Are we headed for a military conflict with Iran?

Question: Are we headed for a military conflict with Iran?


Dennis Ross: I don’t think we have to be.

I think that in the case of the Iranians, the whole Iranian leadership and elite wants nuclear weapons, but not all of them want it at any price. And the, again, statecraft is governed by recognizing the areas where those whose behavior want to change vulnerabilities, and focusing on how you can play on those vulnerabilities. Your main vulnerabilities are acute in the economic area. So the challenge is to find the right set of pressures on them economically to get them to realize that the price is going be too high as they measure price, not as we might.

But then, at the same time, when you concentrate their mind, this too _________. When you concentrate their minds and what they stand to lose, if the only outcome that they think is going to be one of humiliation, then they’re not going to concede. So at the same time you concentrate their minds, you gotta offer them a pathway. There has to be a door that they can walk through where they can have an outcome that’s an acceptable outcome; that’s a dignified outcome; that in the end allows them to say, “Alright, we’ve achieved something that’s important for us,” and the rest of the world is able to say, “Okay look. They’re not going to be a nuclear weapons state.” So I believe it’s possible to find that outcome, but I also think that we’re beginning to run out of time.


Recorded on: September 12, 2007


Although the Iranian elite wants nuclear weapons, Ross says, not all of them want it at any price.

A new study says alcohol changes how the brain creates memories

A study on flies may hold the key to future addiction treatments.

Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Mind & Brain
  • A new study suggests that drinking alcohol can affect how memories are stored away as good or bad.
  • This may have drastic implications for how addiction is caused and how people recall intoxication.
  • The findings may one day lead to a new form of treatment for those suffering from addiction.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

Heatwaves significantly impact male fertility, says huge study

As the world gets hotter, men may have fewer and fewer viable sperm

Surprising Science
  • New research on beetles shows that successive exposure to heatwaves reduces male fertility, sometimes to the point of sterility.
  • The research has implications both for how the insect population will sustain itself as well as how human fertility may work on an increasingly hotter Earth.
  • With this and other evidence, it is becoming clear that more common and more extreme heatwaves may be the most dangerous aspect of climate change.
Keep reading Show less