Iran Nuke Deal: Do Economic Sanctions Work After All?

John Cassidy, “Iran Nuke Deal: Do Economic Sanctions Work After All?,” The New Yorker, 25 November 2013

Economic sanctions have had a bad rap. Ever since 1919, when Woodrow Wilson suggested that boycotting the goods and services of rogue nations could serve as a peaceful substitute for wars, critics have been claiming that sanctions are woolly, ineffectual, and counterproductive.
Continue reading

For a New Approach to Iran

William Luers, Thomas R. Pickering, and Jim Walsh, “For a New Approach to Iran,” The New York Review of Books, August 15, 2013

My administration is now committed to diplomacy…and to pursuing constructive ties among the United States, Iran, and the international community. This process will not be advanced by threats. We seek instead engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect.
—President Obama, March 2009

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.
Continue reading