Engagement, Coercion, and Iran’s Nuclear Challenge: Report of a Joint Study Group

The U.S. faces important decisions as it prepares for talks with the Islamic Republic of Iran on its nuclear activities.  A distinguished group of 50+ scholars and policy analysts concluded that the U.S. should rebalance its approach to Iran, leveraging the gains achieved from sanctions by indicating a willingness to engage Iran diplomatically on a wide range of issues. The study group’s report is a broad prescription for rebalancing U.S. policy in a way that could increase the chances for success in the talks.

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The U.S. faces important decisions as it prepares for talks with the Islamic Republic of Iran on its nuclear activities.  Despite signs that trade and financial sanctions are slowing Iran’s nuclear program and squeezing its economy, sanctions alone will not alter Iran’s calculations.  After reviewing Iranian politics and foreign relations, the dynamics of energy in the Middle East and U.S. policy options, a distinguished group of 50+ scholars and policy analysts, holding a wide range of analytical views and political orientations, conclude that the U.S. should rebalance its approach to Iran, leveraging the gains achieved from sanctions by indicating a willingness to engage Iran diplomatically on a wide range of issues.  Although not constituting a tactical blueprint for the upcoming negotiations in Geneva, the study group’s report is a broad prescription for rebalancing U.S. policy in a way that could increase the chances for success in the talks.

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