Can Europe Make It?

An Open Letter to Federica Mogherini and the European imperative to save the Iran nuclear deal

Failure is not an option. The alternative path is simply too costly, not only for the present generation, but for posterity as well. 


Iranian academics in the UK et al
30 May 2018
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European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, May, 2018. Ye Pingfan/ Press Association. All rights reserved.


Open Letter to Ms. Federica Mogherini, 

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, 

European Commission



We, the undersigned, thank you for your speech on May 8, 2018, pledging the European Union’s intention to remain steadfast in its commitment to the historic accord concluded between Iran and the E3/EU+3, the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Too often, politicians have inclined to patronise and admonish, but, instead, you opted for a “universal language” of respect and dialogue. You proclaimed that “[t]his deal belongs to each and every one of us”, and that it enjoins us not to “let anyone dismantle this agreement”. But despite such salutary remarks, in the aftermath of the Trump administration’s public announcement to withdraw from the JCPOA and re-impose sanctions on Iran, the survival of the agreement is far from assured. 

The majority of Iranians have demonstrated their heartfelt support for this hard-won diplomatic accord. They have shown their support through their two-time election of a president promising to initiate constructive dialogue with the world, patiently awaiting the outcome of a long and arduous series of negotiations despite the debilitating impact of sanctions on their everyday lives, celebrating in the streets of major Iranian cities when the JCPOA was successfully agreed upon, and finally, announcing their approbation of the agreement in over 100 cities across the globe in the weeks and months that followed.

In your speech you stated that “the European Union will remain committed to the continued full and effective implementation of the Nuclear Deal”. We wholeheartedly welcome this commitment, but as you are fully apprised, it is crucial that Europe is able to discharge its international obligations and ensure, despite U.S. sanctions, that Iran and its people enjoy the full economic and political dividends promised according to not only the letter, but also the spirit of the JCPOA. The IAEA has repeatedly verified Iran’s compliance and honouring of its commitments under the agreement, and this ought to be reciprocated in turn. 

In an increasingly unstable global climate and ever-more precarious “age of extremes”, it is essential that one of the great diplomatic successes of the 21st century not find itself carelessly squandered. By your own estimation it took some 12 years for this agreement to be reached. If Europe in coordination with its Russian and Chinese partners prove unable to salvage the JCPOA, the likelihood of further instability in the region and even war increases exponentially.

While the JCPOA showed that diplomacy is possible, in view of recent events and President Trump’s reneging on the accord, the message to the world shouldn’t be that peace is inevitably transient and short-lived. For every one of us who is committed to fostering peace through reasonable dialogue and mutual understanding, preserving the integrity and viability of the JCPOA is of inestimable importance. Trust in the European Union, UN Security Council and wider international community is at stake, as well as their credibility to tackle many of the enormous challenges which lie ahead in the years to come.

The Iranian people backed peace and diplomacy. Now it is the responsibility of the international community to demonstrate that they made the right decision and that the promises that were made will be carried out and effectively realised. Failure is not an option. The alternative path is simply too costly, not only for the present generation, but for posterity as well. 



Judith Butler, Maxine Elliot Professor of Comparative Literature, UC Berkeley

Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor & Professor of Linguistics Emeritus, MIT

Slavoj Žižek, International Director, Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck, University of London 

Peter Singer, Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values, Princeton University

Charles Taylor, Professor Emeritus in Philosophy, McGill University

Joan Wallach Scott, Professor Emerita, School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton NJ

Fredric Jameson, Knut Schmidt Nielsen Professor of Comparative Literature, Duke University

Mahmood Mamdani, Herbert Lehman Professor of Government MESAAS, International Affairs, and Anthropology, Columbia University 

Richard Falk, Albert G. Milbank Professor of International Law Emeritus, Princeton University

Abdolkarim Soroush, prominent Iranian intellectual and theologian

Cornel West, Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy, Harvard University

David Harvey, Distinguished Professor, The Graduate Centre, CUNY

Nancy Fraser, Henry A. and Louise Loeb Professor, New School for Social Research

Wendy Brown, Class of 1936 First Professor in Political Science, University of California Berkeley

