Joe Cirincione and Rob Leonard of the Ploughshares Fund have a good post up at the Hill about what the U.S. should do on Iran. They write:
The intelligence community’s views should be familiar. They have not changed much in three years: Iran’s leadership is internally divided, under severe pressure from U.S.-led international sanctions and – most importantly – undecided on whether to build a nuclear weapon. Expanding on a judgment first expressed in a Bush-era National Intelligence Estimate from 2007, [Director of National Intelligence James] Clapper recently reaffirmed that “Iran’s nuclear decision-making is guided by a cost-benefit approach, which offers the international community opportunities to influence Tehran.”
It is precisely this decision-making process that the U.S. and its allies are attempting to influence.
Despite the braying of neoconservatives and other hawks, Cirincione and Leonard think the Obama administration policies have been at least partially effective: the international community has embraced and elevated the level of pressure, and Iran’s nuclear progress has been slowed. “So we have time,” they write. “The question now is what to do with it.”
Cirincione and Leonard think the administration should “do no harm”, “turn up the engagement”, and “think creatively” in order to break the current impasse with Iran. Sound advice. Read the whole post here.