Ambassador is a former U.S. special representative for Syria engagement and former U.S. ambassador to Turkey and Iraq; from 2013-2018 he was the Philip Solondz Distinguished Fellow at The Washington Institute. He currently chairs the Wilson Center’s Middle East Program.
Simon Henderson is the Baker fellow and director of the Bernstein Program on Gulf and Energy Policy at The Washington Institute, specializing in energy matters and the conservative Arab states of the Persian Gulf.
Not enough is being done to convince Tehran that seeking nuclear weapons down the road will lead to forceful consequences, so the next administration will need to put forth a tougher declaratory policy on the issue while bolstering the deal's near-term benefits.
Moscow only agreed to the nuclear deal out of self-interest, and the JCPOA has allowed Russia to expand ties with Iran while positioning itself as a regional counterweight to the West.
The Islamic Republic's terror sponsorship has hardly abated since the nuclear deal was reached, giving the Obama administration another opportunity to reassess these menacing behaviors and hold Tehran accountable.
The nuclear deal and the negotiations leading up to it have been a significant source of factional confrontation inside Iran over the past few years, and this trend will continue for the foreseeable future.
In keeping with their limited view of the agreement's scope, and in light of their other pressing policy concerns, European officials are focused on enforcing the JCPOA's nuclear restrictions and ensuring that the West holds up its end of the deal.
Disappointed with the nuclear deal and sensing that Iran is challenging its leadership role in Islam, Riyadh seems prepared to ramp up bilateral tensions via oil production increases, sectarian provocations, and other tactics.
Israel and Washington should jointly address the perceived lack of U.S. deterrence against persistent Iranian and proxy threats, conclude the ten-year military assistance package as soon as possible, and launch a strategic high-level dialogue under the next administration.