Iran

President Barack Obama talks on the phone in the Oval Office with Secretary of State John Kerry to thank him for his work with the negotiations on the nuclear agreement with Iran, July 13, 2015.
Pete Souza / The White House

After years of negotiation designed to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and keep the balance of power from shifting in the Middle East, Congress will vote on a nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic next month.

The memorial in Nagasaki, Japan marking the location of ground zero of the August 9, 1945 nuclear attack.
Dean S. Pemberton / Wikimedia Commons

Seventy years ago Thursday, the United States dropped the first of two atomic bombs on the Empire of Japan – the opening salvo to the final days of World War II. The attack on Hiroshima, and Nagasaki three days later, killed as many as 200,000 people, and remain the only times nuclear weapons have ever been used against another nation.

This post was updated at 2:46 p.m. ET

President Obama delivered a foreign policy speech today aimed at bolstering public support for the Iran nuclear deal. He also attempted to discredit criticism from those who claim the agreement was a mistake.

"I've had to make a lot of tough calls as president. But whether or not this deal is good for American security is not one of those calls," Obama said during his remarks at American University, located about 10 miles from Capitol Hill.

In light of this week’s nuclear agreement with Iran, Asia-Pacific trade talks and renewed diplomatic relations with Cuba, Rebecca Cruise and Suzette Grillot talk about why 2015 has been arguably President Obama’s most successful year in foreign policy.

Then I’ll talk with Nigerian filmmaker Kenneth Gyang about bringing attention to issues facing his country through narrative storytelling.

The United States and five world powers have reached a historic agreement with Iran over its nuclear program.

As we've reported, the deal puts restrictions on Iran's nuclear program and also sets up an inspections regime that aims to make sure Iran is meeting its obligations. In exchange, the U.S. and its European partners have agreed to drop tough sanctions, allowing Iran to sell more oil and rejoin international financial systems.

World Views: July 10, 2015

Jul 10, 2015

Saturday marks 20 years since Serbian forces systematically killed 8,000 Bosnian Muslims in the town of Srebrenica. Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise discuss what has (and hasn't) changed about how the international community responds to genocide in the two decades since the atrocity.

Then Suzette speaks with author and journalist Stephen Kinzer about how easing hostility between the U.S. and Iran might be the best way to advance the interests of the United States in the Middle East.

A painting on the walls of the former U.S. embassy in Tehran
David Holt London / Flickr

In 1980, the United States broke diplomatic relations with Iran after 52 American citizens were taken hostage at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Since then, the relationship between the United States and Iran has been hostile.

It's been 70 years since a nuclear bomb was used in war, but in spite of that passage of time, it still has a great deal of relevance as a strategic construct even if they are unlikely to ever be used. Countries that possess nuclear weapons can pursue a more aggressive projection of power and a more aggressive foreign policy than they might be able to do otherwise.

University of Oklahoma political scientist Paul Goode joins Rebecca Cruise to discuss Russian President Vladimir Putin’s trip to Italy this week.

Then we’ll hear Suzette’s conversation with journalist Barbara Slavin. They’ll discuss what the ongoing nuclear talks mean for U.S.-Iranian relations and the possibility for diplomacy.

Anti-American street art in Tehran
toomuchtrotsky / Flickr

The June 30 deadline on Iranian nuclear talks is fast approaching, but disagreement over nuclear inspections continues to stall negotiations. Although a deal has not been reached, Barbara Slavin, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center, says the fact that negotiations are occurring is important for easing the relationship between the U.S. and Iran.

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