I discussed the visa waiver issue ("HR158") on Brooklyn's BRICTV, a newly-launched community television station in Brooklyn. I argued that the addition of Iran in the law is both discriminatory and fails to improve national security.
I elaborated on the reason that I'm personally opposed to the law.
"Sometimes people say that this law just produces a small inconvenience, and that you should just apply for a visa. However, to me it's not about the inconvenience. I'm affronted by the implication of the law," I said. "And the implication is this: that I, because I am an Iranian-American dual citizen and have traveled to Iran, just may perhaps be a terrorist."
That's a bad precedent to set.Read More
Kayvon Afshari sat down with Alyona Minkovski on HuffPost Live to chat about Jon Stewart's final days at The Daily Show, his "secretive" meetings with President Obama, and his recent interview with Tomorrow Cruise.
I talked some more about the Iran nuclear deal with HuffPost Live’s Alyona Minkovski.
I argued that,
1. the deal needs to be used as an opportunity to pivot toward broader US-Iran relations
2. attitudes in Iran need to dramatically shift in order to prepare the country for these broader talks with the US— a government which the Islamic Republic’s leaders have viewed suspiciously as “the Great Satan” for 36 years.
3. while none of the Israeli political parties support the deal, many strategic thinkers and former intelligence officials in Israel (Ephraim Halevy, Meir Dagan, Ami Ayalon, Amos Yadlin) have basically supported the deal, and that
4. the Obama administration used the recent Camp David summit with Arab leaders as a giant arms sale bonanza for Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, etc.
In this interview with HuffPost Live, AIC Director of Communications Kayvon Afshari underscores the significance of a potential nuclear deal to the Obama administration, as well as the importance of the P5+1 countries and Iran having the same understanding of any final deal. He says, "I think that it's more important that they take the time now to deal with these really technical issues and achieve perfect clarity in the negotiations phase rather than walk away from it and have somewhat different interpretations in the implementation phase."
Afshari emphasizes the progress made in the form of Iran's concessions concerning its nuclear program, which go beyond the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Additional Protocol. He says, "The Iranians have made major concessions here. Iran, as a non-weapons signatory to the NPT, has the right to produce nuclear power for peaceful purposes." He adds that this progress owes to the Obama administration's willingness to shift from a policy of zero enrichment to limited enrichment, which helped the parties find common ground.
“What a successful nuclear deal would do is set a precedent whereby diplomatic engagement will have peacefully resolved such a thorny 15 year old international issue. This is not just a deal about centrifuges and uranium enrichment this is about mistrust between the US and IR. there are huge issues that have separated these countries for the past 36 years. An honest inspection of this relationship has to conclude that the mistrust runs both ways and that both sides have harmed each other," he said.
I discussed the ongoing nuclear negotiations with The Majority Report's Michael Brooks. I argued that there is a serious lack of intellectual honesty in the ongoing discourse in the United States, and explained the domestic politics in Iran over the issue.Read More
In my interview with HuffPost Live, I stressed the importance of having an "intellectually honest" discussion on the nuclear negotiations and argued that Iran has made significant concessions. It got heated at a few points, but by sticking to the facts, I made my point more clearly than the detractors.Read More
Kayvon Afshari sits down with Another Thing's Larry Mendte, to discuss the Iran nuclear negotiations, which faces staunch opposition domestically both in the U.S. and Iran.
Despite harsh realities, Afshari remains optimistic that a nuclear agreement will be reached. Afshari stressed that, "The Obama administration has expended a great deal of political capital on the negotiations and along with the high stakes implications involved, the administration needs a win.Read More
I was interviewed on The Majority Report about Obama's statements on Iran during his State of the Union Address, as well as Congress inviting Netanyahu to address them and Senator Bob Menendez's statements that the White House's talking points "sound like they're coming straight from Tehran."
I was interviewed on HuffPost Live about US casualties from Iraq's abandoned chemical weapons, a CIA report that claims arming rebels does nothing, and the life of Edward Snowden. You can view the full video here.
The Institute for Cultural Diplomacy invited me to speak at the United Nations about satire as a form of cultural diplomacy. They even bumped Angelina Jolie for my speech.