PONI Debates the Issues: Sanctioning Iran

February 27 – 28, 2012

Are economic sanctions the key to resolving the nuclear dispute?

The Project on Nuclear Issues (PONI) is pleased to invite you to a debate on the recent sanctions imposed on Iran. These sanctions target Iran's banking sector and are widely believed to have had significant effects not just on Iran's ability to acquire materials for its nuclear program, but also its energy sector and economy as a whole. Although many agree that Iranian development of a nuclear weapon would have serious security implications for the Middle East, questions about whether or not this is truly Iran’s intent and what the United States should do about it remain hotly contested. Does diplomacy still offer a means of resolving this issue and, if so, are the economic sanctions being passed on Iran making a diplomatic solution harder or easier to achieve? 

Two highly distinguished scholars will come to CSIS to present opposing views on this issue and debate the policy of sanctioning Iran on its merits. The debate will feature: 

Dr. Suzanne Maloney,

Senior Fellow, Saban Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Institution


Mr. Michael Rubin,

Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute

Dr. Maloney will present her argument that sanctioning Iran has become counterproductive and that the U.S. "cannot hope to bargain with a country whose economy it is trying to disrupt and destroy." Mr. Rubin will take the opposing view that "only overwhelming pain" will convince the Iranian leadership to cooperate fully with the IAEA.

A cocktail reception with appetizers will begin at 6:00pm and the debate will commence at 6:30pm. 

RSVP to David Slungaard at dslungaard@csis.org.

Webast: For those that cannot attend, the debate will live streamed. A link to the webcast will posted on this page on the day of the debate. 

This event is the 13th installment of PONI's ongoing Live Debate Series, which is an extension of the PONI Debates the Issues blog. The objective of the series is to provide a forum for in-depth exploration of the arguments on both sides of key nuclear policy issues. Please join us for what promises to be an exciting debate on a crucial issue of concern for the nonproliferation community, international security analysts, and regional specialists focusing on the Middle East. 

About the Project on Nuclear Issues
Established in 2003 to reverse the trend of declining expertise across the nuclear enterprise and to stimulate public debate on nuclear weapons issues, PONI aims to build and sustain a vibrant community of young nuclear experts from the military, national laboratories, industry, academia, and the policy community. To that end, PONI maintains an enterprise-wide membership base, hosts four major conferences and several smaller events each year, maintains an online blog, holds live debates on critical nuclear weapons issues, runs a six-month academic program for young experts, organizes bilateral exchanges involving young experts from the U.S. and abroad, oversees a working group of top young professionals, and distributes bi-weekly news and event announcements to members. 

Learn more about becoming a PONI member

Clark A. Murdock

Clark A. Murdock

Former Senior Adviser (Non-resident), International Security Program