Barbara Slavin, author of Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies: Iran, the U.S. and the Twisted Path to Confrontation, discusses her article “Mass Tragedy Feared as Closure of MEK Camp Looms;” how MEK leader Maryam Rajavi is using the camp residents as pawns while pressuring the State Department to remove the group’s terrorist status; the proposed 2003 prisoner swap (MEK for al-Qaeda) between the US and Iran that was scuttled by Doug Feith and Paul Wolfowitz; and how UN interviews with MEK members (to arrange relocation after Camp Ashraf’s closing) could reveal brainwashing and other unflattering cult-like behavior.
MP3 here. (21:27)
Barbara Slavin is an expert on U.S. foreign policy and the author of a 2007 book on Iran entitled “Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies: Iran, the U.S. and the Twisted Path to Confrontation.” A nonresident senior fellow at The Atlantic Council specializing on Iran, Ms. Slavin is also a contributor to AOLNews.com and Foreignpolicy.com among other media outlets. Ms. Slavin was Assistant Managing Editor for World and National Security of The Washington Times in 2008-09. Prior to that, she served for 12 years as senior diplomatic reporter for USA TODAY where she covered such key issues as the U.S.-led war on terrorism and in Iraq, policy toward “rogue” states and the Arab-Israeli conflict. She accompanied three secretaries of State on their official travels and also reported solo from Iran, Libya, Israel, Egypt, North Korea, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and Syria. Ms. Slavin, who has lived in Russia, China, Japan and Egypt, is a regular commentator on U.S. foreign policy on National Public Radio, the Public Broadcasting System and C-Span. She wrote her book on Iran, which she has visited seven times, as a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in 2006 and spent October 2007-July 2008 as senior fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace, where she researched and wrote a report on Iranian regional influence, entitled “Mullahs, Money and Militias: How Iran Exerts Its Influence in the Middle East.”