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Hey, America: Give the Balance of Power a Chance

Paul Pillar

President Obama and his team scored an early success in the president's visit to India that didn't really require any effort on their part. The first 45 minutes of the president's meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi was devoted to discussing China, with the U.S. side pleased to find Modi sharing their own concerns about implications of China's rise for the strategic situation in the region. Not only were the U.S. and Indian assessments about China congruent; Modi took the initiative in suggesting revival of an informal security network that included the United States, India, Australia, and Japan.

Modi's posture on this subject was much different from what has characterized India's overall strategic posture for most of its history since independence. Throughout the Cold War a major element of Indian diplomacy was what bore the label of neutralism, and later was more often called nonalignment. Neutralism did not sit well at all with U.S. policymakers, some of whom—most notably Secretary of State John Foster Dulles—sharply criticized it. In 1956 Dulles stated, “These neutral governments do not seem to realize that the Communist intentions are so diabolical and so hostile to their freedom and independence.” He said that neutralist countries “would eventually succumb unless they could develop a crusading spirit against the evil forces of Communism.” Dulles especially angered the Indians by referring to their variety of neutralism as “immoral”.

Dulles may have been more unrestrained than most in the language he applied to this topic, but he was reflecting a strong and recurring American outlook that has been applied as well to other situations in international politics. That outlook is one of seeing the world divided fairly clearly between good guys and bad guys, of becoming impatient with those who do not see it the same way, and of using U.S. initiative to get the laggards to take their proper place in the good-vs.-bad lineup. That outlook manifested itself years after the Cold War when President George W. Bush told everyone else in the world that they were either with us or with the terrorists.

Two basic problems have limited the effectiveness of this habitual American approach. One is that many people and governments do not see the global lineup the same way, and they have good reasons not to. International conflict is just not that simple, and cannot be reduced to such orderly lines. The other reason is that most people and governments do not like being prodded by the United States into standing in particular spots in the lineup as the United States defines it. They would rather reach their own conclusions and make their own decisions in acting on those conclusions. Certainly this last consideration has been for many years a major factor in shaping Indian policies.

A different and better approach for the United States would be more often to let the natural rhythm of the balance of power work. This would be understood by serious realists, for whom balancing in international politics is a core concept. There is something of a hidden hand at work, akin to how such a hand works economically in free markets. The hidden hand does not write the same script each time, and political scientists have explored the conditions under which balancing rather than bandwagoning is most likely, and vice versa. But if something a would-be hegemon is doing worries us, it probably is worrying others as well.

And thus expansion of Chinese power, including into India's own ocean, naturally makes Modi worry, without our having to tell him that he should be worried, and makes him willing to do something about it. The favorable result at the New Delhi meeting demonstrates how a balancing approach that relies on others' own interests and conclusions usually will be more successful than lecturing people, pushing and prodding them into our preferred position, or casting moral aspersions on them.

Image: White House Flickr.                         

TopicsIndia China RegionsSouth Asia

Beware: Collapsing Oil Prices Could Make Russia More Dangerous

The Buzz

While Saudi Arabia benefits from a weak oil market, and Iran is coping with it, the collapse in the price of oil, coupled with Western sanctions, could prompt Russia to embark upon a more dangerous course in foreign affairs.

Those were the major conclusions of a panel discussion on the geopolitics of oil prices hosted by the Center for the National Interest in Washington, DC on Tuesday.

Chas Freeman, the former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, initiated the discussion by explaining that conspiracy theories about the decline in oil prices are bogus. In his view, Saudi Arabia did not “have anything to do with the [oil] price collapse.” Rather, it was caused by a lethal combination of oversupply due to increases in oil production in places like Iraq, Libya and North America, as well as weakening demand due to a sluggish global economy—particularly in Europe and Asia.

While Saudi Arabia has not pushed prices downward, it also has done nothing to prop them back up. Inactivity has been its approach. This isn’t surprising, given that low oil prices suit Saudi Arabia’s economic interests just fine. Freeman explained that Saudi Aramco’s production costs are reportedly $5 or $6 a barrel, so it can easily weather lower prices.

By contrast, last year, Bloomberg reported that the break-even price for major U.S. shale projects ranged anywhere between $43.01 and $184.21 per barrel. While less dramatic, other oil producers—particularly those who rely on offshore sources—have far-higher production costs.

