Obama and Iran: Change Instead of Regime Change

One of the key foreign policy challenges of the Barack Obama presidency will be to elaborate a new approach towards Iran. A spirited, informed debate is already on in Washington – where a special presentation to the Senate has outlined crucial American and Iranian points of view; and also in academic and diplomatic circles, as a Joint Experts’ Statement on Iran recommends the President-elect adopts a bold new strategy, focused on dialogue and mutual respect.


Farideh Farhi is an Iranian independent researcher associated with the University of Hawaii. She has also taught at the University of Tehran and the University of Boulder and is the author of States and Urban-Based Revolutions in Iran and Nicaragua. The World Bank will soon publish her study on governance and reform in Iran. Joseph Cirincione is the President of the Ploughshares Fund, a public grant-making foundation focused on nuclear weapons policy and conflict resolution. He is a former vice president for national security and international policy at the Center for American Progress. He is the author of Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons (Columbia University Press, 2007) and Deadly Arsenals: Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Threats (Carnegie Endowment, second edition 2006). He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.