Policy Position: U.S.-Iran Relations

Support Peaceful Solutions to the U.S.-Iran Conflict

  • NIAC opposes war with Iran because military conflict would imperil a democratic future for Iran, devastate Iran’s democracy and human rights movement, undermine U.S. national security, and strengthen hardliners in Iran’s government.
  • NIAC supports a policy of persistent strategic engagement with Iran that includes human rights as a core issue and addresses American and regional security concerns.

Obama FlagNIAC seeks a world in which the United States and a democratic Iran enjoy peaceful, cooperative relations. To this end, NIAC supports a policy of patient, strategic engagement that includes human rights as a core issue and addresses American and regional security concerns. Such an approach is the most effective way to protect U.S. national security while creating space for the Iranian people’s century long struggle for democracy. To be successful, America’s Iran strategy must learn from the mistakes made with Iraq. In Iraq, the absence of serious diplomacy put the United States on a path to an unnecessary and avoidable war. The international community imposed indiscriminate sanctions that failed to advance key interests but devastated the civilian population, weakened civil society, and cemented the country’s dictatorial rule. Three decades of Iran policy have put the US on a similar path, and it is one that the United States can ill-afford to continue following. NIAC seeks a new way forward because a military conflict with Iran would undermine U.S. national security, strengthen Iranian hardliners, and severely undercut Iran’s pro-democracy movement. NIAC rejects the notion that advancing US security interests and promoting the rights of the Iranian people are mutually exclusive, and instead believes that patient, forward-thinking diplomacy can achieve these two vital objectives simultaneously.