Is time running out for Iran?

The author argues that today, strong, independent, pro-Western states in the South Caucasus serve to contain the expansionary anti-American regimes in Russia and Iran, enable the secure passage of energy resources from the Caspian to the Black Sea and the Mediterranean via Turkey, and encourage the expansion of democratic and free-market principles and institutions across Eurasia. Furthermore, the author presents his concerns, namely the “neorealism” of the Obama administration. It will take time, he argues, before the White House recognizes that this policy does not bear the desired fruit; in this matter the paper includes a number of recommendations to the U.S. government for the protection of U.S. interests regarding security, energy, and democracy in the South Caucasus. Tensions around Iran’s Nuclear Program are at their peak. The region is under more pressure than ever. There are already discussions about possible military action against Iranian nuclear objects by Israel. While sanctions against Iran are getting tougher and the IAEA continues to express its suspicions regarding the Program and the level of disclosure on the part of the Ahmadinejad government, Iran continues to respond with threats as well as diplomatic pressure. Both the U.S and Europe are determined to maintain the necessary level of pressure on Iran to ensure that it will not acquire nuclear weapons, while Israel is already on the verge of military action. Turkey’s efforts in championing a solution to the problem have led to no real results, other than being put “out of action” by Iran itself. At the same time it seems that there are no concerted international efforts to establish a well-balanced dialogue with Tehran through its multi-level complex system of power. This report will attempt to cover external, regional and domestic vectors of the case and to provide specific policy recommendations, while analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of each vector

Authors: Reshad Karimov,Kamal Makili-Aliyev,Husrev Tabak