Dealing with Iran: A Policy of Engagement and Deterrence

As the State Department’s No. 3 official in the George W. Bush administration, R. Nicholas Burns was instrumental in negotiating sanctions to punish Iran for its nuclear program. Those sanctions were lifted on January 16 when the International Atomic Energy Agency determined that Iran was in compliance with the terms of the nuclear agreement it concluded with the P5+1 countries—the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Germany—in July of 2015.

Burns, a Harvard University professor of diplomacy who is on leave this semester at Stanford University and an Atlantic Council board member, discussed the opportunities and challenges presented by the Iran nuclear deal in a phone interview with the New Atlanticist’s Ashish Kumar Sen.


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