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Confronting Iran: U.S. Options
Policy Papers - November 15, 2007
 

Today, the Islamic Republic of Iran looms large on the agenda of policymakers in Washington. Over the past several years, it has become clear that the Islamic Republic is pursuing a massive, multifaceted endeavor to acquire a nuclear capability—and that it is making rapid progress toward this goal, despite pressure from the world community. Yet Iran’s nuclear program is just part of a larger picture. The Islamic Republic’s enduring support for terrorism, its growing and pernicious regional role, and its radical, uncompromising ideology currently also pose serious challenges to the United States, its allies and American interests in the greater Middle East.

So far, policymakers in Washington have failed to muster an adequate response on any of these fronts. As a result, the Islamic Republic has gained precious time to entrench itself in Iraq, expand its support for terrorists and bring added permanence to its nuclear effort. The logical conclusion of the current status quo is a mature Iranian nuclear capability, continued Coalition casualties in Iraq, and emboldened terrorist groups across the region. If it hopes to avoid such an outcome, the United States must harness all the elements of national power into a strategy that focuses on three concrete goals vis-à-vis Iran: counterproliferation, counterterrorism, and counterinsurgency.
 

 
Iran, The Rainmaker
Articles - October 1, 2007
 

Ever since its start six years ago, the United States has been waging the War on Terror chiefly on the Sunni side of the religious divide within Islam. The principal targets have been Al-Qaeda and its affiliates. As recently as September 2006, the White House’s counter-terrorism strategy was still focused overwhelmingly on the Bin Laden network and its offshoots, which were seen as the vanguard of “a transnational movement of extremist organizations, networks, and individuals” threatening the United States. By contrast, the vision articulated by the president in his 2007 State of the Union Address is substantially broader. It encompasses not only Sunni extremists, but their Shi‘a counterparts as well. And, for the first time, it clearly and unambiguously identifies not just “terrorism” but a specific state sponsor — the Islamic Republic of Iran — as a threat to U.S. interests and objectives in the greater Middle East.
 

 
Signs of Iranian Troublemaking Are Everywhere
Articles - July 9, 2007
 

Just what does Iran have to do in order to get the attention of the United States? That question must be on the minds of officials in Tehran these days. After all, their regime has embarked upon an audacious -- and very public -- strategic offensive throughout the greater Middle East. But officials in Washington, preoccupied with flagging poll numbers and the ongoing insurgency in Iraq, don't seem to be taking notice.
 

 
Why Tehran Wants The Bomb
Articles - June 1, 2007
 

In late February, just days after the expiration of yet another United Nations deadline, and with the UN Security Council gearing up to deliberate new punitive measures, Iran's firebrand president issued a defiant public statement. The Iranian nuclear program "is without brakes and a rear gear," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told religious leaders in Tehran in comments carried nationwide by state radio. "We dismantled the rear gear and brakes of the train and threw them away some time ago." The demarche was emblematic of the deepening crisis that has beset the international community since the fall of 2002, when a controversial opposition group disclosed previously unknown details about Iran's nuclear program. Since then, it has become abundantly clear that the Iranian regime is not simply developing a nuclear program for "peaceful purposes," as its officials stubbornly claim. Rather, mounting evidence indicates that the Islamic Republic is embarked upon a comprehensive, multi-faceted national endeavor to develop a nuclear arsenal—and that it is making serious progress towards that goal, in spite of international pressure.

 
Iran Takes Prisoners
Articles - May 29, 2007
 

A conservative, the old adage goes, is a liberal who has been mugged by reality. Today, nowhere is this saying more apt than in the case of proponents of U.S.-Iranian “dialogue,” who are getting a harsh dose of reality about the true intentions of the ayatollahs in Tehran. Just ahead of yesterday’s planned U.S.-Iranian meeting to discuss Iraq, the Islamic Republic has launched a vicious crackdown on Iranian-American scholars and activists. The most high-profile victim of this offensive is Haleh Esfandiari, the head of the Middle East program at the Washington-based Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, who was rounded up May 8 on charges of trying to foment a “soft revolution” against the Iranian regime. Ever since, she has languished in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison, in spite of public entreaties for her release from prominent policymakers and senior statesmen.
 

 
Iran Gives Europe A Wake-Up Call
Articles - April 18, 2007
 

By now, the nearly two-week-long hostage crisis prompted by Iran's brazen seizure of 15 British sailors and marines in the Persian Gulf in late March is beginning to fade from public memory. But the incident has provided the West with an important glimpse into Iranian strategy - and an unprecedented opportunity for a reinvigorated transatlantic consensus about confronting the Islamic Republic. From the start, Iran's ayatollahs used the well-orchestrated seizure as a flagrant piece of political theater. The goal? To signal their regime's resolve in the deepening crisis over its nuclear program. The message - coming just days after the U.N. Security Council's passage of a second round of sanctions on Iran for its unauthorized nuclear work - was unmistakable: The Iranian regime is ready and willing to fight for its atomic effort.

 
Detente With Tehran?
Articles - April 9, 2007
 
 
Taking On Tehran: Strategies For Confronting The Islamic Republic
Books - March 2007
 

Taking on Tehran provides concrete solutions to the emerging Iranian global threat. With contributions from leading analysts and practitioners, Taking on Tehran examines the various approaches - economic, political and military - that can be taken by the United States and its allies to confront and defeat the contemporary challenge posed by the Islamic Republic. It offers practical, achievable guidance to policymakers and unique insight for students into how foreign policy is really made.

 
Iran Strategy Brief No. 2: The Dangers of Deterrence
Policy Papers - March 1, 2007
 

While there is still hope that Iran will not develop nuclear weapons, it is becoming more likely that a nucleararmed Iran will become a reality in the near future. It therefore is useful to begin looking at strategic models for managing the threat of nuclear weapons if Iran actually develops them, and to consider exactly what risks the civilized world would be facing.

 
A Dangerous Partnership
Articles - February 22, 2007