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President of Peace Action Maine Returns From Iran



PORTLAND, Maine - July 17 - Waterville native and Portland resident Eric Hooglund, a politics professor at Bates College and President of Peace Action Maine, has returned from his most recent trip to Iran. Upon his return, he called for diplomatic negotiations between the US and Iranian governments, and expressed concern about the introduction of resolutions into both houses of the US Congress that would authorize the President to initiate a naval blockade of Iran. "A naval blockade is a hostile action, and international law experts equate it to be a de facto declaration of war. I am quite alarmed that the members of Maine's congressional delegation actually have signed onto this resolution, which gives the Bush administration cover for military action against Iran."


Professor Hooglund is an academic authority on the culture and politics of Iran. In addition to teaching classes on US foreign policy and the politics of class, ethnicity and gender in Muslim countries at Bates, he is editor of the internationally acclaimed, interdisciplinary and scholarly journal, Critique: Critical Middle Eastern Studies. He travels to Iran annually to conduct research and to attend international conferences there.


With reference to his most recent trip, Professor Hooglund stated, "There is much irony in how Iranians view the 'confrontation' with the United States. First most Iranians tend to have a positive view of Americans and American culture. Second, Iranians are concerned about the hostile rhetoric that comes from the Bush administration and are perplexed by allegations that their country poses a threat to the United States. Third, the majority of Iranians with whom I spoke recognize how militarily weak their country is against the United States and fear the damage and destruction that possible US air-strikes could do to their towns."


Hooglund's numerous publications include 5 books on Iran and 3 others on general Middle East themes, plus more than 100 scholarly articles published as book chapters or journal articles. His most recent publications include Iran, A Country Study (co-edited with Glenn Curtis, GPO, 2008); ); Biographical Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East (associate editor for Iran and Afghanistan, with Michael Fischbach, general editor, Gale Thomsen, 2007); "Iran, Wary Neutral," in Fawn Hinnebusch, editors, The Iraq War: Causes and Consequences (2006).


Eric Hooglund is available for Interviews



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