Dina Esfandiary is a CSSS Fellow in the War Studies department at King’s College London, and a non-resident Adjunct Fellow in the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ (CSIS) Middle East Programme in Washington DC.
Last week, Australia became the latest country to send a trade delegation to the newest land of economic opportunity: Iran.
With the lifting of most sanctions and a largely untapped market of more than 77 million people, foreign businesses eyed Iran with anticipation. But major obstacles to doing business remain. Not all sanctions have been lifted and Iran's opaque internal market and lack of regulation prevented the rush back into the country that some anticipated.
Iran’s relationship with Russia has been characterised as many things, ranging from a ‘marriage of convenience’ to a ‘long-lasting alliance’. In reality it's a pragmatic working relationship forged between two countries that have faced similar political and economic pressures from the West. The increasingly vitriolic exchanges of the past week, however, suggest that both are finding the relationship harder to manage.
Another seven days to reach an agreement; that's what the P5-1 decided this week when they weren't able to meet their 30 June deadline for a final deal on Iran's nuclear program. While some differences remain, both sides have come too far to walk away. The potential agreement achieves Western objectives: curbing Iran's program and closing the path to the bomb.
The April 2015 framework agreement was good.
Throughout the P5-1 negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, we've been treated to constant commentary on why a nuclear agreement with Iran is a terrible idea.
But none have been as ridiculous as this from Joshua Muravchick. According to him, war with Iran is a better way to prevent it from going nuclear. He couldn't be farther from the truth.
The best way to assess the success of a policy is to examine what it's trying to achieve.