Join the Matthew B. Ridgway Center for International Security and Department of Political Science for a breakfast briefing on "Iran and the United States" with Ross Harrison. 

The United States and Iran have been on a collision course since the Iranian revolution over forty years ago. But the conflict between the two countries took a new turn, escalating sharply when the Trump Administration withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018, and re-imposed punishing sanctions on Iran. The relationship between the U.S. and Iran has spiraled out of control over the past 6 months, culminating in the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani by the United States in January. In response Iran launched missile attacks on Iraqi bases that housed American troops, leading to damage and some injuries. 

There are several questions these events raise. What is likely to occur next in U.S.-Iranian relations? What is the likelihood of war between the two countries? What is the position of the Europeans, Russia and China?  Is the status quo sustainable in Iran domestically and in U.S.-Iranian relations? What are the prospects for U.S.-Iranian negotiations? Can the Iran nuclear deal be salvaged? What does this conflict mean for stability in the broader Middle East? 

Ross Harrison from the Political Science Department, where he teaches courses in Government and Politics of the Middle East and U.S. Foreign Policy Towards the Middle East, will address these issues. In addition to teaching at Pitt, Ross is on the faculty of the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where he teaches Strategy, and is a Resident Senior Fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington, DC. 

Harrison authored Strategic Thinking in 3D: A Guide for National Security, Foreign policy and Business Professionals and co-edited with Paul Salem a 2019 book Escaping the Conflict Trap: Toward Ending Civil Wars in the Middle East, and in 2017 with Paul Salem, released From Chaos to Cooperation: Toward Regional Order in the Middle East. He is currently writing a book on Iran’s Foreign Policy. 

He lectures regularly on matters related to strategy and as well as Middle East politics at the U.S. Department of State, the National War College, National Defense University, The Naval War College, the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute, Georgetown University and Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.  

He is also part of a back channel diplomatic initiative relating to Syria, Iraq and Yemen, and has been a member of several study groups and Track II diplomatic initiatives related to the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy.