Things to Consider When Approaching Iran

Things to Consider When Approaching Iran

In a television interview in late January with the Arab network Al Arabiya, President Barack Obama raised the issue of talks with Iran as part of a public diplomacy campaign directed towards the Middle East and Islamic worlds.

Obama has a huge task ahead of him should he attempt to break the 30-year American-Iranian deadlock, but the payoff could be significant. While such a breakthrough won't solve all the problems in the Middle East, rapprochement between the U.S. and Iran has the potential to positively impact on the precarious situations in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as on the security environment in the oil-rich Persian Gulf.

But for rapprochement to work, a lot depends on how both sides approach it. Three decades of mistrust won't be broken down easily or quickly. The following are guidelines that the Obama administration should consider when it formulates its policy approach on the Islamic Republic:

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