Thus, while Saudi Arabia can remain extremely profitable at the $45-per-barrel price, many of its competitors (and potential competitors) cannot. Over the long term, this allows Saudi Arabia to increase its market share.

Of course, beyond economics, low oil prices also suit Saudi Arabia’s geopolitical interests, principally by weakening its major adversaries such as Iran and Russia. Suzanne Maloney, an expert on Iran’s economy at the Brookings Institution, confirmed that Tehran is feeling the pinch from lower oil prices. For one thing, she noted that the collapse in oil prices had forced the Rouhani administration to revise down its budget figures, from those based on $72 per barrel to those based on $40 per barrel. Lower oil prices will also inhibit the Iranian administration’s efforts to continue reining in inflation, which has been one of its signature achievements thus far.

Still, the impact of falling oil prices hasn’t been catastrophic for Iran, and Maloney argued that it was unlikely to significantly impact Iran’s foreign-policy behavior, particularly with regards to the nuclear negotiations. Instead, one of the most interesting developments has been how falling oil prices have impacted the domestic debate in Iran about its future. Maloney marveled at how foreign investment was no longer a matter of debate in the formerly quasi-socialist Islamic Republic.

While falling oil prices might not significantly impact Iran’s foreign policy, the same cannot be said for Russia. In fact, Dimitri Simes, the President and CEO of the Center for the National Interest, warned that Russia might feel compelled to adopt destabilizing actions designed to prop up oil prices.

Simes stated that the Russian administration was “profoundly unprepared” for falling oil prices, having based its most recent budget on oil prices remaining above $100 per barrel. He blamed this, at least in part, on a bifurcation in Russian policy under Vladimir Putin. On the one hand, Russia’s economic policy had been based on integrating with the global economy, particularly Europe and the United States. On the other hand, Russia’s foreign policy has been increasingly adventurous, often putting it at odds with the EU and United States. Trying to pursue these two policies simultaneously was “totally unrealistic,” Simes argued, and as a result, Russia is in “a lot of trouble” economically.

While some in the West have cheered Russia’s economic downturn, and chastised Putin for it, Simes noted that he remains widely popular, as many Russians blame Western sanctions, not mismanagement at home, for many of their economic hardships. Furthermore, if the economic situation continues to deteriorate, and the free market fails to offer relief, Russia could use more traditional instruments of Russian power to prop up oil prices, such as “destabilization, covert action and of course military force.”

Freeman agreed, noting that “you can take supply out of the market by sabotage” or by destroying existing supplies. He also said he could imagine Russia and Iran at some point joining forces to artificially prop up the price of oil.

“I hope to God that doesn’t happen,” Freeman said.

Image: Wikicommons.

TopicsEconomics RegionsRussia

Japan Faces Massive Demographic Decline: Could "Womenomics" Help?

The Buzz

On Oct. 20, 2014, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe accepted the resignation of two women in his Cabinet – Obuchi Yuko, minister of economy, trade and industry, and Matsushima Midori, minister of justice – amid scandal over campaign irregularities and financing. This followed their promotion to the Japanese Cabinet with much fanfare less than two months prior; this was a symbol of Abe’s ‘Womenomics’ policy, an adjustment effort to improve women’s advancement in society and their participation in the workforce. A foundation of this initiative is creating social conditions that make it easier for women to balance work and family. This policy goal not only constitutes a major component of Abe’s ambitious economic strategy, popularly known as ‘Abenomics’, but would also help offset Japan’s demographic crisis. Japan’s future as a major power depends on whether Tokyo can simultaneously incorporate women into the workforce and increase the fertility rate. The answer will be important not only for Japan but for other countries facing similar demographic challenges.

Declining Population and Work Force

A 2012 report by the Japanese National Institute of Population and Social Security Research (PSSR), using medium fertility projections, projects Japan will enter a long period of population decline, dropping from 128 million in 2010 to 86.74 million by 2060. The most pessimistic projection for 2060 predicts a population of 78.56 million.

