Real News: Obama And Iran

The Ploughshares Fund pools contributions from individuals, families and foundations and directs those funds to initiatives aimed at preventing the spread and use of nuclear weapons and promoting regional stability, in the pursuit of a safe, secure and nuclear weapon-free world.

Can Obama untangle the Iranian challenge?

by Alexandra Bell

The Ploughshares Fund, November 18, 2008

People were turned away at the door at a standing room-only event at the Hart Senate Office Building titled, “Can Obama Untangle the Iranian Challenge: Prospects for a New Policy,” hosted by the Ploughshares-funded National Iranian American Council (NIAC).

NIAC’s president, Dr. Trita Parsi, welcomed a panel that included Former Assistant Secretary of State Ambassador James Dobbins, Dr. Farideh Fari of the University of Hawaii and Ploughshares Fund president Joseph Cirincione, who discussed the future of U.S.- Iran policy and the agenda for change.

The consensus of the entire panel was that current actions are failing to thwart the nuclear ambitions of Iran and the U.S. cannot keep doing the same thing, expecting a different result.  They all agreed that now is the time for engagement.  

The panelists answered press questions and were followed by Representative John Tierney (D-MA) who also stressed the need for enhanced diplomacy with Iran.  Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) agreed and pointed out that uranium enrichment cessation was an object of the negotiations and therefore could not be a precondition.

Pepe Escobar and The Real News reports on the event and analyzes the situation and current US foreign policy towards Iran, and what Obama can and should be focusing on in relations with Iran.

Joseph Cirincione: “The best way to seek regime change in Iran is not to seek regime change“.

One of the key foreign policy challenges of the Barack Obama presidency will be to elaborate a new approach towards Iran. A spirited, informed debate is already on in Washington – where a special presentation to the Senate has outlined crucial American and Iranian points of view; and also in academic and diplomatic circles, as a Joint Experts’ Statement on Iran recommends the President-elect adopts a bold new strategy, focused on dialogue and mutual respect.

November 25, 2008 – 9 min 37 sec

Obama and Iran

Diplomats and scholars encourage Obama to invest in change instead of regime change

Farideh Farhi is an Iranian independent researcher associated with the University of Hawaii. She has also taught at the University of Tehran and the University of Boulder and is the author of States and Urban-Based Revolutions in Iran and Nicaragua. The World Bank will soon publish her study on governance and reform in Iran.

Joseph Cirincione is the President of the Ploughshares Fund, a public grant-making foundation focused on nuclear weapons policy and conflict resolution. He is a former vice president for national security and international policy at the Center for American Progress. He is the author of Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons (Columbia University Press, 2007) and Deadly Arsenals: Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Threats (Carnegie Endowment, second edition 2006). He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.


    • Edger on November 25, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    For a change?

  1. “Dialogue & mutual respect”

    What a concept!

    Who`d a thought!

    And, It just might work.

    Operator, can you put me through to Iran.

    What? Oh, tell them it`s Obama. Tell em, it`s all cool.

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