President-elect Biden has said he wants to reenter the Iran nuclear agreement from which President Trump withdrew in May 2018. Yet renewing that process will be no simple task given Iran’s subsequent violations of the JCPOA, persistent reservations among key U.S. allies, and congressional skepticism about further negotiations with Tehran. Threading this needle will require an innovative approach that reengages Iran while addressing allied concerns and preserving leverage for future talks. Ambassador Dennis Ross—who held the Iran portfolio on the National Security Council staff during President Obama’s first term—outlines just such a policy in the first installment of The Washington Institute’s 2021 Presidential Transition Memo Series.
To mark the release of this report and discuss Iran nuclear diplomacy, The Washington Institute is pleased to announce a virtual Policy Forum with Ambassador Ross, Suzanne Maloney, and Meghan O’Sullivan.
Dennis Ross is the counselor and William Davidson Distinguished Fellow at The Washington Institute. Before serving as special assistant to President Obama, he led a decorated government career that included Middle East policy roles under multiple administrations stretching back to President Reagan, encompassing nearly the entire history of the Islamic Republic.
Suzanne Maloney is vice president and director of the Foreign Policy Program at the Brookings Institution. Author of the recent book The Iranian Revolution at 40 (Brookings, 2020), she has advised both Democratic and Republican administrations on Iran policy.
Meghan O’Sullivan is the Jeane Kirkpatrick professor of international affairs and director of the Geopolitics of Energy Project at Harvard University’s Kennedy School. During the George W. Bush administration, she served as deputy national security advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan as well as senior director for strategic planning and Southwest Asia on the National Security Council.