The Japanese population is also rapidly aging. The 1960s postwar baby-boom led to an expansive population pyramid – a large, young working-age population that propelled Japan’s economic miracle. Today, people age 15-64 (working-age population) still make up the largest portion of the total population in Japan, but this demographic is increasingly pressured from above by the economic burden of the elderly. According to the PSSR 2012 medium-fertility estimates, the working-age population will decrease, falling from approximately 80 million in 2013 to 44.18 million by 2060. This shrinking working population will be expected to care for and financially support an expanding elderly population – a trend that will compound over time. Within 45 years the elderly (65 and over) will comprise nearly 40 percent of the total population, and the young-age population will face an insurmountable economic burden in which 1.3 workers must support each elderly person.

These trends will not only place an acute burden on labor-intensive industries such as healthcare, but the financial stress on families will have negative effects on the broader economy. For example, a decline in population will mean less consumer spending and great pressure on Japan’s GDP growth and wages, undermining Japanese competitiveness. This combination of a weakening economy and declining population will deter foreign investment in Japan, limiting a valuable tool for economic recovery.

Womenomics

Abe posits that Japan can revitalize its economy by encouraging more women to work through a suite of policies aimed at extending economic opportunity. Womenomics is critical for Japan because it seeks to increase the role of women in the economy, but there are many obstacles. First, the participation of Japanese women aged 25-54 is 70.8 percent as of 2013 according to the OECD, ranking 23rd out of 34 OECD countries. Second, there are wide disparities in wages between women and men. Abe admitted that Japanese women earn on average 30.2 percent less than their male counterparts in his article in the Wall Street Journal. Third, marginalization of women extends into the political realm. After the 2014 general election, only 39 out of 475 members of the House of Representatives are women. The Gender Equality Bureau Cabinet Office (GEBCO) report also shows the ratio of new female employees in the central government in 2013 was only 26.8 percent.

Inequality in the public sphere reflects similar inequality in the private sphere; the traditional division of labor remains firmly entrenched at home. According to a 2007 Cabinet Office opinion poll, 60 percent of mothers believed that a wife is responsible for 80-90 percent of child-raising work at home. The same report found that the more husbands participated in domestic duties, the more wives wanted additional children. The Abe Cabinet has set a goal of increasing childcare leave for men to 13 percent by 2020, but this would likely have marginal impact since only 1.72 percent of husbands utilized such services in 2009, according to GEBCO.

One important obstacle to change is the lack of childcare services. According to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, there are more than 20,000 children on the national waiting list for childcare. It therefore shouldn’t be surprising that only 38 percent of women can maintain their job after their first maternity leave in Japan (GEBCO).

The Abe Cabinet hopes to transform Japanese society to make it easier for women to live, work, and raise children simultaneously. The Womenomics Policy Package outlines six categories of women’s demands that have to be met and suggests solutions for each demand: (1) want to give birth to, raise, and care for children (and the elderly) safely, (2) want to participate actively in the workplace, (3) want to be involved with and/or start businesses in the community, (4) want a healthy and comfortable life, (5) want a safe and secure life, (6) want to be connected with people and information.

Womenomics also seeks to increase the percentage of women in leadership positions to at least 30 percent by 2020. The government set targets to double the number of female managers in national government positions and for women to hold 10 percent of senior manager or higher positions in the private sector by the end of FY2015. It is expected that this will lead to further reforms in the work environment.

The implementation of Womenomics has not been seamless. Numerical targets do not change a patriarchal corporate culture; superficial appointments do not prevent women from being disproportionately criticized when they fail because of the assumption that they are not qualified to be leaders. The resignation of the female Cabinet ministers is the most recent example of the prejudices against women in positions of power. The Abe Cabinet had been criticized for what was perceived to be affirmative action appointments, yet male politicians have a long history of making mistakes, and are provided the opportunity to learn from those experiences and remain or return to power.

Moreover, Womenomics is not the Abe regime’s priority. In December 2014, the Abe Cabinet discarded a bill making it obligatory for companies to employ and promote a certain percentage of female workers to avoid the divisive issue in the general election. Abe will compromise on policies for women if other issues are more important for him.

However, as long as Japanese society holds biases toward women, government intervention is necessary. Japan’s demographic problems can only be addressed by a concerted government effort toward institutional reform, followed by meaningful societal change.

