As tensions between Iran and the West continue to mount over the former’s suspected pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability, the world is looking to November 2012 for answers: will the next president of the United States set the country on a course toward war or peace with Iran?  

This question is particularly timely given Canada’s recent decision to suspend its diplomatic relations with Iran, and declare personae non gratae all remaining Iranian diplomats in Canada.

Bruce Riedel, a Washington insider and leading global security specialist on the Middle East, will kick off the 2012-13 season of The Centre for International Governance Innovation's (CIGI) Signature Lecture Series with a discussion of Obama, Romney and Iran. Co-sponsored by the Balsillie School of International Affairs, the event will take place at the CIGI Campus Auditorium from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, September 13, 2012.

James G. Blight, CIGI chair in foreign policy development at the Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA), will introduce Bruce Riedel. janet M. Lang, research professor at the BSIA, will serve as the moderator for Obama, Romney and Iran. Blight and Lang are co-authors of Becoming Enemies: U.S.-Iran Relations and the Iran-Iraq War, 1979-1988.

For several years, the United States has placed considerable economic, diplomatic and covert pressure on Iran to give up what is believed to be a pursuit of nuclear weapon capabilities. If elected, will Mitt Romney be bound by his pledge to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities by force? How will President Barack Obama deal with Iran if elected for a second term? And how will Iran response to either candidate’s future foreign policy decisions?

Members of the public who want to attend in person can find more information, including how to register, by visiting www.cigionline.org/events.Those who not in Waterloo or who want to watch the lecture from home can view the live-webcast at no cost by visiting the same link for registration. Questions to Bruce Riedel can be asked during the event via twitter by following @cigionline and #cigilive.

Members of the media can register in advance by emailing Kevin Dias, CIGI communications specialist, at [email protected].

Event:

CIGI Signature Lecture co-sponsored by the Balsillie School of International Affairs: “Obama, Romney and Iran” by Bruce Riedel with James G. Blight and janet M. Lang

Date:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Time:

7-9 p.m.

Location:

CIGI Campus Auditorium

67 Erb Street West

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Biographies

Bruce Riedel is a senior fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. He retired in 2006 after 30 years service at the Central Intelligence Agency, including postings overseas in the Middle East and Europe. Riedel was a senior advisor on South Asia and the Middle East to the last four presidents of the United States in the staff of the National Security Council at the White House. He was a negotiator at the Camp David, Shepherdstown and Wye River Israeli-Arab summits and organized President Clinton’s trip to India in 2000. He was also deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Near East and South Asia at the Pentagon and a senior advisor at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Brussels. In January 2009, President Barack Obama asked him to chair a review of American policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan, the results of which the president announced in a speech on March 27, 2009. In 2011, he served as an expert advisor to the prosecution of al Qaeda terrorist Omar Farooq Abdulmutallab in Detroit. In December 2011, Prime Minister David Cameron asked him to advise the United Kingdom’s National Security Council on Pakistan.

James Blight is the CIGI Chair in Foreign Policy Development and Professor at the Balsillie School of International Affairs. An expert in oral history, he was heavily involved in making two recent award-winning films: The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons From the Life of Robert S. McNamara (2004), and Virtual JFK: Vietnam if Kennedy Had Lived (2008). He is a co-author of Becoming Enemies: U.S.-Iran Relations and the Iran-Iraq War, 1979-1988 and his current research project, The Armageddon Letters, is an innovation exploration of the Cuban Missile Crisis. It will be released on the event’s 50th anniversary.

janet Lang is a Research Professor at the Balsillie School of International Affairs. She is an award-winning expert on international security and conflict prevention, and was heavily involved in making two recent award-winning films: The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons From the Life of Robert S. McNamara (2004), and Virtual JFK: Vietnam if Kennedy Had Lived (2008). She is a co-author of Becoming Enemies: U.S.-Iran Relations and the Iran-Iraq War, 1979-1988 and her current research project, The Armageddon Letters, is an innovation exploration of the Cuban Missile Crisis. It will be released on the event’s 50th anniversary.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Kevin Dias, Communications Specialist, CIGI
Tel: 519.885.2444, ext. 7238, Email: [email protected]

The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) is an independent, nonpartisan think tank on international governance. Led by experienced practitioners and distinguished academics, CIGI supports research, forms networks, advances policy debate and generates ideas for multilateral governance improvements. Conducting an active agenda of research, events and publications, CIGI’s interdisciplinary work includes collaboration with policy, business and academic communities around the world. CIGI was founded in 2001 by Jim Balsillie, then co-CEO of Research In Motion, and collaborates with and gratefully acknowledges support from a number of strategic partners, in particular the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. For more information, please visit www.cigionline.org.

The Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA) was launched in 2007 to offer graduate programs in global governance and international public policy. The Balsillie School is a collaborative initiative of The Centre for International Governance Innovation, the University of Waterloo (UW), and Wilfrid Laurier University (Laurier). With over 60 affiliated faculty teaching in the three programs, the Balsillie School will build on the current programming of the PhD in Global Governance (joint UW/Laurier), the MA in Global Governance (UW), and the Master’s in International Public Policy (Laurier). For more information, please visit: www.balsillieschool.ca.

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The opinions expressed in this article/multimedia are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of CIGI or its Board of Directors.