Flynt Leverett, former Senior Director for Middle East Affairs at the National Security Council, discusses why the IAEA’s job in Iran is verifying the non-diversion of nuclear materials for making weapons, not publicizing the assertions of foreign intelligence agencies; how “journalist” David Sanger of the NY Times continues his personal crusade against Iran, truth be damned; why Iran’s alleged theoretical study of nuclear weapons, including the testing of high explosives, still does not violate the NPT; the dubious legality of UN Security Council resolutions prohibiting Iran from enjoying its rights to nuclear energy as an NPT signatory; and why an Israeli airstrike on Iran’s nuclear facilities would only work if they used nuclear weapons – or dragged the US into the war.
MP3 here. (20:44)
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.