The question of how to deal with Iran has been an ever present issue for President Obama since he assumed office in 2009. Following an end to the war in Iraq and a transition of security responsibilities in Afghanistan to the Afghan National Army, there was a sense among foreign policy analysts that the Obama administration would then put active pressure on Iran to quit its nuclear ambitions through diplomacy or, if needed, through force.
Instead of keeping his attention on the Middle East, Obama pivoted toward Asia and focused U.S. attention toward strengthening economic and security ties in the Pacific Rim. Meanwhile, U.S.-Iran relations, though tense, remained unchanged. But a recent high-level meeting this week between six world powers and Iran in Kazakhstan made news because of the “conciliatory” nature of the summit and an ease of previous demands by Western countries, including the United States, on Tehran regarding nuclear research.
In the following video from the Asia Society, Iran’s United Nations representative Mohammad Khazaee and U.S. Ambassador Thomas Pickering joined David Ignatius of the Washington Post to discuss the future of U.S.-Iran relations, and whether the two countries are going down a path to peace or to war.