Iran’s Nuclear File: Foreign Policy Dilemmas for 2011

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Dr Emanuele OttolenghiA lecture by Dr Emanuele Ottolenghi, Senior Fellow, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, Washington DC, USA.

The National Council of Resistance in Iran (NCRI) revealed in Washington to a stunned world in August 2002 how advanced Iran's nuclear programme was. In September 2009, amidst unprecedented protest in Iran against the country's regime, President Barack Obama exposed yet another clandestine nuclear site in Iran, bringing the possibility of a nuclear arsenal ever closer.

For nine fruitless years the international community has been too divided to counter this threat: Russia and China view Iran as a tool to counter US influence; Obama's efforts to engage Iran have yielded no results; Sunni Arab governments fear Iran but are powerless to keep it in check; and Israel, fearing that the bomb will be used against them, might decide on a pre-emptive strike with drastic consequences for the region. Preventing Iran from building a nuclear arsenal is a European priority.

In his lecture, Dr Ottolenghi will discuss the current diplomatic stalemate, recent developments in Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, the diplomatic overtures to Iran and the mounting discontent of Iran's civil society against its oppressive rulers.

Dr Emanuele Ottolenghi is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and author of Iran: The Looming Crisis, Can the West Live with Iran’s Nuclear Threat? (Profile Books, November 2010). From 2006 to early 2010 he headed the Transatlantic Institute in Brussels, where he currently resides. He previously taught Israel Studies at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies and at the Middle East Centre of St Antony's College, University of Oxford. He obtained his PhD in political theory at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and did his undergraduate studies in political science at the University of Bologna. He has a column in the British monthly, Standpoint Magazine and blogs on Contentions for Commentary Magazine.

Refreshments will be served from 1030.

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