Taraneh Alidoosti, Iranian actress

Shlomo Sand, Professor Emeritus, Tel Aviv University

Avi Shlaim, Emeritus Professor of International Relations, St Antony’s College, Oxford

Cumrun Vafa, Donner Professor of Science, Harvard University

Joel Beinin, Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History, Stanford University

Juan Cole, Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History, University of Michigan

Vijay Prashad, Public intellectual and author, Tricontinental

Gerald Horne, Moores Professor of History, University of Houston

Mohsen Kadivar, Research Professor in the Department of Religious Studies, Duke University

Richard Bulliet, Professor Emeritus in Middle Eastern History, Columbia University

Stathis Kalyvas, Gladstone Professor of Government, All Souls College, Oxford

Ervand Abrahamian, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Iranian and Middle Eastern History and Politics, Baruch College, CUNY

Talal Asad, Distinguished Professor in Anthropology, The Graduate Centre, CUNY

Hamid Dabashi, Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature, Columbia University 

Jacqueline Rose, Professor of Humanities and Co-director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck, University of London

John Mearsheimer, R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago

Owen M. Fiss, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Law, Yale Law School  

Homa Katouzian, Iran Heritage Foundation Research Fellow, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford 

Karma Nabulsi, Associate Professor in Politics and International Relations, St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford

Ali Mirsepassi, Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies / Director of Iranian Studies Initiative, NYU

Norman Finkelstein, Independent Scholar of Israel/Palestine 

Omid Safi, Professor of Asia and Middle Eastern Studies, Duke University

Asef Bayat, Bastian Professor of Global and Transnational Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Shirin Neshat, Visual Artist, New York, USA

Trita Parsi, President of the National Iranian American Coucil 

Aziz Rana, Professor of Law, Cornell University Law School

Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi, Associate Professor of History, Sociology, and Director of Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Illinois

Farid Esack, Professor in the Department of Religion, University of Johannesburg

Babak Rahimi, Associate Professor of Communication, Culture and Religion, UC San Diego  

Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, Professor in Global Thought and Comparative Philosophies, SOAS, University of London

Mohammad Azadpur, Professor of Philosophy and Religion, San Francisco State University

Nader Hashemi, Director of the Center for Middle East Studies and an Assistant Professor of Middle East and Islamic Politics, University of Denver 

Adam Sabra, Professor and King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud Chair in Islamic Studies, University of California

Ilan Pappé, Professor of History, Director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies, University of Exeter 

Walter Armbrust, Albert Hourani Fellow & Associate Professor in Modern Middle Eastern Studies, St Antony's College, University of Oxford

Jairus Banaji, Professorial Research Associate, SOAS, University of London

Abdel Razzaq Takriti, Associate Professor & Arab-American Educational Foundation Chair in Modern Arab History, University of Houston

Annabelle Sreberny, Emeritus Professor, SOAS, University of London

Khodadad Rezakhani, Associate Research Scholar, Princeton University

Eskandar Sadeghi-Boroujerdi, British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow, St Cross College, University of Oxford 

Morteza Hashemi, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in Social Anthropology, University of Edinburgh

Mazen Masri, Senior Lecturer in Law, City, University of London
Kevan Harris, Assistant Professor in Sociology, UCLA 

Hossein Kamaly, Middle East Institute, Columbia University

Roham Alvandi, Associate Professor of International History, London School of Economics and Political Science

Mahmoud Sadri, Professor in Sociology, Texas Woman’s University 

Arash Eshghi, Lecturer in Computer Science, Heriot-Watt University 

Lior Sternfeld, Associate Professor in Iranian Studies, Ben Gurion University of the Negev

Robert J. Riggs, Assistant Professor of World Religions, University of Bridgeport 

Alan Godlas, Associate Professor in the Department of Religion, University of Georgia

Alessandro Cancian, Research Associate, The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London 

Robert Buzzanco, Professor of History, University of Houston

Sajjad Rizvi, Associate Professor of Islamic Intellectual History and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter

Fatemeh Shams, Assistant Professor of Modern Persian Literature, University of Pennsylvania

Paul R. Pillar, Non-Resident Senior Fellow, Center for Security Studies, Georgetown University 

Ashk Peter Dahlén, Associate Professor in Iranian Languages, Uppsala University, Sweden

Zuzanna Olszewska, Associate Professor in the Social Anthropology of the Middle East, University of Oxford.

