July 28, 2016

What Will the 2016 Election Mean for Iran?

This month marks the one-year anniversary of the Iran nuclear deal signing. However, the future of the deal remains uncertain as the two contending US presidential candidates have expressed diverging views on Iran. What would a victory by Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton mean for the future of the Iran deal? Weighing in are career ambassadors Thomas Pickering and James F. Jeffrey who spoke at the Council's June 27 event, "The Iran Deal: A Reassessment.


Thomas Pickering, former US Ambassador to Israel, Russia, and the United Nations

On Donald Trump:
"I think that if Donald Trump becomes president, he's said he'll tear up the agreement or renegotiate it. I think the basis for renegotiating it, he'll be off alone. Just with that famous Donald Trump smile and persuasion. And I think that's highly unlikely to happen, but it would certainly sour relationships—maybe end the agreement—if he really thought he was going to go ahead and do that. And I think that would obviously not be useful."

On Hillary Clinton:
"I think that Secretary Clinton has been tough on Iran and I think will continue to play a strong role, if she gets elected, in dealing with Iran. But I think that one could look forward to the possibilities, particularly if contrary to expectations, what one would call the internationalists in Iran—the Rouhani-Zarif led faction—continues to be there. There will be opportunities."

James F. Jeffrey, former US Ambassador to Albania, Iraq, and Turkey

On Donald Trump:
"I don't think I can comment on what Donald Trump would do in that or any other situation."

On Hillary Clinton:
"As I've worked for Secretary Clinton and as her views and her actions are part of the public record—I think that as Tom said, you would get a foreign policy approach in general and specifically towards Iran, that would be within the framework of what we've had in the last eight years—with a little bit more of the first Clinton administration's somewhat tougher, somewhat more skeptical view. Less transcendental."


The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues. We convene leading global voices and conduct independent research to bring clarity and offer solutions to challenges and opportunities across the globe. The Council is committed to engaging the public and raising global awareness of issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business, and governments engage the world.

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is an independent, nonpartisan organization. All statements of fact and expressions of opinion in blog posts are the sole responsibility of the individual author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Council.


| By Laurence Ralph, Thomas Abt, Brian Hanson

Deep Dish: Police Reform Lessons from Around the World

Princeton University’s Laurence Ralph and the Council on Criminal Justice’s Thomas Abt join Deep Dish to explain why police brutality is not a uniquely American phenomenon and argue the strongest examples of successful police reform come from outside the United States.

| By Pavin Chachavalpongpun, Brian Hanson

Deep Dish: Thailand’s Youth Demand Democratic Reforms

Political scientist Pavin Chachavalpongpun joins Deep Dish to explain how social media makes these Thailand's pro-democracy protests different than past movements and why the United States should see Thailand as a foreign policy priority when negotiating a rising China.

| By Maha Yahya, Emile Hokayem, Brian Hanson

Deep Dish: Can Lebanon Overcome Corruption and Crisis?

Carnegie Middle East Center Director Maha Yahya and the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ Emile Hokayem join Deep Dish to examine the ongoing protest movement in Lebanon, Hezbollah’s role in the crisis, and how a system built on sectarian politics could be rebuilt.

| By Laura Rosenberger, Jacob Helberg, Brian Hanson

Deep Dish: Making Cyberspace Safe for Democracy

The Alliance for Security Democracy’s Laura Rosenberger and Stanford University’s Jacob Helberg join Deep Dish to discuss digital interference, misinformation, and data privacy within the lens of geopolitics. 

| By Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, Scott Sagan, Brian Hanson

Deep Dish: Nuclear Threats 75 Years After Hiroshima

Seventy-five years after Hiroshima, former deputy secretary of energy Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall and Stanford University’s Scott Sagan join Deep Dish to examine the threat of nuclear weapons today.

| By Mira Rapp-Hooper, Brian Hanson

Deep Dish: Why Allies are Key for US Security Today

The Council on Foreign Relations’ Mira Rapp-Hooper joins Deep Dish to explain why the alliance system is still essential for America’s global leadership – but must be remade to meet the challenges of the 21st century. 

| By Adam Segal, Brian Hanson

Deep Dish: Who’s Winning the US-China Tech War?

The Council on Foreign Relations’ Adam Segal joins Deep Dish to explain the battles between China and the US over products like Huawei and TikTok, their role in US foreign policy, and why US allies are choosing sides. 

| By Judd Devermont, Neil Munshi, Brian Hanson

Deep Dish: Mali’s Instability Threatens the Sahel

This week on Deep Dish, the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Judd Devermont and the Financial Times’ Neil Munshi explain why Mali’s instability is a threat to Africa’s Sahel region — soon to be the West’s largest conflict zone.