Reza Aslan and NPR’s Mike Shuster Discuss Iran’s Nuclear Program, Its Government, and Its People

On Thursday night the Foreign Policy Roundtable (FPR) held one of it’s salon style events in Los Angeles to bring together international scholars, journalists, and some of Hollywood’s elite to discuss one of the most important foreign affairs issues: Iran’s disputed nuclear program. FPR invited Reza Aslan, a highly regarded scholar and writer who has become an expert on foreign affairs issues, most notably Iran. Also present to moderate the dialogue was NPR’s diplomatic and roving foreign affairs correspondent, Mike Shuster.

The FPR event was hosted by Hollywood producer, manager, and Oceana board chair Keith Addis and his wife, producer Keri Selig.

The evening offered a very informative perspective on Iran. Here are some takeaways — tidbits and misconceptions — that I’d like to share with you.

Tidbit #1: What is Iran’s current nuclear capability? According to Aslan, no one really knows. But he believes the consensus opinion is that “Iran is one to two years away from having the capability of weaponizing its program, and probably two to three years away from that point of being able to deliver a nuclear weapon.”

Tidbit #2: Prior to last June, Iran’s elections have been the fairest and freest relative to any other country in the Middle East with the exception of Israel. As Aslan said “the autocratic dictatorial tendencies of this regime masks the reality which is that they are absolutely and desperately reliant on the will of the people, and t…

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