John Limbert discusses how the United States could negotiate with Iran in its attempts to end the 30-year estrangement between the two countries in his new book, Negotiating with Iran: Wrestling the Ghosts of History.
The essential question of the book is not whether the United States should negotiate with Iran, Limbert emphasizes, but how such negotiations should be conducted. In his book, Limbert reviewed four Iranian case studies and offered 14 recommendations for moving toward this objective.
Dr. Haleh Esfandiari is an Iranian American academic and the Director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.
Her areas of expertise include Middle Eastern women's issues, contemporary Iranian intellectual currents and politics, and democratic developments in the Middle East, and she frequently writes, lectures, and organizes symposia on these topics. In 2007 she was detained, in solitary confinement, in Iran's Evin Prison for more than 110 days, between May 8 and August 21.
Ambassador John Limbert is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Iran in State Department's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.
He is a veteran U.S. diplomat and a former official at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, where he was held captive during the Iran hostage crisis.
Veteran U.S. diplomat John Limbert blames the tumultuous relationship between the United States and Iran on a "residue of hostility and suspicion" dating back 30 years. "You can do all the right things and your chances of making progress still may be no better than 50-50," says Limbert.