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CongressConservativesIranP5+1 TalkssanctionsWednesday, January 28, 2015

More Legislative Threats to Iran Negotiations Loom

More Legislative Threats to Iran Negotiations Loom Sen. Robert Menendez’s (D-NJ) decision yesterday to postpone voting on a new sanctions bill that would have disrupted U.S. negotiations with Iran was a strong step to preserve the diplomatic process to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. The bill, which is still scheduled to go through mark-up tomorrow, is opposed by U.S. negotiating partners because it would push Iran away from the talks and jeopardize the international coalition that has enforced sanctions so far. While postponing a vote is good news for diplomacy, it only defers what will continue to be a threat to undo the negotiations, and other congressional proposals require urgent attention. Congress should focus on constructive legislation that reinforces U.S. negotiators’ work rather… Read More ›

Asia RebalanceCongressCubaIranT-TIPTPPWednesday, January 21, 2015

Implementing Obama’s “Smarter Kind of American Leadership”

Implementing Obama’s “Smarter Kind of American Leadership” Last night, President Obama in his State of the Union address touched on a host of national security issues of critical importance to the United States and international community. While his discussion of national security was broad, a key theme running through his address was the forward-looking need to reinforce America’s global position and security in the 21stcentury by emphasizing diplomatic and economic power. This “smarter kind of American leadership” applies to a number of issues, but the President’s comments on Asia, Iran, Cuba, trade strategy, and climate security in particular demonstrate the value of careful and relentless global engagement to producing results. Now armed with a clear agenda, the Administration and Congress need to work together to… Read More ›

CongressIranP5+1 TalksWednesday, January 14, 2015

Misguided New Iran Measures in Congress would Scuttle Negotiations

Misguided New Iran Measures in Congress would Scuttle Negotiations U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Geneva today ahead of the start of the next round of negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran over Iran’s nuclear program. Negotiators are working to reach a political agreement by March and a technical plan for implementation by July, in accordance with an extension of the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA), which has facilitated the talks. Under the JPOA, Iran has allowed international inspections, frozen its nuclear program, and reduced its stockpile of enriched uranium. Negotiators now have a real chance to strike a deal that would prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. However, some members of Congress are pushing legislation… Read More ›

AUMFGuantanamoIranRussiaT-TIPTPPMonday, January 5, 2015

Top Five Foreign Policy Challenges for 2015

Top Five Foreign Policy Challenges for 2015 Tomorrow, the new Congress is set to begin its first session amid a flurry of near- and mid-term foreign policy challenges that it will have the ability to affect for better or worse. Issues looming large include negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program as conservatives once again consider new counterproductive sanctions, the war against the Islamic State as American forces are being exposed to increased risk, the fate of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility as the transfer of prisoners picks up pace, managing America’s security interest in sustained nonproliferation cooperation with Russia even as Moscow misbehaves in Eastern Europe, and potentially divisive trade agreements under negotiation. On all of these issues, an effective relationship between Congress and… Read More ›

IranP5+1 TalksTuesday, September 23, 2014

NSN Luncheon: Negotiating a Deal with Iran

NSN Luncheon and Discussion Negotiating a Deal with Iran: Overcoming Remaining Obstacles  DISCUSSION DETAILS: Using the United Nations General Assembly and the P5+1 sideline talks as a hook, National Security Network pulled together a panel of distinguished experts with unique professional perspectives on the P5+1 negotiations for a press luncheon. Our panel included foreign policy expert Dr. Les Gelb, Amb. John Limbert, the first Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iran and former Iranian hostage, Amb. Ken Taylor, the former Canadian Ambassador to Iran during the Iran hostage crisis, and nuclear expert Dr. Jim Walsh of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Gelb’s remarks highlighted areas of U.S.-Iran cooperation after 9/11 and similarities and touched on Iran’s strategic regional importance and the consequences for Zarif… Read More ›

IranP5+1 TalksThursday, July 31, 2014

Progressives Need to See the Bigger Picture on Iran | John Bradshaw

Progressives Need to See the Bigger Picture on Iran By John Bradshaw, Executive Director of the National Security Network July 30, 2014 | Washington Monthly Progressives who gathered in Detroit two weeks ago for the Netroots convention were not very focused on national security issues, but when those issues did come up there was one loud and clear theme: No more wars in the Middle East. This anti-war sentiment has long been an animating force for progressives and is now understandably heightened by a war weariness shared by a large percentage of the American public. But progressives can contribute more to the national security debate than just a strong voice in opposition to reflexive military solutions. There is a need for a positive progressive vision… Read More ›

CongressIranWednesday, July 30, 2014

Seeing Past the Theatrics on the Iran Debate

Seeing Past the Theatrics on the Iran Debate July 30, 2015 The NSN Daily Update will be on hiatus during the congressional August recess and return in September. Hearings on Capitol Hill yesterday on the Iran nuclear talks produced serious testimony by Administration witnesses but also enabled considerable uninformed showboating by opponents of a diplomatic agreement with Iran. Wendy Sherman, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, and David Cohen, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, presented testimony on the Hill yesterday to update Congress on the status of the nuclear negotiations with Iran. They noted that the talks in Vienna, which have been extended until November 24, have been productive: significant compromises appear within reach, and as Sherman noted in her prepared statement,… Read More ›

IranMonday, July 21, 2014

Iran Nuclear Talks: Extension Builds on Positive Momentum

Secretary Kerry Addresses Reporters During News Conference Following Iran Nuclear Talks in Vienna, 7/15/2014 On Friday night, P5+1 and Iranian diplomats announced a plan to extend the nuclear negotiations past the July 20 deadline for the Joint Plan of Action that has frozen Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for modest sanctions relief. Under the terms of the extension, Iran’s nuclear enrichment program will remain frozen and it will continue to reduce its stockpile of enriched uranium, converting it into non-weaponizable forms. This will allow negotiators to continue to build on the progress that has been made toward a comprehensive agreement that could ensure Iran’s nuclear program will remain peaceful. The extension is a good deal, and those who have voiced opposition to it fail to… Read More ›

IranMonday, July 14, 2014

Understanding a Potential Iran Nuclear Deal

  Secretary Kerry, Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif Sit Down For Second Day of Nuclear Talks in Vienna. [State Department photo, 7/14/14]Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are in Vienna this week as Iran and the P5+1 attempt to conclude negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program prior to the July 20 deadline. After a meeting between Kerry and Zarif on Sunday, Zarif noted that the two had “made some important headway.” While significant gaps between the Iranian and P5+1 negotiating positions remain, there are still opportunities for compromise, which should continue to be explored even if the talks must be extended beyond July 20. The potential for a deal has frequently been muddled by misunderstandings about Iran’s proposed enrichment capacity, the… Read More ›

IranMonday, July 7, 2014

Iran Nuclear Talks: Compromise Possible as July 20 Deadline Approaches

  EU High Representative Ashton Speaks at the UN in Geneva, Switzerland. [US State Department Photo, 11/24/13]Negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 resumed on July 3 in Vienna, as teams of diplomats enter the final phase of talks to reach a deal regarding Iran’s nuclear program ahead of the expiration of the Joint Plan of Action on July 20. Significant gaps remain between Iran’s demands and those of the United States, but there are indicators that compromises are possible. Critics of the negotiations have laid out plans to unravel a deal even before the terms are settled, by making sanctions relief conditional on issues unrelated to the nuclear negotiations and questioning the credibility of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In this late stage, Congress… Read More ›

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