MonitorsPublished on May 11, 2015 PDF Download
Probably the most common response to the criticism that has been leveled at the P5+1-Iran negotiations over the past year is: "but what's the alternative?"
But What's the Alternative? In negotiations with Iran, it means doing a better job

Probably the most common response to the criticism that has been leveled at the P5+1- Iran negotiations over the past year is: “but what’s the alternative?” For the Obama administration this of course is a rhetorical question – the administration believes that the critics have no real alternative, which leads them to the inevitable conclusion that these critics are opposed to any kind of negotiation, and what they really want is war.

Indeed, over the past year critics of the negotiations have been marginalized as ‘hawks’ and ‘warmongers’, and sometimes brushed aside as incompetents, lacking knowledge and analytic skills to properly assess what is going on. But surely this is not a serious response to the very serious criticism that has been voiced from many quarters, and continues to be voiced following the April 2nd development in Lausanne. In fact, this response is looking more and more like a very lame excuse for a poorly handled negotiation.

There is an alternative to the current negotiation that is neither war nor Iran racing to the bomb: doing a better job at the bargaining table. Indeed, the true answer to the question of what could be done differently goes to strategies of bargaining with a difficult and intransigent partner.

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