Scott Horton Interviews Reza Marashi

Scott Horton, August 23, 2011

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Reza Marashi, Research Director for the National Iranian American Council, discusses the eight year prison sentence for Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, the American hikers accused of crossing the Iranian border and spying; why they are casualties of the non-existent diplomatic relations between the US and Iran; the hard work behind the scenes by lower level American diplomats seeking their release; and why a goodwill pardon by Iran’s President or Supreme Leader, timed for the 2011 UN General Assembly meeting or during Ramadan, could be in the works.

MP3 here. (20:31)

Reza Marashi joined NIAC in 2010 as the organization’s first Research Director. He came to NIAC after four years in the Office of Iranian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. Prior to his tenure at the State Department, he was an analyst at the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) covering China-Middle East issues, and a Tehran-based private strategic consultant on Iranian political and economic risk. Marashi is frequently consulted by Western governments on Iran-related matters. His articles have appeared in The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, The National Interest, Tehran Bureau, the Huffington Post, Salon, Asharq Alawsat, the Daily Caller, and the Cairo Review of Global Affairs. He has been a guest contributor to the BBC, NPR, Financial Times, Reuters, Al Jazeera, ABC News, CBC News, Macleans, Fox News, The Daily Star and The National.

13 Responses to “Reza Marashi”

  1. I think the so-called toxic relationship bet Iran & U.S. is all on U.S. shoulders, starting with Mossedeq overthrow (prolly goes back earlier, but that's a good place to start), but more recently the U.S. complete rejection of Iran's grand bargain in about 2003.

  2. Israel & its U.S. puppet continue to look for any excuse to bomb Iran. Not looking for anything else in the "relationship," esp diplomacy.

  3. All three of those kids were spies. I think that they all even went to the same school that former CIA officer Robert Baer attended.

  4. Scott check out the press TV documentary on this topic. Start with footage from the courtroom:
    watch?v=RJmu8a0qf-Q. These kids went to Berkeley (which is the same school that Robert Baer attended) and they spent time in the US embassy in Iraq where they dealt with the CIA. The Iranians claim that the three kids were sent there to write a report on the border region with Iran. The Iranians even said that they had evidence linking the kids with PJAK terrorists. They even had items on them that indicated that they were espionage agents (although the documentary didn't say what these items were).

  5. Imagine what the USA would do if it caught 3 Iranians inside their boarder hiking.

  6. Well, to perfect your analogy, Iran would have to form an coalition of the willing, first; to invade and occupy Canada with insufficient forces to secure its borders or to maintain order & basic social services, replace the secular government of Canada with a sectarian one, incite a civil war between Protestants and Catholics, etc., etc… and then let some hikers wander across the border…but of course, Iran doesn't control NATO or have a permanent seat on the UNSC, and its hegemonic ambitions don't extend beyond its near neighbors, so that would never happen.

  7. Good interview. I tend to be sympathetic to the 'hikers' especially because of their support of the Palestinian cause though I must say that it is possible they were indeed spying and that this previous work or position was simply cover for their real intentions. God knows that the CIA has agents and informants everywhere on earth. There's no way to know for sure. The real reason why diplomacy has been shut down is, of course, Israel. They dictate. We execute.

  8. What better cover-story than feigning support for the Palestinians, and other Islamic countries that were invaded?

  9. Wish you had an hour with him. Good to add his perspective to yours and your previous guests. Thanks!

  10. Interesting story told by an Iranian-American who used to work for state department.
    To here the story by Iranians watch this (in 3 parts)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qmrxtP5Jcs

  11. What a strange place to go hiking.
    The Iraqi-Iranian border?
    I can hardly think of a worse choice, for so many reasons.
    Can anyone tell me they believe the hikers stories?

  12. I agree. This whole thing doesn't pass the smell test.

    These three were probably spying at the behest of the CIA. Yes, the Iranians are justified in taking a serious view of the matter.

  13. the kids were either fools or spies. everyone knows that they could have gotten permission to hike there as tourists with visas from any country that had normal relations with iran. that is all they would have needed. this is an attempt to foment hostility for no worthwhile reason, unless you think our national security is at stake because iran does not have normailized relations with us.

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