By: Mark Leon Goldberg on May 22, 2012 I am moderating a conference call about Iran diplomacy, with former US Ambassador to the UN Thomas Pickering and Middle East expert Dr. Vali Nasr. The call is being hosted by the United Nations Association of the United States at 6pm EST tonight. The timing of our call is auspicious: just this morning, the International Atomic Energy Agency director announced a potential breakthrough in negotiations with Iran. Tomorrow, diplomats from the P5+1 (that’s the USA, Russia, China, France, the UK and Germany) are meeting with Iranian counterparts in Baghdad, for the first time in years. These experts will help put these developments in context. You are cordially invited to join the call and ask question. Details below. Ticking Time Bomb? An Expert Look at Iran Going Nuclear & the Diplomatic Steps That Remain with Ambassador Thomas Pickering Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and Dr. Vali Nasr Leading Middle East Expert, Brookings Institution Senior Foreign Policy Fellow moderated by Mark Goldberg Managing Editor, UN Dispatch Tues, May 22, 6 p.m. ET Number to Call: 800-319-9003 Passcode: 361281 Please RSVP via email to membership-at-unausa-dot-org ***** Tensions continue to run high between the United States and Iran over Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the denial of International Atomic Energy Agency access to certain military installations, and the Islamic Republic’s rhetoric towards the State of Israel. With a presidential election scheduled in the U.S. this fall, American foreign policy towards Iran and the extent to which the UN will be involved in that policy is a topic of heated debate. Ambassador Thomas Pickering serves on the board of directors for the American Iranian Council, an organization devoted to the normalization of relations between Iran and the U.S., and Dr. Vali Nasr is a leading expert on the Middle East, having published several books including, Democracy in Iran: History and the Quest for Liberty. Join UNA-USA’s May Nationwide Conference Call — Ticking Time Bomb? An Expert Look at Iran Going Nuclear & the Diplomatic Steps That Remain — to hear from two of the most prominent speakers on U.S. – Iran relations. About our speakers: Ambassador Thomas Pickering is currently serving on the board of directors for the American Iranian Council, an organization devoted to the normalization of relations between Iran and the U.S., the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Henry L. Stimson Center. Among his many diplomatic appointments, he served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 1989 to1992, appointed by President George H.W. Bush. He has an over four-decade-long career in foreign service, including ambassadorships in Russia, India, Israel, El Salvador, Nigeria, and Jordan. He also served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from 1997 to 2000. He holds the distinction of Career Ambassador, the highest in the U.S. Foreign Service. He is currently a member of the Constitution Project’s bipartisan Liberty and Security Committee, and serves on the Advisory Board of Eurasia Group, a political risk consultancy firm, as well as on the Guiding Coalition of the nonpartisan Project on National Security Reform. Pickering is also the former co-chair of UNA-USA. Dr. Vali Nasr is a leading expert on the Middle East, a best-selling author, Dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy at Brookings Institution, and a columnist for Bloomberg View. He served as Senior Advisor to the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan from 2009 to 2011. He is a leading expert on the Islamic world and Middle East policies, and he has influenced critical public debates and policy decisions in both the U.S. and Europe. Born in Tehran, Nasr immigrated to the U.S. after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. He received his B.A. from Tufts University in International Relations, masters in International Economics and Middle East Studies from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and his Ph.D. in Political Science from MIT.