Coping with Iran

Confrontation, Containment, or Engagement? A Conference Report

by James Dobbins, Sarah Harting, Dalia Dassa Kaye

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Abstract

On March 21, 2007, the RAND Corporation held a public conference on Capitol Hill, “Coping with Iran: Confrontation, Containment, or Engagement?” featuring high-level experts and hosted by the director of the RAND International Security and Defense Policy Center. More than 300 guests attended, including former ambassadors, members of Congress and senior staffers, senior journalists, Pentagon officials, and numerous well-known Middle East analysts. Two high-level officials, Ambassador R. Nicholas Burns, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, and Ambassador Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iranian Ambassador to the UN (via videoconference), also shared their national perspectives with the audience. Conference participants sought to facilitate an informed discussion of the benefits and drawbacks of various policy options to address the Iranian challenge. This report summarizes remarks presented during the conference. The views expressed in this document are those of the participants, as interpreted by the RAND Corporation.

This research was conducted within the Intelligence Policy Center (IPC) of the RAND National Security Research Division (NSRD). NSRD conducts research and analysis for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Commands, the defense agencies, the Department of the Navy, the Marine Corps, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Intelligence Community, allied foreign governments, and foundations.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation conference proceeding series. RAND conference proceedings present a collection of papers delivered at a conference or a summary of the conference.

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The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.