The Public Square

Robert Naiman on US Threats Against Iran


Hi, I'm Robert Naiman, and I'm the National Coordinator of Just Foreign Policy.

Many in the United States and around the world hoped the release of the new U.S. National Intelligence Estimate on Iran, which concluded that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons research program, would lead to a fundamental change in U.S. policy towards Iran. Likewise, many hoped that the apparent reduction in violence in Iraq that the Bush Administration had previously blamed on Iran would lead to more diplomatic engagement and less saber-rattling from the White House. Instead, President Bush has disowned the consensus assessment of US intelligence agencies and continues to push the U.S. towards military confrontation with Iran. There has been no change in the Bush Administration's policy of military threats against Iran, although this policy is a clear violation of international law. Indeed, this month the Pentagon dramatically escalated tensions by releasing information about a military encounter with Iran that turned out to be largely false and highly misleading.

Journalist and author Stephen Kinzer wrote a book about the history of U.S. relations with Iran, beginning with the CIA-supported coup that overthrew the democratic government there in the 1950s. Now Kinzer is on a 22-city tour, raising public awareness about the danger of U.S. military confrontation with Iran and pressing the case for real diplomacy - direct and comprehensive talks with Iran on all issues in dispute without pre-conditions.

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

The United States government is currently on a path towards military confrontation with Iran. Only an informed and mobilized public opinion can force our government to change course.

For more information about the tour, see the tour website,