**UPDATE NOVEMBER 26: Over the weekend The United States and five other world powers signed an historic agreement with Iran over its controversial nuclear program, whereby Iran promised to cap enrichment at a level below that needed to fuel an atomic bomb, and agreed to new inspections but not to dismantle its enrichment equipment. In return the USA and other nations agreed to relax economic sanctions imposed to get Iran to end all enrichment as demanded by the U.N. Security Council.
Duke public policy professor Peter Feaver weighed in on the agreement last night (via The Monkey Cage blog): “Obama made it clear that he considered the military option to be so undesirable that he would only consider it if all other alternatives that offered any prospect of preventing Iran from developing a weapons capability had been exhausted.”
Two weeks ago leading Iran scholars at Duke and UNC discussed the history of US-Iran relations at length and offered insight into the “new politics” of Iran. See the write-up and watch the video below.
by JULIE POUCHER HARBIN, EDITOR, ISLAMiCommentary and TIRN, on NOVEMBER 21, 2013:
UNC-Chapel Hill Islamic Studies Professor Omid Safi noted last night in his blog that with Iran, Rouhani, the nuclear negotiations and the intrigue with Iranian-US-Israeli relations in the news, “most Americans are puzzled about the complexities of Iran’s recent history, and the subtleties of how the closest American ally in the Middle East came to be perceived as such a strident foe.”
“How did we get to this point, and how do we get back to a place of mutually respectful relations?” was the chief question he sought to answer when he led off a panel discussion at Duke last week themed “A New Iran?” — a panel that included Ali Reza Eshraghi (Iranian journalist, IWPR project manager, and teaching fellow at UNC-Chapel Hill) and Mohsen Kadivar (theologian, exiled Iranian dissident , and Duke Islamic Studies Professor). Continue reading