President Obama’s campaign trail effectively changed America’s policies on Iran through its declarations of direct engagement with Tehran and, most controversially, discourse with Iranian leaders ‘without pre-conditions’. With the current stand-off between the US and Iran entering its fourth decade, and the task facing the US to produce a diplomatic breakthrough seemingly ever-more arduous, now could be the time for genuine diplomacy and negotiations between the two.
By Christopher Pang, Head, Middle East and North Africa Programme One of the most urgent and problematic foreign policy challenges confronting the incoming US administration will be Iran. Washington’s ‘Iran policy’ has been described as a ‘Rubik’s Cube’, bringing together Tehran’s nuclear activities, its hostility to Israel, its role in Iraq and Afghanistan, its support for Hamas and Hizbullah and the nature of the Islamic republic itself into a single foreign policy
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