USF World News

Noted Statesman Thomas Pickering to Speak on Iran’s Nuclear Challenge
August 29, 2012

The University of South Florida’s Center for Strategic and Diplomatic Studies will host Career Ambassador Thomas Pickering on Tuesday, Sept. 4 for a conversation on Iran’s nuclear program and the security challenges it creates for the United States.

The free public event will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the Patel Center for Global Solutions, Room 140. The Patel Center is located at 11710 Maple Drive on USF’s Tampa campus.

In a diplomatic career spanning five decades, Pickering served as the U.S. ambassador to Russia, India, Israel, El Salvador, Nigeria and Jordan. From 1997 to 2001, Ambassador Pickering served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and holds the rank of Career Ambassador, the highest in the U.S. Foreign Service. He was Ambassador and Representative to the United Nations in New York.

“Iran’s nuclear program is unarguably one of the most serious and complex national security challenges the United States faces today,” said Mohsen Milani, director of USF’s Center for Strategic and Diplomatic Studies.

“Ambassador Pickering is exceptionally qualified to address the complexities and nuances of this challenge. He is a highly seasoned and articulate diplomat with a treasure of knowledge and experience about foreign policy.  At this critical juncture, when we are once again hearing the drumbeats of war with Iran, it is essential to have an accurate understanding of the nature of Iran’s nuclear program.”

 Milani said the conversation with Pickering will cover topics such as whether Iran’s nuclear program, including its uranium enrichment activities, is for peaceful purposes or Iran is determined to develop a nuclear weapons capability.   Pickering also will be asked to discuss the ongoing negotiations between Iran and the 5+1 Group (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany), the possibility and potential consequences of a war with Iran and the ramifications of Iran’s nuclear program for the volatile region of the Middle East as well as for the United States foreign policy.

The lecture is the third event in the National Security Lecture Series sponsored by USF World’s Center for Strategic and Diplomatic Studies since its founding in April 2012.  Free parking is available in lots 23A, B and T.

For more information on the center and its events, contact Eddie Aikins at or 974-3724 or click here.

Media Contact:                  
Vickie Chachere
(813) 974-6251

Story Source:                     
Mohsen Milani
(813) 974-0849