Oxford Union debate: Is Iran a Wolf in Sheep’s clothing?

14 Mar

“This House Believes Iran is Just a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing”.

This was the title of the debate held at Oxford University on the 6th of March this year.

According to the website of Rabbi Shmuley Boteach who participated in the debate, there were four people on the proposition side and three on the side of the opposition.

On the side of of the proposition were:

  • Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, known as “America’s Rabbi” and founder of the Oxford University L’Chaim Society
  • Mayank Banerjee, Treasurer, St. John’s College
  • Nazenin Ansari, exiled Iranian journalist and former President of the Foreign Press Association in London
  • Dr. Alon Ben-Meir, a passionate proponent of the Arab Peace Initiative, regularly serving as diplomatic negotiator between Arab and Israeli officials

On the side of the opposition were:

  • Crawford Jamieson, Librarian, Trinity College
  • Shlomo Sand, Israeli historian and author of “The Invention of Jewish People
  • Hooman Majd, Iranian-American journalist and author of “The Ayatollah’s Democracy”

The opposition won the debate by 50 votes.

Rabbi Boteach, who it turns out has Iranian parents wrote about his experience at the debate here.
Here is a clip. It looks interesting. Unfortunately the video of the whole debate is not yet available. I look forward to watching it if and when it becomes available.


29 Responses to “Oxford Union debate: Is Iran a Wolf in Sheep’s clothing?”

  1. Anonymous March 18, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

    Mier, where can we watch the entire debate?

  2. Iran Policy Committee Publishing April 13, 2014 at 4:57 am #

    Meir Javedanfar: As you may recall, the farmer was so taken by the Wolf’s pretense that the farmer “inadvertently” attacked the wolf. The moral? If rogue regimes Intend harm, they may be harmed.

    Applied to the Iranian regime, I am of the opinion that it plans to breakout to become a nuclear-weapon capable status before inspectors can detect. Then I expect the regime to use coercive diplomacy against Israel and launch a preemptive strike once armed with the bomb and if Tehran believes Israel is about to attack Iranian nuclear sites.

    Am not optimistic the Geneva-Vienna talks will succeed in a permanent accord by 20 July; but even if they do, I believe the Israeli war cabinet will coalesce around the Prime Minister and Defense Minister to launch an attack. My views are informed by having made many research and teaching trips to Israel and personal knowledge of both Bibi and Bogie. At issue is whether Barack, whom I do not know, will decide to do the job Israel can begin but not end.

    My preference is to favor regime change from within Iran by western nations using soft power to facilitate the downfall of the regime. Resume crippling trade and financial sanctions, support political aspirations of the Iranian people and their dissident movements as well as facilitate the work of formal organizations; rather than to focus on diplomacy that bolsters the regime against an American ally (Israel) or the conduct of problematic military action by Jerusalem and/or Washington, western nations should use soft power to foment a “color revolution” in Iran, which the Supreme Leader and Pasdaran suspect is the case but I do not believe it is at this time.

    See my posts about prospects for failure of the nuclear talks:

    At Midterm, Iran’s Implementation of Nuclear Obligations Gets an ‘F’

    After Failure in the Iran Nuclear Talks, What?

    Raymond Tanter

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