WASHINGTON, DC - May 22 - Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minneapolis) will host a Public Forum on U.S. Foreign Affairs with Iran on Wednesday evening, May 28th, 2008 from 6 - 8 P.M.
"I want to take a thoughtful look and have a serious discussion regarding what kinds of threats and opportunities exist with the country of Iran. It is my hope that this Forum will promote understanding and dialogue." Ellison stated.
Last December, the U.S. Intelligence community released a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran which stated that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003. The December 2006 NIE released differs from a 2005 summary that stated with "high confidence" that Iran was determined to develop nuclear weapons and would be able to develop a nuclear weapon early in the next decade. The December NIE noted that pressure from the international community may have altered Tehran's intentions.
As the NIE states: "Our assessment that the program was halted primarily in response to international pressure suggests that Iran may be more vulnerable to influence on this issue than we judged previously."
Unfortunately, President Bush and his Administration remain unchanged by the collective wisdom of the intelligence community. The President states, "I have said Iran is dangerous. And the NIE doesn't do anything to change my opinion about the danger Iran poses to the world."
"I respectfully disagree with the President," Ellison stated. "The NIE estimate shows that engaging in dialogue can work. Let me quote Republican Senator Chuck Hagel when he called on the Administration to engage in unconditional talks with Iran: 'Diplomacy is not [about] just talking to your friends,'" Ellison concluded.
Join in a dialogue with distinguished Iranian scholars for a reasoned discussion of what our relationship with Iran should be. Should the U.S. engage in direct dialogue with Iran? Should the U.S. insist on certain conditions in order to engage in that dialogue? What can citizens do to promote peace and avert conflict with Iran? Please come and share your thoughts and opinions with Congressman Ellison and learn more about U.S. foreign policy with Iran from experts in the field.
WHAT: PUBLIC FORUM ON IRAN
CONGRESSMAN KEITH ELLISON
DR. TRITA PARSI - Author of Treacherous Alliance; The Secret Dealings of Iran, Israel and the United States.
WILLIAM ORMAN BEEMAN - Chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota. Author of The "Great Satan" vs. the "Mad Mullahs": How the United States and Iran Demonize Each Other.
DR. CYRUS BINA - Distinguished Professor of Economics and Management at the University of Minnesota-Morris. Author of The Economics of the Oil Crisis, co-editor of Modern Capitalism and Islamic Ideology in Iran.
WHEN: Wednesday, May 28th, 2008 from 6 - 8 P.M.
WHERE: First Unitarian Society (Lower Assembly Hall) 900 Mount Curve Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403
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