Reza Marashi | All Articles

Reza Marashi
Reza Marashi
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      Reza Marashi

      Reza Marashi is Director of Research at the National Iranian American Council and a former Iran Desk Officer at the U.S. State Department.

The heavy costs of war with Iran

Political memory in the United States can be remarkably short. At the end of the Bush administration and throughout the 2008 presidential campaign, it became clear that the majority of Americans wanted U.S. domestic and foreign policies to change for the better. Weary from two wars and a near economic collapse, America’s call for change culminated with the 2008 presidential election. 52.9% of voting Americans opted for a president who openly supported an Iran policy centered on “diplomacy without preconditions” to resolve the outstanding issues that have long fueled U.S.-Iran tensions. Nearly two years after taking office, direct U.S. negotiations with Iran have been limited to four days, and a (eerily familiar and unconvincing) campaign for war has begun. How we got here is predictable: the same special interests and partisan politics that influence many U.S. foreign policies. How to avoid another unnecessary war in the Middle East requires a sober understanding of the inevitable costs to America. Three key issues stand out: