Naples Council
World Affairs
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NCWA presents a special program:

The U.S. and Iran:

Can the Iran Nuclear Agreement Be Restarted?

Join Us for a Lively Discussion

With John Brennan and Suzanne DiMaggio

Monday, June 14 at 4:00 pm online

Click here to watch  

                       John Brennan                                                      Suzanne DiMaggio
Former Director of Central Intelligence Agency   Chairman of the Quincy Institute

John says:

Political jockeying is surely on the increase on the eve of the Iranian presidential election to be held on June 18. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Iran nuclear deal) and whether or how to resuscitate it is clearly a highly charged and divisive issue, set amongst the ongoing exchange of rocket attacks and missile strikes between Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Israel.

JCPOA critics in Washington and Israel point to Iran’s support for the Palestinian extremist group as evidence that Iran’s malign activities should not be enabled by the financial benefits that would accompany a return to the agreement.

Suzanne says:

The Vienna talks aimed at reconstituting the JCPOA have moved into their most challenging phase yet. Significant progress has been made, but, given the high degree of mistrust between Washington and Tehran, it’s slow going.

They’re getting down to the nitty gritty of drafting a document that all the parties agree to while negotiations on the remaining areas of disagreement continue. A successful revival of the JCPOA will place Iran’s nuclear program back under tight constraints — a top priority for the U.S. and our allies. Beyond this, it will help clear a path to pursuing other U.S. interests, including negotiating a follow-on nuclear agreement and setting a foundation for more expansive dialogue on regional issues.   

About our speakers:

John O. Brennan is a Distinguished Fellow at the Center on National Security at Fordham Law School, a Distinguished Scholar at the University of Texas at Austin, a senior intelligence and national security analyst for NBC and MSNBC, and an advisor to a variety of private sector companies. His new book,“Undaunted: My Fight Against America’s Enemies at Home andAbroad,” is a memoir of his career in public service. 

Brennan served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency from March 2013 until January 2017. As director, he was responsible for intelligence collection, analysis, covert action, counterintelligence, and liaison relationships with foreign intelligence services. From January 2009 to March 2013, he was Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, shaping and coordinating Obama administration policies on counterterrorism, homeland security, pandemics, cyberattacks, and natural disasters. 

Brennan began his government service at the CIA, where he worked from 1980 to 2005. He served as CIA’s daily intelligence briefer to President Clinton, Chief of Staff to Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet, and Deputy Executive Director. In 2003, he led a multi- agency effort to establish the National Counterterrorism Center and served as the Center’s first Director. After retiring from the CIA in 2005, he worked in the private sector for three years.

Brennan graduated from Fordham University in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in political science, studying at the American University in Cairo in 1975-1976. He earned a master’s degree in government from the University of Texas at Austin in 1980. 

Following is a purchase link for his new book:

“Brennan’s memoir presents a rich portrait of his unusual life, which took him from a working-class New Jersey neighborhood to a position as a Middle East specialist who met with kings and presidents and witnessed the rise of Al Qaeda. Reflections on his long and momentous career are a worthy addition to the available history of the post-9/11 era.” -- The New York Times Book Review


Suzanne DiMaggio is Chairman of the Quincy Institute and directs the U.S.-Iran Initiative, which is carried out through a combination of policy dialogue, research, and a series of private roundtables and public events, with the aim of exploring possible grounds for constructive engagement and generating diplomatic solutions to the issues that divide the two countries. The project’s centerpiece is a long-running dialogue that she established in 2002, which helped to provide the foundations for the secret talks between Iran and the Obama administration that led to the 2015 nuclear agreement.

She is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where she focuses on U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East and Asia. She is one of the foremost experts and practitioners of diplomatic dialogues with countries that have limited or no official relations with the United States, especially Iran and North Korea. For nearly two decades, she has led these track 1.5 and track 2 conversations to help policymakers identify pathways for diplomatic progress on a range of issues, including regional security, nonproliferation, terrorism, and governance.

She is currently directing a U.S.-DPRK dialogue that has included several visits to North Korea. As part of that process, she facilitated the first official discussions between the Trump administration and North Korean government representatives in Oslo in May 2017.

In 2009, DiMaggio launched and directed a task force and an accompanying U.S.-Myanmar dialogue aimed at generating policy options to advance the normalization of bilateral relations. In 2016, she initiated a U.S.-China dialogue focused on great power interests in Myanmar and Southeast Asia more broadly. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Advisory Committee for Securing a Peaceful Transition in Myanmar.

Before joining Carnegie, Suzanne was a senior fellow at New America (2014-2018), where she directed several high-level policy dialogues, including with Iran, North Korea, and China. She was the vice president of Global Policy Programs at the Asia Society (2007-2014), where she set the strategic direction for moving the Asia Society’s work in the policy arena from a public program-focused forum to a global think tank aimed at addressing the most critical challenges facing the United States and Asia.

She was the vice president of Policy Programs at the United Nations Association of the United States of America (1998-2007), where she directed programs that advanced multilateral approaches to global problem solving and advocated in support of constructive U.S. international engagement. Before joining UNA-USA, she was a program officer at the United Nations University (1993-1998), a research institute that links the UN system with international academic and policy communities. First based in Tokyo, Japan, and later at UN headquarters in New York, her work at UNU focused on international security issues and development.

Suzanne is an associate senior fellow in the Disarmament, Arms Control, and Nonproliferation Program at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). She holds a BA from New York University and an MA from City College of New York (CUNY). She is a frequent commentator in the news media and her op-eds have appeared in national and international press outlets. She resides in NYC’s Greenwich Village with her husband, jazz bassist and composer Ben Allison, and daughter.

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