Reluctant in its waning months to launch a full-frontal assault on Iran but convinced of its leaders’ incorrigibility, the Bush administration has advanced, and its allies in Congress have proposed, a variety of escalating pressures against the Islamic republic. Among them, argues Col. Sam Gardiner in a new paper for The Century Foundation, are covert operations through proxy groups inside Iran. How well matched are U.S. goals to the various means planned or in place? And how do these new pressures expand or limit the choices of new leaders taking office in Washington—-and perhaps Tehran—-in winter and spring 2009. Join this panel discussion on escalating pressures on Iran and what that means for the new administration. The discussion is on the record. The Century Foundation released a new report by Sam Gardiner, "Dangerous and Getting More Dangerous: The Delicate Situation between the United States and Iran," at this event- The Century Foundation
Geneive Abdo is the Liaison for the Alliance of Civilizations at the United Nations.
Her work has been featured in The New York Times, the Washington Post and the International Herald Tribune. Ms. Abdo has been a commentator for the BBC, NPR, CNN and PBS.
Sam Gardiner is a retired U.S. Air Force colonel who has taught strategy and military operations at the National War College, Air War College, and Naval War College. In 2004, he conducted a war game organized by the Atlantic Monthly to gauge how an American president might respond, militarily or otherwise, to Iranâ€™s rapid progress toward developing nuclear weapons. He recently designed and conducted a series of war games on irregular warfare in Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, and Poland for the U.S. Air Force. He has been involved in planning and facilitating recent State Department strategy reviews on Burma, Kosovo, Haiti, Bangladesh, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zimbabwe, and Nepal. He has been supporting the Brookings Institution on simulations focused on U.S. strategy for Cuba. He is the author of The Century Foundation Report, The End of the â€œSummer of Diplomacyâ€: Assessing the U.S. Military Options on Iran (2006).
Hillary Mann Leverett
Hillary Mann Leverett is chief executive officer of Stratega, a political risk consulting firm. From 2001-2003, she served as director for Iran, Afghanistan and Persian Gulf Affairs at the National Security Council. In that capacity, she was one of a small number of U.S. officials authorized to negotiate directly with senior Iranian officials over Afghanistan, al Qaeda, and Iraq. She spent over ten years working for the State Department, including as Middle East expert for the Secretary of Stateâ€™s Policy Planning Staff, political adviser on the Middle East, Sudan, and Central Asia at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, and in U.S. embassies in Egypt, Israel, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. She also worked as an Associate Director on Middle East issues at the National Security Council from 1993-1994 and as a Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School with more than 20 years of academic, legal, business, diplomatic, and policy experience working on Middle Eastern, Central Asian, Russian, and African issues. She has published Op Eds on Middle Eastern, Russian and South Asian issues in The New York Times, The National Interest, The Wall Street Journal, al Hayat, and Salon, has appeared on news and public affairs programs on BBC, CNN, and MSNBC, and Al Jazeera. She was profiled in a feature story in the November 2007 issue of Esquire magazine. She has spoken at the Middle East Institute, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and the New America Foundation in Washington, DC and provided expert testimony to the U.S. House Government Reform and Oversight Committee.
Amb Thomas R Pickering
Thomas Pickering is vice chairman of Hills & Company, an international consulting firm providing advice to U.S. businesses on investment, trade, and risk assessment issues abroad, particularly in emerging market economies. He retired in 2006 as senior vice president of international relations for Boeing Company, where he was responsible for relations with foreign governments and the company's globalization. He has had a career spanning five decades as a U.S. diplomat, serving as under secretary of state for political affairs, ambassador to the U.N., and ambassador to Russia, India, Israel, Nigeria, Jordan, and El Salvador. He holds the personal rank of Career Ambassador, the highest in the U.S. Foreign Service. He has held numerous other positions at the State Department, including executive secretary and special assistant to Secretaries Rogers and Kissinger and assistant secretary for the bureau of oceans, environmental and scientific affairs. Pickering is a member of the International Institute of Strategic Studies and the Council on Foreign Relations.
Retired United States Air Force colonel, Samuel Gardiner, outlines his research on America's relationship with Iran. He explains that while the United States claims to have no interest in overthrowing the Iranian government, US support of anti-Iranian groups is sending a different signal.
Hillary Mann Leverett likens the situation in Iran to a Gordian knot, where Iran fears the United States and supports terror to protect themselves while the United States threatens Iran as long as they support terrorism. Leverett suggests making a "grand bargain", where the United States and Iran could get all their security needs taken care of at the same time.