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Choices Ahead: The Future of the Iran Deal

Our other event for Wednesday was a program put on by the Cleveland Council of World Affairs (CCWA), the World Affairs Council of America, and the Iran Project which advocates for moderate, sensible policies between Iran and the United States.

IMG_2161This program was titled "Choices Ahead: The Future of the Iran Deal" and featured three excellent panelists who were Mr. Gary Sick, Senior Research School, Columbia University and Former National Security Council Official; Ambassador Frank G. Wisner, former Ambassador to India, Zambia, Egypt and the Phillipines; and Professor Joshua Stacher, Ph.D. and Associate Professor at Kent State University. They all agreed that the Iran Nuclear Deal was a good thing because Iran was opening itself to almost unprecedented scrutiny and it set the stage for further issues like Iran's human rights record its relations with its neighbors to be discussed.

During the Q and A, our friend Mr. Raj Aggarwal asked an excellent question concerning the fact that the U.S. has, up to this point, largely allied itself with Sunni leaders but Iran is Shiite; therefore, our traditional allies will be upset and how will we deal with the backlash? Ambassador Wisner believed that this will definitely be a challenge but the end result could be a more balanced policy in the region which is what is needed.

We shared a table with Mr. Pietrot Shakarian, a Ph.D. candidate at Kent State University and his father, Mr. Berj Shakarian, the famed architect who did such a fine job restoring our Soldiers and Sailors Monument.

Before the program started, we got to talk one-on-one with Mr. Sick about the foreign policy of the United States in the Middle East region and really learned a lot. Mr. Sick was a personable man; before he spoke on the panel he took a minute to say that even though he was not from Cleveland, he could relate to our anxiety and excitement about the important CAVS/Golden State Warriors basketball game scheduled to take place Thursday night.

We felt very good about this program because it generated confidence that U.S. policy was on the right track in this instance. As our friend, Ms. Rosemary Palmer told us, our panel was composed of very respected people who were well-versed in the subject matter they were discussing and these were the type of people we should be listening to.


Michael Patterson 

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC

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