Iranian Crisis: Is War Inevitable?

Karim Sadjadpour, Avner Cohen, Shibley Telhami

Panel at the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) in Berkeley discuss possibility of war. Analysis: Avner Cohen, is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Non-Proliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Karim Sadjadpour is an associate at the Carnegie Endowment. Shibley Telhami is the Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland.




by Faramarz on

Here are a few samples of what he says which is completely different from what Trita advocates.

At around 44:30 he says that Iran does not react to pressure, it reacts to a lot of pressure! Trita argues for the opposite which is the removal of sanctions and reducing the pressure.

Starting at around 49:00 he lays out three scenarios for comparison purposes; Iran as China in the 70's, Iran as Nazi Germany and Iran as the Soviet Union. He rejects all of them and says jokingly that Iran is a hybrid between Taliban and the Soviet Union. The rejection of China model of the 70's and "Nixon going to China" is completely against what Leverett says and Trita in his book "Roll of a Dice" argues for which is keep talking to the Regime and make gestures until they come along at some point.

Starting at 56:38 he talks about the "impasse" that we are in and he states clearly that it is because Iran is not interested in resolving the issues with the US. Trita's take on this is that the hardliners on both sides are trying to jeopardize the negotiations as if Rahbar is an arbiter between moderates and hardliners in Iran. He is the hardliner!

As far as war is concerned, the only time that he mentions military action is at around 54:00 where he rejects an Israeli strike on the nuclear facilities. And I have argued before that an Israeli strike neither solves the problem nor Israel is capable of carrying out an effective strike 1000 miles away. Trita keeps talking about US-Iran war which Karim never mentions because like most of us he knows that it is not an option.


IRI will include human rights in "Grand Bargain", yeah right!

by AMIR1973 on

If we are expected to believe that the Atieh Bahar business consulting company and corrupt Statoil petroleum company, both of which have connections with NIAC and Rahbar-for-Life Parsi, are in the "business" of human rights, then I have some nice swampland in Dasht-e Kavir to sell. This is definitely the season for "Khodetttti" for the NIACis.


Farmarz: Did we listen to the same Karim Sadjadpour?

by Bavafa on

The one I listened to he clearly rejects military strike on Iran AND a type of bargaining that would leave Iranians out of the equation.  As I understand it this is what Mr. Parsi argues and by which the human rights should be part of any “Grand Bargaining”

  And I would call that a war and I would be very supportive of it if it is  organized, lead and fought by the Iranian people.


'Hambastegi' is the main key to victory 




by Faramarz on

The two paths that you described are Trita's reasoning not what Karim talked about. He completely dismissed "Grand Bargain" and "Nixon to China" analogies.

One way to look at Iran's situation is to look at what is taking place between Assad's Regime and the Syrian people. There is no negotiation there. But I guess you can call that a war.

In that sense you are correct. It will take a war by the Iranians to dislodge the Regime.


The panel discussion proved to be just as lively and informative

by Bavafa on

Thanks to Maghshoosh for providing that link.


Farmarz jaan:  Fair enough, but let’s see actually how far apart are the position of groups such as Mr. Sadjadpour and Mr. Parsi!!!


It seems to me that there are two ways to deal with the Iranian issue, one is the path of military conflict and war and the other is the path of negotiation.   I see sanction only as a tool to aid the West in their objective by for the first option, to weaken Iran to shorten the military conflict or for the second scenario to having a chip at the bargaining table.  Just as that, IRI sees enrichment and nuclear issue as a bargaining chip and works to increase those chips.


The question we ought to ask ourselves, what will be the gain for the Iranian people in either case?   Will a war with its added cost in terms of death and destruction bring about a type of nation that we want for our mother-land OR a negotiation which would be focused on the nuclear issue ONLY and where Iran may accept ceasing its hostility towards Israel or some other type of technicalities that will resolved the issue between US-Iran-Israel yet will leave the status quo for the IRI and Iranian people?


'Hambastegi' is the main key to victory 


G. Rahmanian

Homicidal vs Suicidal Cliche!

by G. Rahmanian on

The homicidal policy IR has been pursuing since day one of its murderous existence is aimed at self-preservation. The regime has been homicidal not only when it comes to Iranians, but also where it concerns non-iranians. That is, IR's homicidal tendencies and mania are not irrelevant to the rest of the world.

This is a regime that has declared war on its neighbors and the free world through the rhetoric of exporting its revolution, liberating Jerusalem and wiping Israel off the map of the world.

It is a state sponsor of global terrorism and has used territories of sovereign states to commit various terrorist acts.

It is in this context that the free world sees the regime as a threat to the world peace and has decided to do something about it.

The sanctions imposed on IR and the possibility of a naval blockade are all aimed at curtailing these homicidal tendencies which are also increasingly proving to be suicidal for the regime.



by afshinazad on

Only one solution for free Iran from this fascist regime, killing all Akhoonds, otherwise keep talking and dreaming.


