WASHINGTON, D.C. – No simple solution exists for solving the Iranian nuclear problem. In a new report released today by the Center for American Progress, experts in nuclear nonproliferation, Iran, and foreign policy evaluate military and diplomatic policy options for Iran, none of which offer an assured path to success. After conducting a sober appraisal of the possibilities, the report concludes the best available option: decisive diplomacy to contain and engage Iran.
The contain-and-engage strategy boasts a number of interrelated policy proposals that can achieve our core objective—the negotiated end of Iran’s nuclear enrichment program—within 12 to 18 months. It furthermore offers the best chance of testing Iran’s interest in trading away any future nuclear weapons capability for present security and economic benefits that would appeal to the vast majority of the Iranian people.
“A strategy of ‘contain and engage’ couples the pressures created by sanctions, diplomatic isolation, and investment freezes with practical compromises and realizable security assurances,” said Joe Cirincione, Senior Fellow and Director of Nuclear Policy at the Center for American Progress.
Simultaneously containing and engaging Iran offers the best possibility for moving toward a broader agreement with concrete, reciprocal measures— recognition that the United States must address Iranian security concerns in exchange for Iran addressing ours.
The report focuses on the near-term challenge of constraining Iran’s nuclear program so that the most dangerous aspect of that program—uranium enrichment—can be curtailed. Constraining Iran’s nuclear program would create the necessary time to work toward resolving a broader range of issues with Iran and shore up global efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons.
The report goes further by providing a series of detailed policy proposals for limiting Iran’s influence in the region, while increasing U.S. national security.
Click here to read the full report