Iran policy lecture

Many hoped the release of the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran, which concluded Iran does not have a nuclear weapons research program, would lead to a fundamental change in U.S. policy. Many hoped the apparent reduction in violence in Iraq the Bush administration had previously blamed on Iran would lead to more diplomatic engagement.

But President Bush disowned the assessment of U.S. intelligence agencies and continues to push the U.S. towards military confrontation. The Bush administration continues military threats, although these violate international law. This month the Pentagon escalated tensions by releasing information about a military encounter with Iran that turned out to be largely false and misleading.

Award-winning journalist and author Stephen Kinzer has written about the history of U.S. relations with Iran, beginning with the U.S. coup that overthrew the democratic government there in the 1950s. Kinzer is now on a national tour, warning of the danger of military confrontation with Iran and pressing the case for real diplomacy — direct and comprehensive talks without pre-conditions.

Kinzer will be speaking in Champaign on Sunday, February 17, at 3 p.m. at a forum on U.S. relations with Iran at the University YMCA on the University campus. The forum is free and open to the public.