Rouzbeh Parsi, Senior Lecturer in the Department of History and Human Rights, Lund University

Niki Akhavan, Associate Professor, Department of Media and Communication Studies, Catholic University of America

Dörthe Engelcke, Senior Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law

Nahid Siamdoust, Postdoctoral Associate & Lecturer in Iranian Studies, Yale University

Ali Akbar Mahdi, Lecturer in Sociology, California State University, Northridge

Pooyan Tamimi Arab, Assistant Professor, Religious Studies, Utrecht University

Prashant Keshavmurthy, Associate Professor, Institute of Islamic Studies, McGill University

Arzoo Osanloo, Associate Professor, Department of Law, Societies, and Justice, University of Washington

Alireza Doostdar, Assistant Professor, Divinity School, University of Chicago

Lucie Ryzova Senior Lecturer in Middle East History, University of Birmingham

Afshin Shahi, Senior Lecturer in International Relations & Middle East Politics, University of Bradford 

Bashir Saade, Lecturer in Religion and Politics, University of Stirling

Paola Rivetti, Assistant Professor, School of Law and Government, Dublin City University 

Nadeem Rezavi, Professor of History, AMU, India

Christian Elling, Associate Professor in the Department of Cross-Cultural & Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen

Danny Postel, Assistant Director, Middle East and North African Studies Program, Northwestern University 

Farhang Rouhani, Associate Professor in Geography, University of Mary Washington

Sussan Siavoshi, Cox Professorship in Political Science, Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas

Sahar Maranlou, Lecturer in Law, School of Law and Human Rights Centre, University of Essex

Shervin Malekzadeh, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Williams College

Leyli Behbahani, Research Associate at the Center for Gender Studies, SOAS, University of London

Otávio Luiz Vieira Pinto, Assistant Lecturer, Universidade Estadual de Santa Catarina (UDESC)

Hani Khafipour, Associate Professor of Iranian Studies, USC

Marta Bolognani Research Affiliate, Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship, University of Bristol

Maziar Behrooz, Associate Professor in History, San Francisco State University 

Navid Yousefian, Founder of See You In Iran and Doctoral Candidate in Political Science, University of California, Santa Barbara

Farhad Dokhani, PhD Candidate in History and Middle East Studies & Co-President, Harvard Iranian Student Association, Harvard University

Hadi Jorati, Expert Consultant, Library of Congress 

Jasbeer Musthafa Mamalipurath, Doctoral Candidate in Sociology of Religion, Western Sydney University, Australia

Milad Jokar, Visiting Lecturer, Middle East Geopolitics and Diplomacy, Normandy Business School, France

Fereshteh Ahmadi, Professor in Sociology, University of Gävle, Sweden

Hassan Hakimian, MBI Al Jaber Reader in Economics and Director of London Middle East Institute, SOAS, University of London

Navid Ghaffarzadegan, Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech, USA

Christopher de Bellaigue, journalist and author

Aaron Hughes, Philip S. Bernstein Professor of Jewish Studies, University of Rochester

Abdolreza Kahani, Iranian film director

Adnan Tabatabai, Co-founder and CEO of CARPO - Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient, Bonn, Germany

Ahmad Sadri, Professor of Sociology, Lake Forest College, USA

Alexander Jabbari, Assistant Professor of Persian Language and Literature, University of Oklahoma

Ali Banuazizi, Professor of Political Science, Boston College

Ali Fathollah-Nejad, Affiliated Researcher, Center for Middle East Politics, Freie Universität Berlin

Alireza Taghaboni, Architect, Professor, Nextoffice,Azad university of Iran

Amir Kermani, Assistant Professor of Finance and Real Estate, UC Berkeley

Andrew F. March, Berggruen Fellow, Edmond J Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University

Arang Keshavarzian, Associate Professor Middle Eastern Studies, NYU

Azam Ali, Singer/Composer, California, USA

Barbara Slavin, Director of the Future of Iran Initiative, The Atlantic Council

Behrooz Bayaz, Physicist, former lecturer at the university of Marburg, Germany and former external expert of IAEA, Freelance analyst

Bijan Khajehpour, