Dr. Trita Parsi is the founder of the National Iranian American Council and an expert on US-Iranian relations, Iranian foreign politics, and the geopolitics of the Middle East. Parsi is the 2010 recipient of the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. He is an award-wining author of two books, Treacherous Alliance - The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran and the US (Yale University Press, 2007) and A Single Roll of the Dice - Obama's Diplomacy with Iran (Yale University Press, 2012). Treacherous Alliance won the Council of Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Award in 2008 (Silver medallion). A Single Roll of the Dice was selected as The Best Book on The Middle East in 2012 by Foreign Affairs. Parsi currently teaches at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. He tweets at @tparsi.
NIAC Editorial Memo:
Scheduled talks between Javier Solana, high representative for the European Union's Common Foreign and Security Policy, and Iran's National Security Advisor Ali Larijani were postponed Wednesday over disagreements on the nature of the exchange — would the parties discuss or negotiate?
During much of the summer, the Europeans were seeking Iran's approval of the Jun. 6 P5+1 package in order to swiftly initiate negotiations. Acceptance of the package devised by the five Permanent U.N. Security Council members and Germany required Tehran to also immediately suspend all enrichment activities — an activity that all concerned parties consider the prize of the negotiations.
U.S. should pursue a resolution of all outstanding issues with Iran as soon as possible. Iran’s response to the P5+1 proposal, which likely will fall short of Washington’s expectations, should not be regarded as the end of the diplomatic track. Doing so would put the US on a slippery slope towards military action. Both containment of Iran and limited engagement has proven unsuccessful. Containment failed because Iran is too strong to be contained, and limited engagement failed because it failed to address Iran’s sense of threat from the US. In addition, negotiating with Iran on limited issues such as uranium enrichment fails to take into account the many other concerns Washington has with Tehran, including Lebanon, Iraq and the human rights situation in Iran.