Listen Now

Jones: What was the most significant development in international affairs this year?

By: /
19 December, 2013
By: Bruce Jones
Director and Senior Fellow of the NYU Center on International Cooperation

The interim deal in Iran: if it’s finally inked, and if it holds, and if it leads to a more final deal on Iran’s nuclear program. These are big ifs – already new names being added to the American sanctions regime caused the Iranian negotiators to walk out of the latest round of talks, and hardliners on both sides are going to work hard to halt implementation. And the distance between an interim deal and a final deal is a very long one, and one that will be hard to traverse with two parties that absolutely distrust each other. The U.S. President put the odds of a deal at 50/50 – probably a slightly optimistic assessment. But if a deal is reached, it will bolster international energy markets, remove a thorn from U.S. relations with India, China and Russia – and send the Middle East into crisis. And if a deal now fails, the risks of a military clash rise, and rapidly. Whichever way this plays out, it’s the most significant development in international affairs.

Before you click away, we’d like to ask you for a favour … 


Journalism in Canada has suffered a devastating decline over the last two decades. Dozens of newspapers and outlets have shuttered. Remaining newsrooms are smaller. Nowhere is this erosion more acute than in the coverage of foreign policy and international news. It’s expensive, and Canadians, oceans away from most international upheavals, pay the outside world comparatively little attention.

At Open Canada, we believe this must change. If anything, the pandemic has taught us we can’t afford to ignore the changing world. What’s more, we believe, most Canadians don’t want to. Many of us, after all, come from somewhere else and have connections that reach around the world.

Our mission is to build a conversation that involves everyone — not just politicians, academics and policy makers. We need your help to do so. Your support helps us find stories and pay writers to tell them. It helps us grow that conversation. It helps us encourage more Canadians to play an active role in shaping our country’s place in the world.

Become a Supporter