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News Iran and Israel: Intimate Enemies and the US Role in the Paradox

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Mansour Farhang to present on Iranian-Israeli conflict
Dr. Mansour Farhang

THURS., SEPT. 27, 2018

5:00-7:00 PM




Author and former UN Ambassador

Advisory board member -Human Rights Watch/Middle East

Prof. Farhang will review the history of these two nations and focus on the nature and implications of the decades-long animosity between Iran and Israel, which defies conventional motives in international conflict.

The relentless rhetoric between authorities in Tehran and Tel Aviv serves Iran's ideological/religious aims in while Israel uses it to advance its strategy of marginalizing the Palestinian demands by portraying Iran as the main threat to order and stability in the region. President Obama tried to restrain this hostility by containing Iran's nuclear program in an international agreement approved by permanent members of the UN Security council plus Germany. In contrast, President Trump chose to withdraw U. S. support for the nuclear deal in the expectation of compelling Iran to change its behavior toward U. S. regional allies in general and Israel in particular. It remains to be seen if re-imposition of U. S. economic sanctions on Iran can achieve its goals.

Co-sponsored by the Islamic Studies Program and the Center for Global & Area Studies

MANSOUR FARHANG has a PH. D. in political science from Claremont Graduate School. In 1970s he taught at California State University at Sacramento. Following the 1979 revolution in Iran he served as an adviser to the Iranian foreign ministry and as ambassador to the United Nations. He resigned his ambassadorship in protest when his efforts to negotiate the release of the American hostages in Tehran failed. In the early months of the Iran-Iraq war he worked with international mediators to settle the war. During this period he wrote and spoke about the threat of religious extremists who had come to dominate the course of the Iranian revolution. In June 1981, following the violent suppression of political dissidents, he was forced to leave Iran. In the fall of 1981 he returned to the United States and became a research fellow and lecturer at Princeton University. From 1983 to his retirement in 2014, he taught international relations and Middle Eastern politics at Bennington College in Vermont, where he was awarded the Catherine Osgood Foster Chair for Distinguished Teaching. He is the author of two books and dozens of articles, in English and Persian, published in both academic journals and popular periodicals. His third book, A Theology In Power: Reflections on the Iranian Revolution, is scheduled for publication in 2018. His opinion pieces have appeared in various newspapers and websites, including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the Christian Science Monitor, Middle East Eye, Lobelog, Gulf2000, BBC/Persian, Gooya and  Iran Farda and Iran Emrooz. He has been a human rights activist and a member of Amnesty International since his undergraduate days in California.

Currently, he serves on the advisory board of Human Rights Watch/Middle East and is a member of the Columbia University Middle Eastern Seminar and has been a participant in the seminars of Council on Foreign Relations and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is also a designated speaker for the Vermont Council on the Humanities. He has lectured at many universities, colleges and civic groups across the country and has appeared as a guest on numerous radio and television programs, including NPR, KPFA, Democracy Now, PBS News Hour, ABC's Night Line, Bill Moyer's Journal, 60-Minutes, CBS's Face the Nation and CNN. He is a regular commentator on the Persian broadcasting of BBC, Voice of America, Radio Farda and Radio France International.

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  • Center for Global and Area Studies
  • 77 East Main Street - Room 217
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19711, USA
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