Flynt Leverett


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.

20 thoughts on “Flynt Leverett”

  1. A war with Iran has ONE and only ONE good element. How can the Pentagon then justify the missiles in Bulgaria, Romania and Poland ? The Europeans are fast asleep but the Russians aren´t idiots. The bloody fools in the Pentagon forget that and the result will be Launch On Warning, probably by 2014 and suicide by mistake.

  2. It would be nice to hear an interview of someone who understands war and military strategy & tactics in regards to what an Israeli/Us/Iran war would actually look like.

    If you want to stop that war, the most effective way imo is to get people to understand how substantial Iran's military capabilities are, even in comparison to the U.S. and Israel.

    1. Scott Ritter would've been great for that, but he's sitting in prison because he had the military and technical experience (and the balls) to call out the regime in Washington on their lies about Iran. So the regime in Washington exploited one of his weaknesses and Scott Ritter has now been effectively neutralized.

  3. With the track record of our government only idiots would believe anything coming from their lips,but unfortunately 60 years of misinformation uttered daily to the American public has them confused.
    Will the sleeper awaken and realize the only way out of this neolibcon dead end is Dr.Ron Paul?Stay tuned.


      As he who gets his hands first on wealth — gets to decide how much will be the equal distribution of wealth.

      So, as the disparity of wealth is breaking all records worldwide, is the root cause bad morality or the wrong kind of government?


    In ten minutes Iran could fly a squadron of fighter jets over Bahrain and have the US Fifth Fleet headquarters bombed back to a beautiful vacant shore. So, where does Leverette get the idea that Israel attacking Iran could most likely not involve US military?


    The President of Iran, Ahmadinejad, about a year ago in a speech was most emphatic that little-poor Israel was ruled by big-wealthy USA. And rightly so, for its the truth proclaimed by those who walk in the light, being free of our corporate media darkness.

  6. Why now? Why at this particular moment in the unfolding drama of American hegemony in the Middle East? Let's explore the possibility the international banking cartel is behind this.

    1. The economic breakup of the European Union.
    The EU along with its pseudo-sovereign currency, the Euro, is failing. The bankers are in a panic and need some reason to stall the inevitable. WWIII will do nicely.

    2. The 2012 U.S. Presidential Election
    The bankers have both major political parties locked up to continue their agenda of world domination through monetary debt slavery. There is an outside chance the American people may select Ron Paul for the presidency. If that happens a global military conflict will scuttle Dr. Paul's plan to get America out of debt.

    Can this scenario happen? I believe so.


    For Iran to have nukes, this would be an admission by a devout Muslim theocracy that USA is morally justified in having its 10,000 atomic people vaporizers, in effect canceling all the past condemnation it expressed for our vaporizing 220,000 civilians in Japan after the war had been won.

    A complete reversible of things considering that when Iraq used chemical weapons in their invasion and war with Iran, the religious leader who has veto power over all of Iran politics, he issued a proclamation that never under no circumstances would Iran use weapons of mass destruction.

    Most Americans being non religious, this is an imperative they cannot even begin to comprehend.

  8. Gareth Porter — Today at

    IAEA 's 'Soviet Nuclear Scientist' Never Worked on Weapons

    “WASHINGTON – The report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) published by a Washington think tank Tuesday repeated the sensational claim previously reported by news media all over the world that a former Soviet nuclear weapons scientist had helped Iran construct a detonation system that could be used for a nuclear weapon.

    The foreign expert, who is not named in the IAEA report but was identified in news reports as Vyacheslav Danilenko, is not a nuclear weapons scientist but one of the top specialists in the world in the production of nanodiamonds by explosives. ((AFP Photo/Joe Klamar) ) But it turns out that the foreign expert, who is not named in the IAEA report but was identified in news reports as Vyacheslav Danilenko, is not a nuclear weapons scientist but one of the top specialists in the world in the production of nanodiamonds by explosives.”


    Empire USA is ruled by the voting majority, the upper half of society, those most aggressive and wealthy, all those with great jobs, terrific homes and deluxe healthcare.

    And so, as the Occupy Wall Street movement is made up of people in this privileged upper class, our hope and prayer is that true repentance gives them all an attitude adjustment.

  10. Dear "Libertarian" Moderators,

    Please explain to me why my comment bout Scott Ritter had to be deleted. What in the world was so offensive about what I said? Simply pointing out that Scott Ritter's situation was politically motivated warrants deletion? That's ridiculous.

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