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Synopsis: Since the 1979 Revolution in Iran and the end of a close relationship between the US and the Shah, successive American administrations - including the Obama Administration - have tried to contain Iran by various means, particularly sanctions and military threats. Even though President Obama came to office promising to engage Iran, in reality his administration has followed the policy of "tough diplomacy," which has included, among other acts, imposing draconian sanctions against Iran. Following the author's earlier book on the history of containment of Iran and Iraq, the current book examines closely the Obama Administration's policy toward Iran, as well as the role played by Israel, the European Union and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the implementation of this policy. Specifically, it is argued that the policy of "tough diplomacy," designed mostly by those associated with the Israeli lobby groups, was intended to give an ultimatum to Iran in some direct meetings, telling Iran to either accept the US-Israeli demands or face aggression. The meetings were also intended to create the illusion of engaging Iran in order to gain international support for aggressive actions. Barack Obama announced this policy in his speeches as a Senator, particularly at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conferences. After he became president in 2008, the policy of "aggressive diplomacy" was put in motion. While pretending to engage Iran in diplomacy, the Obama Administration, in coordination with the US Congress and the government of Israel, pushed for the most confrontational IAEA reports on Iran and an unprecedented set of unilateral and multilateral sanctions. The US and Israel also engaged in a campaign of military threats, sabotage and assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists. Yet, after four years of hostilities, the policy of "tough diplomacy" failed to achieve many of its goals and failed to contain Iran.

About the Author: Sasan Fayazmanesh is Professor Emeritus of Economics and Director of the Middle East Studies Program at California State University, Fresno. His current areas of research include the political economy of the Middle East and monetary history and theory. His writings have appeared in such places as the Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology, Encyclopedia of Political Economy, the Review of Radical Political Economics, History of Economic Ideas, UCLA Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, South Asia Bulletin, CounterPunch and Z-Magazine. Dr Fayazmanesh has been interviewed on numerous national and international radio and television programs. He has edited and authored a number of books, including The United States and Iran: Sanctions, Wars and the Policy of Dual Containment, published in 2008 by Routledge. The current volume is a continuation of chronicling the history of US policy toward Iran.

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Sasan Fayazmanesh
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Fayazmanesh, Sasan
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