Engaging Iran: Opportunities and Obstacles
Video: RAND Congressional Briefing Series
- Keith Crane, Director, RAND Environment, Energy, and Economic Development Program
- Frederic Wehrey, Adjunct Senior Policy Analyst, RAND Corporation
- Alireza Nader, International Affairs Analyst, RAND Corporation
- Ambassador David Aaron (Moderator), Director, RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy
The uncertain future of relations with Iran is one of the United States' most critical and high-profile foreign policy concerns. To effectively engage Iran, the United States must have a greater understanding of how Iran's complex internal dynamics impact its regional allies and the United States.
This panel will shed light on numerous topics including
- Iran's internal decisionmaking
- Iran's economic outlook
- Iran's foreign policy, including interactions with neighboring countries.
Dangerous But Not Omnipotent
Iran's rise as a regional power presents a key foreign policy and security challenge to the United States, but its reach may be more limited than Western conventional wisdom suggests. U.S. strategy should work to exploit existing barriers to Iran's harmful activities, while simultaneously seeking areas of engagement.
Imported Oil and U.S. National Security
While on a net basis the United States imports nearly 60 percent of the oil it consumes, this reliance on imported oil is not by itself a major national security threat. The study finds that the economic costs of a major disruption in global oil supplies – including higher prices for American consumers –pose the greatest risk to the United States.
Iran's Political, Demographic, and Economic Vulnerabilities
The United States should pursue a mixed strategy toward Iran, using a variety of means to promote favorable social developments within the country and at the same time exploiting vulnerabilities in the nation's political, economic and demographic conditions.
Saudi-Iranian Relations Since the Fall of Saddam
Saudi Arabia and Iran have long been rivals in the Middle East, but the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003 and the ongoing war in Iraq have increased tensions between the two states. This study analyzes the Saudi-Iranian struggle for influence in Iraq, the Persian Gulf, Lebanon and Palestine and its implications for U.S. interests.
The Rise of the Pasdaran
Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps has evolved to take on a greater role in the nation's political, economic and cultural arenas in addition to serving as a major military force.
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