Advisory Board Chair Sandy Berger had the following caution for those who think more sanctions will lead to a better deal: [I]t is highly unlikely that even our allies in Europe would join us in further sanctions against Iran in the wake of a nuclear agreement they believe is sensible and positive. That is even truer for other countries—like India, Japan, South Korea and China—that were pulled into the existing sanctions regime quite unwillingly. The support of these countries for the oil sanctions in particular has been critical to the sanctions’ effectiveness. They will not willingly sign up for more… Indeed, the proponents of tougher sanctions to get a “better” deal have misunderstood the nature of the Iranian sanctions. The fact is that the United States does not own or control the multilateral sanctions regime. The effectiveness of the sanctions is based on how the international community views the perceived threat and therefore the legitimacy of coercive actions to stop it. Read the whole story on Politico Read More ›

Middle East and North AfricaNonproliferationIranP5+1 TalksPolitics

Paul Eaton Quoted in the National Interest on Iran Nuclear Talks

Clearing the Final Hurdles in the Iran Nuclear Talks Tom Z. Collina, the Policy Director at Ploughshares Fund in Washington DC April 3, 2015 | National Interest Today in Lausanne the United States and its partners achieved a major breakthrough in talks to prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb. Both sides were able to agree on key principles that will—if the talks succeed—keep Iran’s nuclear program exclusively peaceful and under the watchful eye of international inspectors. This is by far the most promising path to resolving this crisis peacefully… “People in Congress who root for the deal to fail have not thought through the alternatives, which are stark: The Iranian program will be limited diplomatically, or we will have a war,” said Major General (ret.) Paul Eaton, a former U.S. military commander in Iraq. There is no reason to risk military action, which is not in the interests of the United States, its allies, or its partners in the region—including Israel. Iran’s nuclear program has been frozen and rolled back over the past year, and strong sanctions remain in place. Time is on our side, so let’s use it. Here’s how: To continue reading, click here. Secretary Kerry Addresses Reporters Following Negotiations Between P5+1 Member… Read More ›

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