Scott Horton Interviews Roy Gutman

Scott Horton, April 17, 2012

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Roy Gutman, Europe Bureau Chief for McClatchy Newspapers, discusses the latest developments in P5+1 talks on Iran’s nuclear program; the US government’s gradual acknowledgement of Ayatollah Khamenei’s seven-year-old fatwa against nuclear weapons; finding encouragement in the lack of deal-breaking preconditions, e.g., that Iran stop all nuclear enrichment before talks can begin; the domestic political calculations motivating Benjamin Netanyahu’s seemingly-crazy belligerence; and why the US needs to end the diplomatic freeze with Iran, open an embassy in Tehran, and work things out.

MP3 here. (28:01)

Roy Gutman is the Europe Bureau Chief for McClatchy Newspapers, based in Istanbul. Previously, he served as McClatchy’s Baghdad bureau chief and, before that as foreign editor. He has also been diplomatic correspondent for Newsweek and director of American University’s Crimes of War Project. He won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the 1993 war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where he provided the first documented reports of concentration camps.

Gutman’s honors include the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting, the George Polk Award for foreign reporting, the Selden Ring Award for investigative reporting, and a special Human Rights in Media Award from the International League for Human Rights. He holds an M.A. in international relations from the London School of Economics.

4 Responses to “Roy Gutman”

  1. I heard an audio clip of Hillary mentioning the fatwa and I instantly thought it was significant and might be a new talking point. It may even have been on MSM, like National Propaganda Radio.

    We shall see. That new talking point could have a shelf lives of hours, or days, or weeks, or who knows. Good until canceled. But interesting development.

  2. The clockwork of American elections: Every 2 years the fight for the Congress and every 4 years for the control of the White House as well as the Congress; are the overwhelming determinants of the US foreign policy in the year leading to those elections.
    In the case of Iran it is therefore instructive to look at what happened back in 2008, the year of the last presidential elections in the US, in order to guess what Israel might do in 2012.
    In 2008 Israel kept up reminding the world that Iran’s nuclear program was the existential threat the Jewish State would no longer tolerate and would remove militarily.
    Then, in 2008 prior to the polling day in November, the air was thick with media speculations in the US about an “October surprise”: an US/Israeli attack on Iran just before the US presidential vote. The Western opinion-makers seemed then, in 2008 just as worried as they are today, that Israel was on the verge of attacking Iran with or without American participation or approval.
    No American or Israeli attack on Iran materialized in 2008 and has not since. But in the meantime Iran has improved its capacity to defend the country and retaliate more effectively if attacked. It has also launched 3 satellites since 2009 as a small indication of the country’s much improved war-making capabilities against Israel.
    Would the same Israel that did not dare get itself and the world involved in a war with Iran in 2008 risk a war now in 2012?
    Iranian leaders have said it time and time again that they don’t fear Israel ever attacking Iran without American approval; and they are obviously not going to be fooled by the shrill threats emanating from Netanyahu and his defense minister in an American election year.
    The fact that the Islamic Republic has decided to negotiate and perhaps forfeit some of its NPT-guaranteed rights is because of the severe US-imposed sanctions and the perception of vulnerability President Obama might show to Iran–policy assaults by the Israeli Lobby and the Republicans in this election year.
    The Obama Administration should seize this fleeting opportunity, conclude a satisfactory nuclear deal with Iran and free the world of this never-ending din of war once and for all.

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