HUMPHREY SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
STUDENT RESEARCH SERIES
Freeman Commons (HHH 205)
April 16, 2012 11:00 - 12:00 Noon
Candidate for Master of Public Policy
IMPOTENT AND OBSOLETE: THE CASE FOR DIPLOMACY IN IRAN
Abstract: Iran has been lighting up the airwaves with its controversial nuclear program. The Iranian regime continually reiterates that its nuclear program is strictly for peaceful purposes, while the United States and Israel lead an opposing contingent with evidence suggesting there are military components. International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors often enter Iran with hopes of productive talks and unhindered access to the areas of concern, but every time inspectors leave Iran disappointed. In the United States and Israel many policy makers are losing patience with Iran and have chalked diplomacy up as a failure. In both countries, hawks argue that the only option left is to launch an airstrike aimed at disabling Iran's nuclear facilities, while others argue that the extensive sanctions program needs to be given time to work. In this analysis, there is still time for diplomacy to work if the United States is willing to fully commit to the strategy. For diplomacy to succeed, however, the United States cannot simply treat the Iranian nuclear program as a disarmament dispute. A frank assessment of Iran's threat environment and the U.S. - Iranian relationship is necessary to create a comprehensive diplomatic package that addresses Iran's underlying motivations for exploring a military component to its nuclear program. Only by addressing the security threats facing Iran can the United States and Israel achieve a long-term solution to Iran's nuclear program.
Adam Roberts is a native of northern Minnesota and a six year veteran of the Minnesota Air National Guard. He has a bachelor's degree in History and a minor in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls. Roberts focuses on inbternational security issues with a "passion" for nuclear nonproliferation and developing a solution to the Iranian nuclear program.
Adam Roberts April 16, 2012.docx