The Foreign Service Journal - October 2017

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | OCTOBER 2017 9 a book on the Iran nuclear deal, shares his views on what the deal can teach us about particular challenges inmaking foreign policy today. Amb. (ret.) Kenneth Quinn takes us on a “soft power” journey to Iran—where international appreciation for Norman Borlaug, Iowa farmboy turned biotech hero, leads to common ground. FSO Dave Schroeder offers an opti- mist’s view, suggesting that the JCPOA could lead the way to an Iran that can serve as a stabilizing force in the region as part of the international community. Then we look back in time for les- sons. In a piece from the FSJ Archives (April 1980), the late Roy Melbourne, a retired FSO and former head of the political section in Tehran, shows how much influence oil politics and European colonialism have had on U.S. relations with Iran. And Amb. (ret.) John Limbert presents the strange and cautionary tale of the murder of Alexander Griboyedov, Russian diplomat and emissary to Persia in the 1820s. Elsewhere in this issue, Amb. (ret.) Charlie Ray offers advice on handling ethical dilemmas during times of uncer- tainty, and a Foreign Service daughter shares her father John Kormann’s story of mercy and gratitude. In her President ’s Views column, Ambassador Barbara Stephenson reminds members of the Foreign Service to embrace their role as stewards of the institution. In November, look for the popular annual roundup of new books by Foreign Service authors, along with some how-to advice for aspiring writers. n LETTER FROM THE EDITOR The Iran Policy Puzzle BY SHAWN DORMAN T he Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known also as the Iran nuclear deal, reaches the two-year mark this month. The JCPOA came into effect on Oct. 18, 2015— Adoption Day, 90 days after the agree- ment was signed. Then, in January 2016, the International Atomic Energy Agency verified that Iran had implemented its commitments related to dismantling parts of its nuclear program, and the United States, United Nations and European Union began lifting oil and financial sanc- tions. An illustration of effective diplomacy, the Iran deal may be an exemplary case study in why it’s important to talk to adversaries as well as friends. While the deal is not popular with the Trump administration (President Trump has called it the “worst deal ever”), the presi- dent has twice certified that Iran was meeting its part of the bargain. The next certification date is Oct. 15. This month the Journal puts some pieces of the Iran policy puzzle together, not aiming to be comprehensive but rather to offer various views from experts who have been deeply involved in dealing with Iran. Gary Sick, a former National Security Council official under Presidents Ford, Carter and Reagan and now a Middle East scholar at Columbia University, offers context and perspec- tive in “Iran Inside and Out.” Amb. (ret.) Dennis Jett, who just finished Shawn Dorman is the editor of The Foreign Service Journal.