Flynt Leverett, former Senior Director for Middle East Affairs at the National Security Council, discusses the latest negotiations on Iran’s nuclear enrichment program at the just-concluded P5+1 Baghdad summit; why the US will never agree to lift sanctions on Iran, no matter the concessions; how the US negotiating position makes Obama look like an idiot; Richard Nixon’s observation that the same political price is paid for going half way as all the way – so you might as well go to China; why the Obama administration still won’t (consistently) acknowledge Iran’s rational leadership and sovereign (and NPT) right to enrich uranium; and how bad-faith negotiating by the US ruined the “reciprocity framework” established in the previous Istanbul talks.
MP3 here. (18:35)
Flynt Leverett runs The Race For Iran blog and teaches at Pennsylvania State University’s School of International Affairs. Additionally, he directs the Iran Project at the New America Foundation, where he is a Senior Research Fellow.
Dr. Leverett is a leading authority on the Middle East and Persian Gulf, U.S. foreign policy, and global energy affairs. From 1992 to 2003, he had a distinguished career in the U.S. government, serving as Senior Director for Middle East Affairs at the National Security Council, on the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff, and as a CIA Senior Analyst. He left the George W. Bush Administration and government service in 2003 because of disagreements about Middle East policy and the conduct of the war on terror.
Dr. Leverett’s 2006 monograph, Dealing With Tehran: Assessing U.S. Diplomatic Options Toward Iran, presented the seminal argument for a U.S.-Iranian “grand bargain”, an idea that he has developed in multiple articles and Op Eds in The New York Times, The National Interest, POLITICO, Salon, Washington Monthly, and the New America Foundation’s “Big Ideas for a New America” series.