Sunday, April 5, 2015

Former U.S. Defense Department official, Dr. Harold Rhode: The Iranian regime will never restore relations with the United States, as doing so would signal the end of the Islamic Revolution.
 VOI   4-5-15  An outstanding presentation

Dr. Harold Rhode, a senior  specialist on the  Middle  East, worked as an analyst at the Pentagon for 28 years. He studied  and traveled extensively throughout the Islamic world { Egypt, Israel, Syria, Jordan, Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan.} He speaks Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Turkish. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in Islamic History, specializing in the history of the Turks, Arabs, and Iranians. Rhode was studying at Ferdosi University in Iran during the early stages of the revolution that brought Ayatollah Khomeni to power.

In May 1982, he joined the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy at the Pentagon as an adviser on the Islamic world with a special focus on Turkey, Iran, and Iraq and on how to understand, negotiate, and deal with Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and other Arab countries.
During the Gulf War, Rhode served as the Turkish Desk officer in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). While holding this position he also conducted studies for OSD  on Iran, Iraq, and other Middle Eastern issues.
Between 1991 and 1994 Harold Rhode served on the US Department of Defense’s Policy Planning Staff. While in this position he wrote strategy papers on Middle Eastern and Central Asian topics.From 1994 until 2010 he worked as an adviser on Islamic Affairs in the Office of Net Assessment, an in-house think tank for the Pentagon.

Also a Discussant:Mordechai Kedar, an Israeli scholar of Arabic literature and a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University. Kedar  holds a Ph.D. from Bar-Ilan University.  Kedar is an academic on the Israeli Arab population. He served for twenty-five years in IDF Military Intelligence, where he specialized in Islamic groups, the political discourse of Arab countries, the Arabic press and mass media, and the Syrian domestic arena.