Dennis Ross's Future On The Iran Desk

More

Haaretz asks: "Why is Dennis Ross being ousted as Obama envoy to Iran?"

1. Ross, a veteran diplomat, was never envoy to Iran. He was a "special adviser" with responsibility for providing advice about the entire Middle East region (except for, um, a lot of other countries in the Middle East.) The U.S. government never wanted an envoy to Iran because an official appointment would signify that Iran merited the same official attention and respect as, say, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Obama's engagement policy is more cautious than that.

2. His position at the State Department has been tenuous and his status unclear; that's led to leaks and questions from his friends about what the heck he does.

3. He remains a valued adviser to the president, and he will probably end up serving in an advisory capacity at the National Security Council, where he won't have to fight political battles with Richard Holbrooke (who has hired Iranian experts for his staff) and others.

4. Ross may end up coordinating Iran policy at the NSC.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Did I Study Physics?

In this hand-drawn animation, a college graduate explains why she chose her major—and what it taught her about herself.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Video

What If Emoji Lived Among Us?

A whimsical ad imagines what life would be like if emoji were real.

Video

Living Alone on a Sailboat

"If you think I'm a dirtbag, then you don't understand the lifestyle."

Video

How Is Social Media Changing Journalism?

How new platforms are transforming radio, TV, print, and digital

Video

The Place Where Silent Movies Sing

How an antique, wind-powered pipe organ brings films to life

Feature

The Future of Iced Coffee

Are artisan businesses like Blue Bottle doomed to fail when they go mainstream?

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In