For the third time in three years, the United States and its international partners are preparing to negotiate with Iran over its nuclear program that poses a pressing threat to U.S. national security. History counsels skepticism toward Iran’s newly rediscovered willingness to negotiate. There is a chance that this time could be different. Yet, this time the stakes are also higher than ever. President Obama has urged Iran to understand that “the window to solving [this] diplomatically is shrinking.”
In its latest paper on Iran’s nuclear program, BPC’s Foreign Policy Project outlines principles that should guide U.S. negotiations with Iran. Those principles are: (1) extend an open hand; (2) negotiate from a position of strength; (3) set and enforce deadlines; and (4) uphold United Nations Security Council resolutions. Following these four principles will maximize the chances for reaching a diplomatic settlement that addresses U.S. concerns about Iran’s nuclear program or, should such an agreement prove elusive, will ensure that Iran does not succeed in, yet again, diluting international resolve.