Great Panel Discussion

by Faramarz on

Thank you Maghshoosh for posting the panel discussion part.

The quote by Kissinger that was posted by Mehrban is so telling and one could always apply it to the posters on this site. “Is Iran a nation or a cause?”

That’s how I look at people’s comments on this site, “is Iran’s national interest a top priority for this person or is he fighting a battle for another cause like imperialism, colonialism, Palestine, Iraq, etc.?”


I threw in Trita and Leverett in my comment because they represent a point of view that says engagement, negotiations and ending sanctions is the way out of this jam. I don’t believe so because the Regime will not negotiate until it is about to be defeated and at that point we are betraying the Iranian nation to negotiate with them and keep them in power.

The David Frum’s quote came after Karim said that if the US was going to choose between an Iran that is nuclear but friendly to Israel, or an Iran that is hostile to Israel and not nuclear, it will choose the former. And that combined with the anti-Israel pillar of the Regime makes it an impossibility to negotiate with the Regime, which I agree with wholeheartedly.

A great discussion.


The Truth is No One Knows

by bahmani on

What will happen, until it happens.

The problem with pundits is that they don't really offer any way out of a bad situation, but more they seem to be providing an intellectual analysis of the present. Usually by looking at the past.

But this is not what we want.

What we want is to know what will happen in the future or ideally the near future.

These pundits promise that, and the gullible audiences go to these free events, and sit calmly and somewhat excitedly expecting insight, then after they congratulate each other on their collective academia, everyone walks away stunned by their sheer intellect, to the point they often forget why they went in the first place.

As Karim and his esteemed colleagues pointed out, even if they didn't say it, no one knows what will happen until it happens.

Which is precisely the destiny that we Iranian and Israeli fools who have allowed Iran and Israel become the "Belligerant and the Bully" of the world, deserve.

when the collective we take back our countries, then there won;t be a need to have useless dialogue by even more useless overpaid pundits with no answers, that is titled "Is War Inevitable". Because it won't be.

Oh for the day when Karim Sadjadpour has no more places to speak.

To read more bahmani posts visit: //


The naked truth

by Arj on

The quintessential truth comes out of the Israeli guy that the (5+1) and Iran negotiations are indeed a three way issue (with Israel at the center), and ultimately, the sole issue of Israel's satisfaction (@ 10:30) and incumbancy of maintaining Israel's "benign nuclear monopoly!" in the region (@ 30:00) as the chief objective!

The Iranian guy (sajadpur), understandably so, seems to follow the official lines of the U.S. media with regards to Israel, as one can not expect an Iranian pundit speak freely in relation to Palestine in an IRI-sponsored forum either!


Panel discussion that followed

by maghshoosh on

You may wanna add the followup panel discussion below to the blog.


A solid discussion indeed, one that I recommend to all to watch…

by Bavafa on

But first a word about the  unintended consequences with our obsession with Titra Parsi and NIAC which brings them much undeserved attention. As they say any publicity is a good publicity which I am not sure if it is our true aim here.


But back to the discussion, I found it a debate that is based on rational and logic aimed to inform public as oppose to what politicians typical aim which is shaping and manipulating the public opinion.


This discussion which was focused in three parts, first by Mr. Cohen to focus on the Israeli internal and political posture, by Karim Sadjadpour which I think he did a great job as always to describe and explain the Iran-US political dynamics and then by Mr. Telham to focus on the public opinion not only in the Arab world but in Israel and US as well.


In regards to Karim Sadjadpour portion, I specially find his view of IRI as a "Homicidal regime  but not suicidal" and his analogy of IRI as a Marriage of Soviet union and Taliban.  


Also it is worth clarifying the quote of "you can be against Israel or you can enrich uranium, but you cannot do both!" is mostly for a US public consumption AND not from Mr. Sadjadpour but Mr. Form who infamously wrote the axis of evil speech for GWB, the decider


'Hambastegi' is the main key to victory 



"Is Iran a nation or a cause?"

by Mehrban on

An excellent question we should all ponder in formulating our understanding of and hopes for our country.  


war just broke out

by مآمور on

would he be one of solider, officer, grand commander in any of two, three, four armies involved in the on going war?

ask the right question from the right people. what is the point to go to dentist when you have nervous break-down?

I wear an Omega watch


A Solid Discussion

by Faramarz on

Karim Sadjadpour has great analysis and metaphors. He correctly points out the three pillars of the current Regime as being, anti-US, anti-Israel and Hejab that effectively does not provide any space for negotiation and compromise.

He also throws cold water on the “Grand Bargain” and “Nixon to China” arguments that are being promoted by the likes of Trita Parsi and the Leveretts.

One of his best lines is that "you can be against Israel or you can enrich uranium, but you cannot do both!"

He ends by saying that we are in an impasse right now and wondering what the way out is.