Trita Parsi and Reza Marashi write: With the elections behind him, President Obama must quickly shift his focus to key foreign policy challenges that were put on pause due to election season paralysis. On Iran, the President should hit the ground running.
Obama has a unique opportunity to make headway on the diplomatic front between November 8 and March 20, when the Iranian New Year hits. After that, Iran enters its own election season and the paralysis that comes with it. This may be his last best shot to resolve the U.S.-Iran conflict peacefully.
While both sides believe they are in a position of strength, reality is that neither Washington nor Tehran holds a trump card. U.S.-led sanctions cannot force capitulation or regime change in Iran (See: Saddam Hussein’s Iraq), and America will not succumb to an Iranian nuclear fait accompli.
The only real solution is a negotiated one — but how can Obama make diplomacy succeed? Here are four recommendations. [Continue reading…]