Conclusion

If Prime Minister Abe wants Japan to be a “first tier nation,” he must prevent Japan’s aging society and declining birthrates from suppressing its economic growth. Otherwise, Japan will be forced to decrease expenditures and investments in the military, Official Development Assistance, education, and other vital areas necessary for it to maintain its international relevance. An aging and declining population will slow growth while increasing pressure on the government and working population to pay for the massive costs of elderly care. With the decline of Japan, Asia will lose a vibrant democratic innovator and investor.

Womenomics can ease Japan’s demographic problems and invigorate a sluggish economy. The government must not waver in its efforts to increase female participation in the workforce. As other countries face similar demographic problems, how Japan addresses its problems can serve as a valuable example for the region, and the world.

Tomoko Kiyota is chair of the WSD-Handa virtual working group on “Abe’s demographic policies: lessons for Asia.” This piece is a result of several months of research, writing, and international collaboration undertaken by: Annette Bradford, Rachel Ianacone, Henry Lawton, Tom Le, Seongmin Lee, Naohito Miura, and Daichi Uchimura. For additional information on the group, or for more about the activities of Dr. Haruhisa Handa and the Worldwide Support for Development, contact youngleaders@pacforum.org. This piece first appeared in CSIS: PACNET newsletter here.

Image: Wikicommons. 

TopicsDemography RegionsJapan

China: Getting Ready to Dominate the Indian Ocean?

The Buzz

After a PLA-Navy submarine docked twice in Colombo, Sri Lanka last year, there is anxiety among Indian analysts of a renewed thrust by China for a permanent military presence in the Indian Ocean. New Delhi’s policy and strategic circles are abuzz with rumours of a likely Chinese naval base in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). Following reports of increased Chinese naval activity off India’s Southern maritime frontiers, New Delhi has even revived the proposal for an Indian Ocean Zone of Peace, in the hope that it would discourage Beijing from adopting a proactive maritime policy in the Indian Ocean.

Chinese maritime forays in the IOR aren’t a new phenomenon. For some time Beijing has been trying to expand its strategic footprint in the Indian Ocean. The increasing frequency of Chinese anti-piracy deployments and naval exercises, as well as growing investments in maritime infrastructure projects have burnished China’s image as a maritime player in the region. Yet, thus far, it seemed unlikely China had plans for establishing naval bases.

The recent spurt in Chinese naval exercises in the Indian Ocean, however, has led to whispers of a more pre-emptive PLA-N strategy. A string of naval deployments – including one with the 20,000-ton amphibious ship, the Chengbaishan, and another involving a nuclear submarine – has provided evidence that Beijing has its sights set on dominating the Indian Ocean. As a consequence, Chinese maritime basing in the Indian Ocean is no longer a strategic contingency to be taken lightly.

(Recommended: 5 Chinese Weapons of War India Should Fear

The first, in a set of revealing events, is the recent docking of a Chinese submarine at Colombo. While there was much discussion of the geopolitical implications of the visit, key operational details escaped critical analysis. It is noteworthy, for instance, that the Chinese submarine did not dock at the Sri Lanka Port Authority (SLPA) berths in Colombo – mandated to accommodate military vessels – but at the Colombo South Container Terminal (CSCT), a deep-water facility built, controlled and run by a Chinese company, the China Merchants Holdings (International). The CSCT may be well-suited for submarine dockings, but it is also a “Chinese enclave” within a Sri Lankan administered harbor. The presence of the Chinese submarine at the CSCT constituted a violation of protocol, but Sri Lankan authorities were reluctant to describe it as such. The SLPA chairman’s explanation that the submarine needed the extra-depth at the CSCT seemed implausible, considering that the Ming-class diesel-electric’s limited draft rendered it apt for berthing at any of the available SLPA facilities. Moreover, as commentators pointed out, the submarine visit was preceded by the docking of two other Chinese naval vessels at CSCT that Colombo tried hard to keep out of the media glare. This strengthens Indian suspicions that PLA-N assets are being allowed privileged access to Sri Lankan ports funded by Chinese investments.

(Recommended: 5 Indian Weapons of War China Should Fear

Colombo is not the only Sri Lankan port with an exclusively Chinese facility. China also has a controlling stake at Hambantota port, where according to media reports Sri Lanka has agreed to grant Chinese state-owned companies operating rights to four berths in exchange for an easing of loan conditions. Apparently, Colombo handed over control of the port to China without issuing a commercial tender, a fact that took many in the shipping industry by surprise.

