Scott Horton Interviews Flynt Leverett
Flynt Leverett, former Senior Director for Middle East Affairs at the National Security Council, discusses his article “Iranian ‘plots’ and American hubris;” why the strange assassination plot is at cross-purposes with Iran’s policy objectives (but syncs perfectly with Israel’s); Iran’s reliance on foreign proxy groups and asymmetric warfare for national defense, in lieu of a powerful conventional military; US policy towards Iran that says, in essence, a meaningful defensive deterrence is really a provocative threat; how Obama’s bad-faith negotiations killed a viable uranium swap deal with Iran, Brazil and Turkey; blaming Iran for attacks on US troops in Iraq; and how the US starts wars by practicing false diplomacy, rebuffing peaceful resolutions then sending in the military while claiming the other side was intransigent.
MP3 here. (27:52)
Flynt Leverett runs The Race For Iran blog and teaches at Pennsylvania State University’s School of International Affairs. Additionally, he directs the Iran Project at the New America Foundation, where he is a Senior Research Fellow.
Dr. Leverett is a leading authority on the Middle East and Persian Gulf, U.S. foreign policy, and global energy affairs. From 1992 to 2003, he had a distinguished career in the U.S. government, serving as Senior Director for Middle East Affairs at the National Security Council, on the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff, and as a CIA Senior Analyst. He left the George W. Bush Administration and government service in 2003 because of disagreements about Middle East policy and the conduct of the war on terror.
Dr. Leverett’s 2006 monograph, Dealing With Tehran: Assessing U.S. Diplomatic Options Toward Iran, presented the seminal argument for a U.S.-Iranian “grand bargain”, an idea that he has developed in multiple articles and Op Eds in The New York Times, The National Interest, POLITICO, Salon, Washington Monthly, and the New America Foundation’s “Big Ideas for a New America” series.