Iran, Nukes, and Avoiding A Middle East War

On March 10th we heard from two experts in the field of nuclear nonproliferation and global security; Joe Cirincione, President of Ploughshares Fund, and Andrew Semmel, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Nuclear Nonproliferation and current Head of AKS Consulting, about their views on the situation. Both have incredible experience with nuclear non-proliferation, the IAEA, and Iran's nuclear development. The call discussed background information on the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran's nuclear history, what actually is going on right now in Iran, where Israel fits in, and how the U.S. can move forward in a smart, diplomatic, and non-aggressive way. If you missed it, you should click the link below to download the audio right now - it truly was a great conversation with two very qualified people.

Our current and ongoing action is to first send an email to your Senators telling them you support smart talk not smart bombs when it comes to Iran! After you take action, your job as our grassroots leader is to spread the word! We've made it very easy for you to share this action with family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors via email, Facebook, and Twitter with just one simple click of a button. If you need assistance with any of these social networking sites download our toolkit to find out how you can create your own accounts and get lots of helpful tips! We need 50 emails in each state to get Senators offices to take notice, so please spread this message to anyone and everyone you know.

The world is watching - and it's up to the U.S. to ensure that talks not bombs are used. Please let your Senators know how you feel and encourage your friends and family to do the same.

March 10, 2012 -
1:00pm to 2:00pm
Speaker 1
Joseph Cirincione
President of Ploughshares Fund

Joseph Cirincione is President of Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation. He is the author of Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons and Deadly Arsenals: Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Threats. He is a member of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's International Security Advisory Board, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the World Economic Forum Global Council on Catastrophic Risks.

His commentary has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Financial Times, Kyodo News, Moscow Times, Foreign Policy, The Hill, Daily Beast, and Huffington Post. He has appeared on ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, PBS, MSNBC, Fox News, BBC News, The Colbert Report, Australian Broadcasting Coporation, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, NHK, Russia Today, and Al Jazeera.

Cirincione worked for nine years in the U.S. House of Representatives on the professional staff of the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Government Operations. He is the author of hundreds of articles on nuclear weapons issues, the producer of two DVDs, a frequent commentator in the media, and he appeared in the films, Countdown to Zero and Why We Fight. He previously served as Vice President for National Security and International Policy at the Center for American Progress and Director for Nonproliferation at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He has held positions at the Henry L. Stimson Center, the U.S. Information Agency and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He teaches at the graduate School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

Speaker 2
Dr. Andrew K. Semmel

Since January 2008, Dr. Semmel has been a private consultant at AKS Consulting. As head of AKS Consulting, he has focused on issues relating to nuclear proliferation, the nuclear non-proliferation regime, and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.  He consults on behalf of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the U.S. Departments of State and Energy in Washington, and written and spoken extensively on nuclear-related, foreign policy, and national security issues.

Dr. Semmel joined the Department of State in Spring 2003 as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Nuclear Nonproliferation in the Department's Bureau of Nonproliferation (NP) and continued in that role in the newly formed Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN). His primary responsibilities included the development and execution of policies and initiatives to stem the spread of nuclear weapons, associated technologies and know-how, including export controls. He represented the Department in inter agency meetings, bilateral and multilateral international fora, conferences and negotiations on nuclear nonproliferation issues.

From September 2001 to January 2003, he served as the Executive Director of the U.S. China Security Review Commission, a bipartisan government Commission of twelve private citizens appointed by the Congressional leadership. He was responsible for the Commission's public hearings, research, briefings, foreign travel, and the preparation of an annual report of findings and recommendations to the Congress on the security implications of economic and financial relations between the U.S. and China.

He served on the personal staff of Senator Richard G. Lugar from 1987 to 2001, where he was the Senator's senior Legislative Assistant for Foreign Policy. He assisted Senator Lugar on political/economic/security issues in all regions of the world. Beyond current foreign policy/national security matters, he paid special attention to international exchange programs, trade, democracy promotion, sanctions policy, human rights, international organizations, and others. Prior to this, he served as a Professional Staff Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, 1985-1987. 

He has authored or co authored publications on diverse foreign policy and national security issues. He has served as President of the Comparative Foreign Policy Section of the International Studies Association and the Governing Board of International Studies Association.

He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and has been a Tenured Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Cincinnati. He has also been an Adjunct Visiting Professor in the Master of Science in Foreign Service Program (MSFS) at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and an Adjunct Professor at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  In 1981, he took a position with the Department of Defense as a Foreign Affairs Specialist in the Defense Security Assistance Agency (DSAA) and served as Chief of the Analysis Division of DSAA until he moved to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in February 1985, where he had primary responsibility for the U.S. security assistance legislation, arms sales, and related foreign policy and national security issues.