Flynt Leverett, former Senior Director for Middle East Affairs at the National Security Council, discusses how the most crucial part of the IAEA report on Iran – that declared nuclear material isn’t being diverted to weapons manufacturing – has been buried under a heap of unsubstantiated rumors and accusations; the evidence that new IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano is much more cozy with the US than his predecessor Mohamed ElBaradei; why those who defend Iran’s rights under the NPT aren’t necessarily minions of the Ayatollah; the equally-wacky end-times theology of the major Abrahamic religions; and why Israel’s real “existential threat” is from losing the support of Jews worldwide, not from an incredibly improbable Iran attack.
MP3 here. (30:05)
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.