Speakers at the 2023 U.S. Strategic Command Deterrence Symposium, which was held Aug. 16-17 in Omaha, Neb., included current and former military leaders, a member of Congress, a governor and a university president.
And then there was Seyed Hussein Mousavian of Princeton University.
The U.S. Strategic Command, which is part of the U.S. Defense Department, details Mousavian’s biography, including his service as Iranian ambassador to Germany (1990-1997); head of the foreign relations committee of Iran’s National Security Council (1997-2005); and Tehran’s spokesman in its nuclear negotiations with the international community (2003-2005).
Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, sees the situation differently.
“Mousavian helped lead the murderous Iranian regime’s efforts to obtain nuclear weapons so it could threaten the United States and our allies with annihilation,” he said, as reported in The Washington Free Beacon. “Now he’s in semi-retirement at Princeton as a full-time propagandist for the IRGC. Inviting him to spread lies at a U.S. military seminar is insanity.” (The IRGC is the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which the United States considers a terrorist organization.)
Gabriel Noronha, a former adviser on Iran for the U.S. State Department, told the Beacon that it was “unimaginably foolish” to invite Mousavian to speak at the event. “He is a pawn and propaganda agent of the Iranian regime, which explains why he is allowed to travel back to Iran,” Noronha said.
Mousavian previously boasted about death threats against a former U.S. envoy to Iran frightened the U.S. diplomat’s wife.
After the Free Beacon piece was published, a U.S. Strategic Command spokesman told the paper: “We were aware of Mr. Mousavian’s previous position within the Iranian government and believe that, in the context of the Deterrence Symposium, we would have benefited from that insight into an opposing viewpoint.”