Prof Muhammad Sahimi, one of America’s most prominent Iran analysts, will keynote a Seattle conference, Iran-Israel-U.S.: Solving the Nuclear Impasse. Below is the new flyer for the event. Sahimi is a professor of chemical engineering at the University of Southern California. He maintains an extensive network of political activists in Iran with whom he is in close contact. He blogs at Huffington Post and is a correspondent for PBS Frontline’s Teheran Bureau. He has been interviewed by NPR and the N.Y. Times seeking his perspective on political developments in Iran:
Iran-Israel-U.S.: Resolving the Nuclear Impasse
* Dr. Muhammad Sahimi, University of Southern California
* Dr. Ian Lustick, political science professor, University of Pennsylvania
* Dr. Keith Weissman, former Aipac deputy director and Iran specialist
* Moderator: Dr. Ellis Goldberg, political science professor, University of Washington
December 16th at 7 PM
Town Hall, Seattle
Information: 206.632.0662 x 30
Tickets: $10 suggested donation
Brown Paper Tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/89086
♦ Stroum Jewish Studies Program, University of Washington* ♦ Middle East Center, UW Jackson School of International Studies* ♦ American Friends Service Committee ♦ Peace Action of Washington ♦ Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility ♦ American Muslims of Puget Sound ♦ Jewish Voice for Peace ♦ Kadima Reconstructionist Community ♦ Network Promoting Peace with Iran ♦ United Nations Association of Greater Seattle
This community conference sponsored by local Jewish community groups and peace organizations will explore ways of resolving the Iranian nuclear crisis through negotiation, rather than force. Congress recently passed a draconian sanctions bill directed against Iran. Neocons in the U.S. and Israel suggest that if sanctions do not work eventually military force may be the only way to end or delay Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Many in the progressive community are deeply concerned that the U.S. and/or Israel may soon repeat interventionist mistakes made in Iraq and Afghanistan. This conference will present a comprehensive approach that could resolve major difference through diplomacy and open a new era in relations between these three current enemies. It will also discuss the best means of supporting the Iran reform movement in its efforts to encourage a government based on democracy and tolerance.
Among the issues to be discussed:
* What is the best way to approach the issue of Iran’s nuclear program that will secure a positive outcome for those nations opposed to it?
* What impact might “crippling sanctions” have on Iran and the overall conflict? Will they work?
* What repercussions might there be from an Israeli military attack on Iran and would such an attack attain its objectives?
* If a military attack is a bad idea, how do we work to prevent it?
* How should the west further the goals of the Iran reform movement?
* Voices within the Israeli military, intelligence and academic communities that embrace a more pragmatic approach
* Sponsorship by the UW’s Stroum Jewish Studies Program and Middle East Center of this program does not constitute an endorsement of the program’s content
I wish I could attend. I would like to hear someone talk common sense about Iran – for a change. I am going deaf from all the sword-rattling.
The Iranians need US to support the pro-democracy movement of Iran and not to shake hands with the leaders of Iran who have the blood of innocent Iranians. I AM AGAINST MILLITARY ACTION but to sit down and talk to Ahmadinejad is certainly inhumane. I hope Mr. Sahimi is not advocating negotiations with IRI.
Why do you think talking with Ahmadinejhad is inhumane?
For the U.S. to support the pro-democracy movement (the real, genuine one, not the one that is equivalent to “democrats” like Ahmad Chalabi, Iyad Allawi and their gangs of thieves and charlatans) would be just about the most damaging thing possible for that movement. The best thing the U.S. could possibly do is get the hell out of the way, stop interfering, and allow Iranians to work things out as they will. In fact, leaders of the Iranian pro-democracy movement have explicitly asked the U.S. to butt out and please, please, please not “support” them or endorse them.
Richard Silverstein says
I think it’s not quite as cut & dried as you say. First, if it was a fair fight I would say you are right & we should butt out. But it is not. The thugs in gov’t have virtually all the levers of power & the reformers seem virutally helpless except for a few well placed allies like Montazeri who they are too cowed to haul to jail & torture.
People I know who’ve been to Iran lately have told visitors they look to the U.S. to help them though of course they’re not clear how. I think Obama needs to make firm calls on behalf of the reformers w/o in any way intervening in Iran’s internal affairs. I don’t think we should do any of this alone, but rather in concert w. the UN & other agencies who the mullahs would have a hard time smearing for their alleged hatred of Iran.
It might have changed somewhat since the Bush regime ended. During those eight years My information was that the democrats were virtually begging the U.S. government to stay out of it, including any kind of “support”. During the uprising right after the election I heard over and over from many different sources, including a few personal sources, that open support from the U.S. would be poisonous to the opposition.
Another very serious concern I have is that the U.S. never supports any political movement or government in the third world without some sort of quid pro quo, and the price is always very, very high for the recipient of the support. Furthermore, as soon as the U.S. has no more use for those they have so ardently supported, they are tossed to the wolves. The Kurds have certainly experienced that in spades over the decades, though they seem incapable of learning from the experience no matter how many times it is repeated. The Mujaheddin in Afghanistan learned their lesson well, however.
And finally, the U.S. has a clear and irrefutable history of mucking things up long term, if not short term, wherever it sticks its hands in the Middle East.
If I were an Iranian democrat I would be extremely leery of accepting support or help of any kind from the United States.
There are a lot of people in Iran who still remember what we did to Mohammed Mossadeq. They don’t trust us, especially when we are so much in love with Israel.
Gene Schulman says
Ah, Richard, you’re still counting on Obama? Try to get it through your head that he is a part of the oligarchy that doesn’t want a solution or peace in the Middle East. All they want is hegemony in the region, and they are using Israel as their aircraft carrier to carry out chaos, which includes an eventual military conflict with Iran. It is no different than AfPak. They are not looking for peace or democracy. They couldn’t care less about that. All they want is control of the energy resources, and they will secure them any way they can, no matter how many people may die or be displaced in the process.
All these comments are much ado about nothing, and signify ignorance.
Sadly, I tend to agree with you, Gene. The entire Iran situation is a tempest in a teapot. The US and Israel have been instigating problems for years, focusing on Iran’s nuke program while conveniently ignoring Israel’s. Always spoiling for a fight – that’s the US and Israel. Dreaming up threats when there are none, implementing foreign policy that guarantees to produce more so-called “terrorists”, we’re up to our eyeballs in violence of our own making.