Nuclear Diplomacy: Biden's Middle East Aspirations
Nuclear nonproliferation in the Middle East is a major policy challenge for President Joe Biden, who is eager to return to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. Meanwhile, other states in the region—notably Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt—have either initiated or advanced their nuclear programs during the past few years. This may constitute a security challenge, given the reality of ongoing regional polarization. Will the new administration's Iran policy have an impact on nonproliferation in the Middle East? How will it address nuclear proliferation is other states in the region? Join us on Thursday, February 4 from 10:00-11:00 a.m. EST (5:00-6:00 p.m. Beirut) for a public panel discussion with George Perkovich, Laura Rockwood, and Alex Vatanka, chaired by Maha Yahya. The event will be held in English and livestreamed on YouTube and Facebook.
A Deal is a Deal?
A state sponsor of terror; a destabilizing force in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain and Yemen; and a menace to America’s Navy and global commerce in the Gulf, Iran is, no doubt, a bad actor. The question, though, is whether backing out of the nuclear deal is cutting off the nose to spite the face. As the State Department threatens Iran, while, at the same time certifying that it is complying with the terms of the deal, this panel will weigh and debate the strategic pros and cons of reneging on it. Featuring: Antony Blinken, Former Deputy Secretary of State Joseph Cirincione, President, Ploughshares Fund Kori Schake, Research Fellow, Stanford University Hoover Institution Alex Vatanka, Senior Fellow, Middle East Institute Moderator: Elise Labott, Global Affairs Correspondent, CNN
US-Iran: War of words and the risk of escalation
MEI Senior Vice President Gerald Feierstein and Senior Fellow Alex Vatanka join host Alistair Taylor to discuss the rapid rise of tensions between the US and Iran this week, the political calculations being made by each side, and where things could go from here.
Iran Frustrated With India Playing Safe, May Reluctantly Offer Chabahar To China: Alex Vatanka
NEW DELHI: “China's ties with Pakistan go back decades. If I'm sitting in New Delhi, a Beijing-Tehran strategic deal is a big geopolitical win and certainly not good news for India,” Alex Vatanka, the Director and Senior Fellow, Iran Programme, Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C. tells StratNews Global Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi. Though India's involvement in Iran's economy gives Tehran "more options", there has been "little commercial progress" which is "frustrating" Iran, he adds. The author points out that he "wouldn't be surprised if Tehran reluctantly offers the Chabahar port to China in the near future" to add to its development of Gwadar in Pakistan, which is less than 200 kilometres away. Alex also addresses reports of internal opposition and public anger in Iran with Chinese goods taking away livelihoods, saying there are questions over the "desperation" for the deal and over the reported "lucrative package being offered at discounts." The reported $ 400 billion, 25-year agreement which still has to be formalised, he adds, is an "economic lifeline for Iran and is linked to the system's survival." Posting a reminder of "big Iranian strategic projects having had a bad history," Vatanka, says the Iran-China deal's purpose is to "poke a finger in America's eye" and hasn't taken into account the "long-term consequences." The Kish Island lease report was so "humiliating" that Iran had to quickly "denounce" it. China will also have a "challenge to balance" its good relations with all other regional countries, Vatanka says, warning if there is a military dimension, it will "bring in a new bad competition cycle with a zero-sum game." Also, Russia, despite its closeness to China, he points out is "aware it won't come out stronger." President Donald Trump's maximum pressure strategy has failed, he concludes, saying "American strategy needs to be more focused and pursued consistently, in terms of the key priorities, irrespective of who sits in the White House." #iran #China #India
Alex Vatanka on the Iranian Nuclear Negotiations
March 24, 2015 - Alex Vatanka, senior fellow at The Middle East Institute, discusses the mood in Tehran as the deadline for negotiations approaches, the state of U.S.-Iranian relations, and what reaching a deal could mean to that relationship and the Arab world, in a brief interview.