User login

Join The Debate

Cast your vote and join the conversation.

Membership is free.

Get Started

You are here


Diplomacy With Iran Is Going Nowhere

Back To Debate
Download Transcript
Live Transcript

Debate Details

Though the Obama administration has offered direct, unconditional talks to the Iranian regime, Iran has failed to respond. Does America’s continued attempts to pursue diplomacy, at the expense of more forceful interventions, portray the U.S. as weak on a global stage? Or is diplomacy the best of bad options and the only legitimate way to garner international support?

The Debaters

For the motion

Liz Cheney

Attorney and Specialist in the areas of U.S. Middle East policy and reform in the Arab world

Liz served most recently as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs (2005-2006). Her responsibilities included designing... Read More

Dan Senor

Founding Partner, Rosemont Capital

An expert on Iraq, Israeli-Palestinian relations, and Middle East and Persian Gulf geopolitics, security, and economics, is adjunct senior fellow... Read More

Against the motion

R. Nicholas Burns

Former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs & Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government

Nicholas Burns, a career foreign service officer, is Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School... Read More

Kenneth Pollack

Senior Fellow and Director of Research at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution

Pollack is an expert on Middle Eastern political-military affairs, with emphasis on Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and other areas in the Persian Gulf.He... Read More

Where Do You Stand?

For The Motion
  • The Obama administration has privately and publically offered direct, unconditional talks to the Iranian regime and the Iranians have failed to respond: there is no active diplomacy with Iran.
  • Successful diplomacy with Iran requires both meaningful incentives and the threat of military force if diplomacy should fail; neither has been implemented by the Obama administration.
  • The Obama administration's unrequited attempts to engage in dialogue with Iran displays American weakness in the region and constitutes a failure to act on Iranian aggression.
Against The Motion
  • While U.S. diplomacy with Iran has been unsuccessful, future diplomacy to quell Iran’s nuclear ambitions will include the Russians, Chinese and the European Union and should be pursued.
  • Ending diplomacy would collapse any potential for a peaceful outcome and  would allow Iran to build a nuclear arsenal unencumbered by American interference.
  • The U.S. would not benefit from taking unilateral action against Iran and, until America’s allies are convinced that a good faith effort has been made, the U.S. should continue pursuing diplomacy.

This vote is intended to capture your opinions before hearing tonight’s debate.

Cast Your Vote

This vote is intended to capture your opinions after hearing tonight’s debate.

Cast Your Vote

Before you cast your vote, share some information with us:

{{ errors.first('email') }}

{{ errors.first('first name') }}

{{ errors.first('last name') }}

Are you sure?

{{ currentQuestion }} of {{ questions.length }}

Are you sure?

Are you sure?

{{ currentQuestion }} of {{ questions.length }}

Are you sure?

Review your answers below:

: {{ preVote[i] }}

Review your answers below:

: {{ postVote[i] }}

Please enjoy the debate and come back afterwards to cast your Post-Debate vote

Tell Us More

Before you cast your final vote, please tell us how you watched the debate

I listened to the podcast or read the transcript.
I watched it online.
I attended the debate live.
I haven't seen it yet.

Tell us why you changed your mind:

For the Motion Against the Motion Undecided
For the Motion Against the Motion Undecided

: {{ preVote[i] }}

: {{ postVote[i] }}

Donate to IQ2US

Thank you for joining us! Enter your email address below to receive the post-debate analysis and debate updates from IQ2US.

Learn About Voting
IQ2US debates are designed to expose audiences to civilized debate featuring opposing points of view. Please vote with your most genuine opinion.


  • Live Audience
  • Online Audience
  • Results
  • Breakdown

The Research

The Research

We Need a New Way to Deal with Iran's Nuclear Program

Francois Nicoullaud April 9
March 1, 2016

Assessing U.S. Strategic Options

Edited by James N. Miller
September 1, 2016

The Return of Weakness

Reuel Marc Gerecht April 6
March 1, 2016
Please choose what best describes why this comment is being flagged:

The Discussion

or and Join the Conversation
Load More Comments