Since the 1979 Revolution, there have been multiple projects at the so-called "Track Two" level seeking to open channels for dialogue and even to try to help resolve the various issues that mark relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the West. Proponents of these projects argue that they represent an important avenue of dialogue, especially in the US-Iran case, where there is no official relationship. Others argue that they are, at best, a distraction, and, at worst, a trap whereby the Iranian regime sends disinformation and portrays itself as more willing to compromise than it really is. Is it possible to draw some conclusions about the result of all these efforts? By what measures should we assess such efforts? Can we identify some points which might make future dialogues of this type more productive? Professor Peter Jones assesses these questions in this talk.
Peter Jones is an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa. He writes and teaches on the subject of Track Two diplomacy, and is actively involved in Track Two projects around the world, including with Iran. He is the author of, "Track Two Diplomacy: A Theoretical Approach" (forthcoming in Track Two in the Middle East, Routledge, 2011), "Filling a Critical Gap or Just Wasting Time? Track Two Diplomacy and Middle East Regional Security," Disarmament Forum (2008), and Canada and Track Two Diplomacy (CIC, 2008). Prior to joining the Faculty, he spent 14 years in the Canadian Public Service, including 7 years in the Privy Council Office and 7 years in DFAIT. He holds a Ph.D. in War Studies from King's College, London.