“US analysts debate path to Iran ‘grand bargain’”

US analysts debate path to Iran ‘grand bargain’”
May 23-27
     Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett argue that US President Obama’s efforts to engage Iran have “already failed” due to the continuation of covert efforts to destabilize Iran. The Leveretts criticize Hillary Clinton and Dennis Ross for pursuing negotiations primarily to gain international support for additional sanctions and even military action, adding that heeding Israel’s calls for deadlines for engagement will further undermine US credibility among Iran’s leaders. The writers state that Israel and Arab states cannot be united against Iran without resolving underlying regional conflicts, and they argue that the US will have to displease some applies by providing Iran security guarantees, accepting Iran’s uranium enrichment, and working with Iran to engage Hamas and Hezbollah (New York Times).
     Michael Singh counters that the Israel and Arab states are already working toward an “ad hoc coalition” based on complementary policies against Iran. Singh also argues that security guarantees will not be enough to dissuade Iran from pursuing a nuclear deterrent, concluding that an Iranian nuclear capability remains unacceptable due to the potential consequences, such as the emboldening of Hamas and Hezbollah, a regional nuclear arms race, and threats to Israel (Foreign Policy).
     Gary Sick writes that the Leveretts’ hopes for a “grand bargain”—in which, in exchange for reductions in US sanctions and security guarantees, Iran would cooperate on regional issues while adjusting its nuclear and regional policies—link together too many issues to constitute a negotiating strategy. Sick also writes that Clinton’s tough stance can provide leverage during talks, adding that the extent of Ross’ influence on Iran policy is questionable. Finally, Sick points out that Obama deliberately avoided setting a “deadline” and cautions against dismissing Iran-US negotiations before they begin (Gary’s Choices).
New York Times | Foreign Policy | Gary’s Choices

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