With the November 24th deadline to reach a nuclear accord with Iran fast approaching, it remains an open question whether the P5+1 will finalize an agreement with Tehran. Some experts believe the sides are too far apart on key issues; others believe that President Obama’s letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei (pressing for a nuclear deal while noting shared U.S.-Iran opposition to the Islamic State) and recent concessions made to Iran at the negotiating table will help lead to an agreement in the near-term.
But the real issue is not whether the two parties will strike a deal sooner or later. Rather, given what is known about the status of Iran’s nuclear program and the concessions already made to Iran, how will any prospective agreement affect American interests and our allies in the Middle East? Will it, as President Obama has suggested, spur a new beneficial geopolitical equilibrium balancing traditional allies, like Israel and Saudi Arabia, against a longtime adversary? Or would an agreement likely empower an expansionist Iranian regime and further destabilize one of the world’s most volatile regions?
On Wednesday, November 19th at 12 noon, Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Lee Smith lead a panel discussion with David Albright, Michael Doran, Hillel Fradkin and Ray Takeyh.