Forum: Peace with Iran? It's Complicated...,
A conversation with ALI FERDOWSI Professor of Political Science, Notre Dame de Namur University Native of Iran
The first round of “confidence building” negotiations with Iran came tantalizingly close to success, before getting derailed at the last minute. The talks — dubbed P5+1 for the participating countries made up of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany — were reportedly held up by stringent demands by France. But powerful national and political players — who aren’t directly involved in the talks — are working behind the scenes to shape the talks in a manner they prefer, up to and including scuttling any possibility of detente between the West and Iran. Saudi Arabia and Israel are both opposed to an accord with Iran — for their own reasons. But they have made a kind of strange bedfellows alliance to try to undermine the talks. Meanwhile in Congress, anti-Iran hawks, both Republican and Democrat, are threatening to increase the already devastating sanctions on Iran, even in the midst of the breakthrough negotiations. ali_ferdowsiOur guest,
Ali Ferdowsi, is a native of Iran who visits his homeland every summer in order to keep his finger on the political pulse. After receiving his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1985, Ferdowsi studied as a post-doctoral fellow in the Graduate Program in Demography at the University of California, Berkeley. He taught for three years as a visiting professor in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at Tokyo University for Foreign Studies in Japan. After working for five years as an International Specialist for NHK (Japan Broadcast Corporation), he returned to the United States in 1997 and began teaching in the Department of History and Political Science at Notre Dame de Namur University.