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Iran and the US— A Critical Juncture: Fireside chat with Wendy Sherman

November 19, 2020


Ambassador Wendy R. Sherman, professor of the practice of public leadership and director of the Center for Public Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School

Vali Nasr, Majid Khadduri Professor of Middle East Studies and International Affairs, Johns Hopkins SAIS.

Opening remarks by Narges Bajoghli, Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins SAIS
Ambassador Wendy R. Sherman joined the school for a discussion on the future trajectory of US-Iran relations. The event is part of the Johns Hopkins SAIS Rethinking Iran series' ongoing programming on the theme of “Iran and the US: A Critical Juncture."

Ambassador Sherman began the discussion by sharing insights on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known commonly as the Iran nuclear deal. Nasr weighed in by explaining the significant difficulties US allies experienced leading up to the signing of the deal, and where the deal lies now.

In regards to the future of US-Iran relations, Sherman said that a clear lack of any strategy during the Trump administration will lead the Biden administration to make greater efforts to reengage Iran, as the chance for catastrophic miscalculation remains high. While the US goal remains to prevent proliferation, and moderate Iranian behavior in the region, Sherman stated that any military strikes on Iran would lead to a full-scale regional war.

Reflecting on the deal itself, Sherman believed it completed the parameters set out by President Obama, and at the minimum taught us how to negotiate better. As for future course of action she called for America to live up to its internal ideals in regards to justice and equality, and asked students to always remain patient and persistent in their endeavors.