Michael Eisenstadt is the Kahn Fellow and director of The Washington Institute's Military and Security Studies Program.
Articles & Testimony
Policymakers need to stay focused on halting the regime’s fissile material buildup while undertaking a broader, longer-term effort to shape its assessment of the risks, costs, and utility of nuclear weapons.
America’s inability to rein in Tehran’s nuclear program after exiting the 2015 nuclear deal should prompt Washington to reassess its Iran policy. Such a reckoning should acknowledge that the United States has never used all of the implements in its policy toolkit to rein in Iran’s nuclear ambitions, while the tools it has generally relied on—diplomacy, sanctions, and (to a much lesser extent) the threat of force—are less effective today due to a shifting geopolitical landscape. For now, it is unclear if ongoing stop-gap diplomacy to reach informal understandings absent a formal deal will cause the Islamic Republic to curb its fissile material buildup indefinitely in return for the easing of sanctions on its oil exports. Furthermore, the Israeli-Hamas war will almost certainly absorb the attention of U.S. policymakers for months to come...