Similarly, in Maldives, the Ihavandhippolhu Integrated Development Project, or iHavan, reportedly rides on huge concessional loans and aid financing from China. The loans, apparently, have been awarded at such a high rate of interest that Male is almost certain to default, unless it is offered some kind of unilateral waiver. Yet, it is exactly what Beijing is expected to do, as part of a now established formula of relaxing loan conditions in exchange for control over maritime projects it helps finance.

This raises troubling questions about the motive behind China’s Maritime Silk Route, an umbrella term referring to maritime infrastructure projects in the Indo-Pacific region. Beijing, denies that the plan is a rebranding exercise for an existing “string of pearls” strategy aimed at encircling India. Still, with an impending $40 billion dollar investment plan, it seems highly unlikely China would have assumed responsibility for the onerous projects without the promise of future strategic gains.

Beijing has been in fire-fighting mode ever since a news report appeared in the Namibian in November 2014 alleging the existence of Chinese plan for naval bases in the Indo-Pacific region and the west coast of Africa. A Chinese government spokesperson claimed the report borrowed liberally from a commentary in a Chinese state-controlled news portal in February 2013 that advised the PLAN to build overseas bases and protect its energy line in the Indian Ocean. There is some truth to this contention.

What is more pertinent, however, is that the original article not only outlined a blueprint for the establishment of 18 Chinese “Overseas Strategic Support Bases” in the IOR, but also recommended three specific categories of such facilities: fueling and material supply bases for peacetime use (Djibouti, Aden, and Salalah); relatively fixed supply bases for warship berthing, fixed-wing reconnaissance aircraft and the naval staff ashore rest (Seychelles); and fully functional centers for replenishment, rest and large warship weapons maintenance (Gwadar in Pakistan). Describing the precise nature and functions of the future bases, the commentary suggested a methodology for acquiring the facilities. Access to fixed supply bases – as being planned in Seychelles – it said, could be gained by signing short-term or medium-term agreements, while the “fully functional centers” in Pakistan and other IOR states needed medium-and long-term MoUs.

It is the possibility of Chinese dual-use bases in the IOR that deserves the most attention. A commercial facility with low-level logistical support capability, a dual-use base is a risk-free way of establishing maritime presence in a region of interest. In 2013, Beijing is said to have expressed an interest in such a facility at Gwadar, thus validating claims that China may be looking for a low-level military presence in the IOR. Modern dual-use maritime facilities aren’t completely benign assets. As a recent US National Defense University report pointed out, a powerful nation like China has the ability to upgrade a commercial port to support military operations in conflict scenarios, and even use it as a cover for construction of secret munitions stockpiles and other port infrastructure. It is possible, therefore, that Beijing might be contemplating agreements that offer it the right to properly militarize dual-use facilities in times of conflict.

A “dual-use” base is also what China appears to be pursuing in Seychelles. In 2011, it was widely reported that Seychelles has offered China maritime basing for its ships deployed to the Gulf of Aden and the West Indian Ocean to combat piracy. While Beijing was quick to deny the existence of such a plan, it did not exclude the possibility of an overseas supply point, fanning fears that it desired a more permanent military presence in the IOR.

China’s pitch for benign security in the Indian Ocean appears to be an attempt to convince Indian Ocean states of the need for Chinese support and security arrangements. It is critical for the PLA-N to have a system of assured logistics, refueling, repair and replenish facilities in the Indian Ocean that would enable sustain operations over a prolonged period. A sustained “maritime presence” in the Indian Ocean Region, however, is all Beijing needs to strategically dominate the region. The ready availability of PLA-N assets for maritime security tasks has the potential to take the regional security initiative away from India. Not only would a Chinese naval presence in the IOR challenge the Indian Navy’s primacy as a net-security provider, it would also erode India’s strategic influence in the region.

A permanent PLA-N presence in the IOR without conventional “naval bases” could be a strategic master-stroke by Beijing, leaving New Delhi all at sea.

Abhijit Singh is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) at New Delhi and specializes in maritime security affairs. This piece first appeared in CSIS: PACNET newsletter here.

