Thomas R. Pickering was formerly US Under Secretary of State and Ambassador to Russia, Israel, India, Jordan, El Salvador, Nigeria, and the UN. (August 2013)


For a New Approach to Iran

Hassan Rouhani, two weeks before he won Iran’s presidential elections, speaking to his advisers before appearing at a campaign rally, Tehran, May 30, 2013
Could this be the year for an engagement with Iran that “is honest and grounded in mutual respect,” as President Obama proposed over four years ago? That goal seems unlikely without a shift in Iranian thinking and without a change in American diplomatic and political strategy. But two developments, one in Iran and one in the region, provide reason to think that diplomatic progress might be possible.

How to Deal with Iran

A poster of Ayatollah Khamenei hanging behind a missile on display at a military exhibition marking the twenty-eighth anniversary of the beginning of the Iran–Iraq war, Tehran, September 23, 2008
Three of the most pressing national security issues facing the Obama administration—nuclear proliferation, the war in Iraq, and the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan—have one element in common: Iran. The Islamic Republic has made startling progress over the past few years in its nuclear program. Setting aside recent, misleading reports that …

A Solution for the US–Iran Nuclear Standoff

The recent National Intelligence Estimate’s conclusion that Tehran stopped its efforts to develop nuclear weapons in 2003, together with the significant drop in Iranian activity in Iraq, has created favorable conditions for the US to hold direct talks with Iran on its nuclear program. The Bush administration should act on …