The West, led by the United States and Israel, has been squeezing Iran relentlessly for several years with a program of escalating economic sanctions, a covert cyber-war, and threatening Iran with a military strike on its nuclear facilities. The objective: to force Tehran to give up what some believe is its pursuit of a nuclear weapon capability. Neither President Barack Obama, nor challenger Mitt Romney, has forsworn the military option if Iran refuses to comply. Many worry that war with Iran is becoming inevitable. If elected, will Romney be bound by his campaign pledge to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities by force? What would Iran do in response, if attacked? What might President Obama do about Iran if he is elected for a second term?
These issues will be addressed in a CIGI Signature Lecture by Bruce Riedel, a Washington insider, a top specialist on the Middle East and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. While in government, Mr. Riedel was a senior adviser on Middle East policy to three U.S. presidents. Since leaving government service in 2006, he has written and spoken widely on U.S. policy toward the Middle East and Southwest Asia, while continuing to advise Barack Obama, first as a presidential aspirant, then as the U.S. president. Mr. Riedel’s latest book, on which he collaborated with BSIA faculty members James Blight and janet Lang, is Becoming Enemies: U.S.-Iran Relations and the Iran-Iraq War, 1979-1988, which has just been published by Rowman & Littlefield.
Introduction: James G. Blight, CIGI Chair in Foreign Policy Development, BSIA and Department of History, University of Waterloo
Moderator: janet M. Lang, Research Professor, BSIA and Department of History, University of Waterloo
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