TopicsSecurity RegionsChina

How Iran Views the P5+1 Nuke Talks

The Buzz

Ahead of the June 30 deadline for a comprehensive nuclear accord with Iran, international negotiators remain puzzled by two questions: “What does Tehran want, and what will it settle for?”   

A close reading of Iranian officials’ recent remarks helps place us in their shoes. While the message varies between officials – from the stridency of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei to the more diplomatic rhetoric of President Hassan Rouhani – one theme remains consistent: Iran believes it’s on the ascendant. Such thoughts have roots in Iranian policy.

Iran can now rightly tout that it controls several Arab capitals. In Damascus, the Bashar al-Assad regime continues to wield power over much of the country despite the tide of international opinion having turned against him. In Beirut, the Iranian proxy Hezbollah exercises virtual “veto power” over the fractious Lebanese government. In Baghdad, Tehran wields extraordinary power, overseeing the Iraqi government’s campaign to counter the Islamic State (IS). And in Yemen, Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels control the capital Sanaa and other strategic points.

The Syrian case is particularly instructive. In August 2012, the Syrian Ambassador to Iran exulted that Damascus and Tehran share “similar goals and similar enemies, and God-willing, we will be victorious.” More recently, in September 2014, Khamenei observed, “the realities of the world and the region demonstrate the weakening of the authority of the West…We must understand these realities well in order to avoid incorrect analyses.”

Counselors in the halls of power in Tehran are likely to continue to support Iran’s regional offensive, and are less inclined to believe that the West will confront it or its allies in the region. Such thinking is best exemplified by Admiral Ali Shamkhani, the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, who proclaimed that “the situation in Syria represents Iran’s victory in the region.”

For Iran, its resoluteness on Syria could not have contrasted more sharply with American indecisiveness. The U.S. not only shed all credibility after failing to enforce its own chemical-weapons “red line,” but has failed to follow through on President Barack Obama’s warning three and a half years ago that Assad must “step aside.” Instead, Iran has stood by the maxim promulgated by Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds-Force (IRGC-QF): “We’re not like the Americans. We don’t abandon our friends.”

Moreover, in a bid to confront the rise of IS in neighboring Iraq, Obama has even reportedly reached out to Tehran for assistance. For their part, Iranian analysts welcomed the move not as an aberration from three decades of mutual hostility, but as a “natural” gesture by Washington given Iran’s regional stature.

And yet nowhere is Iran’s line of triumphalist thinking more evident than on the nuclear file.

A November 2013 interim deal with international negotiators of the P5+1 led to significant sanctions relief, including economic sectors owned by the state or the IRGC such as petrochemicals. Since then, Iran has twice successfully extended talks in an attempt to ink a comprehensive nuclear accord. While it plays for time, Iran’s economy is looking up, with a particularly significant drop in inflation.

In the aftermath of the interim agreement, an Iranian brigadier general scoffed at the West for practically “begging” after Iran learned how to enrich uranium to 20 percent purity. Later, by not publicly chastising Iran for its incremental transgression of the interim agreement, negotiators have reaffirmed Tehran’s long-standing suspicion that the international community has more to lose from talks collapsing than does the Islamic Republic. The opposite is in fact true.

Khamenei has put it best. Highlighting the nuclear file as “a sign of the enemy’s weakness,” the supreme leader opined, “America and European colonial countries have gathered together so they can bring the Islamic Republic of Iran to its knees on the nuclear case. But they have not, and in the future, they shall not.”

Ahead of the next negotiation deadline on June 30, the United States’ most effective tools for gaining leverage are the threat of punitive financial and economic sanctions for failing to reach a comprehensive nuclear deal – all of them linked to rigid deadlines. Short of that, Iran will continue its delay tactics, pocketing international concessions while incrementally expanding its program.

Divining foreign adversaries’ objectives is never easy – certainly not when those adversaries’ decision-making apparatus is as opaque as that of the Islamic Republic. Still, by putting themselves in Iran’s shoes, international negotiators can find ways to make it exceedingly costly for Iran to stay its nuclear course, and to force Khamenei to reach for “the poisoned chalice” of compromise.

Behnam Ben Taleblu is an Iran Research Analyst at Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Image: Office of the Supreme Leader

TopicsDiplomacy RegionsMiddle East

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