Power groupings such as the G20 should be the first to tackle containment of Iran's nuclear ambitions, not individual states, two US foreign policy analysts said at a forum in Abu Dhabi. "We are entering a crucial year in what is going to be the Iran issue," said Strobe Talbott, a former deputy secretary of state in the Clinton administration and now president of the Brookings Institute.
Tuesday night's event, organised by the New York University in Abu Dhabi, was a discussion between Mr Talbott and Bruce Jones, one of the authors of Power and Responsibility: Building International Order in an Era of Transnational Threats. Mr Jones made the case yesterday that groups of states such as the G7, G8 and G20 should be used more often to co-ordinate the dialogue surrounding the Iranian question.
He said power groupings such as these would be ideal political arenas in which to discuss the issue, but would need to report their findings to decision-making bodies, such as the United Nations. Both men expressed concern about Barack Obama's strategy on Iran. "We don't see a change in the multilateral approach, since Obama took office," Mr Jones observed. Both men conceded that nations would find it difficult to achieve consensus on how the issue should be confronted, despite widespread opposition to Iran's nuclear ambitions.