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Ross Pick Provides Clue to Obama's Iran Approach

Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009

The Washington Times, citing the Nelson Report, reports that Barack Obama has selected Dennis Ross to coordinate the administration's policy toward Iran.

The Ross pick is not surprising given that Ross was one of Obama's top foreign policy advisers during the campaign, and often spoke about Iran policy. So what does the pick say about the administration's likely approach to Iran?

Ross laid out his approach to Iran at a June panel at the Center for a New American Security in Washington. I live-blogged the event, and you can read my post here. In a nutshell, Ross said he favored a "hybrid approach" of "strong carrots" and "strong sticks," characterizing the Bush administration's strategy as a "weak carrot and weak stick" approach.

For more, see Judah's reaction to the Ross formulation, and my subsequent follow-up to Judah's follow-up.

Ross is a great choice to coordinate Iran policy, but I wonder if those who are expecting a revolutionary departure from the Bush approach are going to be disappointed. What he's promising, it seems to me, is more akin to an adjustment of existing policy, but we'll see.

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