Program director at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University
Richard Nephew is a nonresident senior fellow in the Foreign Policy Program and affiliated with the Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Initiative housed within the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence. He is also a research scholar and program director at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University. During his career, Nephew served as the principal deputy coordinator for sanctions policy at the U.S. State Department and director for Iran at the National Security Council.
The author argues that fears that Iran will direct sanctions relief towards terrorism and regional adventurism are "wildly overblown" as Iran's domestic economic needs will require the Rouhani administration to "tend to the problems at home and make the investments necessary to sustain their future."
Richard Nephew challenges the argument that Iran will "plow its hard-won sanctions relief into regional adventurism", arguing that Iran has far more significant domestic problems to address at the moment and that any diversion could be easily countered by U.S. and its allies in the region.
The author counters the argument that the U.S. conceded too much in trying to reach a deal with Iran, pointing out that "Iran had to make several compromises in order to get a satisfactory nuclear deal and, in the end, the separation between Iran’s public and private stances is far wider than those of the Obama administration."