Middle East Notes and Comment: Testing Patience
December 7, 2010
Domestic politics and challenging allies will soon test the Obama administration's strategy of patience towards Iran. A Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives is likely to be much more hawkish toward Iran, and much more skeptical of a long-term diplomatic process making uncertain progress. Iranian leaders know how difficult it is for them to make negotiating progress given their own internal partisan politics; their chief negotiating partner, the United States, will soon face much the same challenges. And that's not all. With the Arab Gulf states and Israel both feeling a direct threat from Iran, the United States will continue to find it difficult to shape their behavior. Managing these allies may prove every bit as challenging as managing Iran.