Prospects for Iran's New Direction
ARMY WAR COLLEGE CARLISLE BARRACKS PA STRATEGIC STUDIES INSTITUTE
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In November 2014, tense negotiations over the status of Iran s nuclear program resulted in a 7-month extension of a compliance deadline. In June 2015, negotiators will once again be grappling with the same intractable issues, where neither Iran nor the United States and its allies appear able to make the substantive concessions that would be necessary for a permanent agreement. This monograph, completed ahead of the November 2014 deadline, examines some of the underlying factors which will be constant in dealing with Iran under President Hassan Rouhani, and which will help determine the success or failure of talks in 2015. It surveys Rouhani s eventful first year in office in order to provide pointers to what may be possible and to some key limiting factors for Iran under his leadership. During that time, Rouhani was forced to balance his own progressive instincts with the instinctual caution of more conservative elements of the Iranian ruling elite. As a result, foreign hopes for his influence on Iran s place in the world have moved from initial optimism to a more sober assessment of the options available to him. This monograph provides an essential backdrop to the forthcoming renewed negotiations by providing an introduction to the complex interplay of issues and interests which constrain the Iranian leadership. The Strategic Studies Institute recommends it not only to researchers and policymakers with an interest in Iran, but also, given Iran s central role in a number of current Middle Eastern security issues, to those working with the Middle East more broadly.
- Government and Political Science