Professor Kirstein Interview to Appear on Iran Television, July 23, 2007

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I was informed that a segment of an interview that was taped months ago in Chicago will be shown on Islamic Republic or Iran Broadcasting’s Jame Jam network tonight. I do not speak Persian or Farsi and presume they are going to have subtitles. Hopefully it will be accurate in translation. Dr Richard Falk, formerly of Princeton, and others were also interviewed in Chicago for possible broadcast, but I do not know if other clips will be shown. The segment will appear on the weekly program “Kankash,” which is the network’s most popular current events show. The program will air tonight between 10:00 to 11:00 p.m. central time. I will probably get a tape but have no way to access the show live on cable.

I believe if we do not talk to our adversaries, we frustrate the potential for international reconciliation and the reduction in violence. I am pleased that even the Bush administration which has a callous indifference to the benefits of diplomacy, has been engaging in more direct contact with Iran. The latest hopefully will lead to an exchange of prisoners and civilians both nations have unfortunately detained. Diplomatic engagement was one of the key proposals of the Iraq Study Group. If my interview advances greater understanding, even a little bit, it would have been worth the effort. Hatred, recrimination, stereotypical dismissals and the effort to dehumanise one’s opponents or antagonists is not in the national interest and certainly not in the interest of the global community. If I learned one thing in all my classes with Dr Howard Zinn, it was we are all connected and that a universality of identification is preferable to a narrow and somewhat segregated notion of national identity.

I do not support ANY nation having nuclear weapons in the Middle East whether it be Iran or the State of Israel, and call for implementation of the denuclearisation Article 6 of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (1968). I do not support nations intervening in the internal affairs of other states. I do not support nations that talk about war and wiping countries off the map. I do, however, expect that the most powerful and wealthy of nations would exercise greater humility and less brutality in attempting to coerce compliant behaviour from national actors that dissent from an ethos of hegemony. We will either live together or die together and in the nuclear age it is best we not forget that.

Let us speak to one another as I am tonight!!

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