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Jim Slattery Discusses His Historic Trip to Iran at Atlantic Council Event

February 13, 2015

Jim Slattery, former six-term U.S. congressman and co-chair of Wiley Rein’s Public Policy Practice, gave a presentation at a February 9 Atlantic Council event that was televised on C-SPAN.  Mr. Slattery discussed his recent trip to Iran and his thoughts on how to improve U.S.-Iran relations.

Mr. Slattery was the first former or current member of Congress to be invited to speak in Iran by the government since 1979.  He spoke at the “World Against Violence and Extremism Conference” in Tehran in December 2014.

Mr. Slattery’s interview at the Atlantic Council focused on Iranian perceptions of the current nuclear negotiations with the U.S.  Mr. Slattery said he believes Iran’s President Rouhani wants to reach a nuclear agreement with the U.S. and the Supreme Leader supports the negotiations. 

“Current negotiations hold the best promise of achieving a verifiable international deal that will prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” Mr. Slattery said.

He added that “negotiations are very difficult and it is easy to be critical but we must examine all other options before rejecting the final agreement.”

Mr. Slattery urged members of Congress in both parties to avoid pre-judging the nuclear agreement being negotiated.  He said high-ranking Iranian government officials “need assurances that if a deal is worked out, they want to be confident that it can actually be approved and implemented by the Obama administration, and won’t be scuttled by the Congress.”

Mr. Slattery has also appeared on CNN International, the BBC, and Sirius XM discussing his historic trip to Iran.

Please click here to watch the full Atlantic Council discussion.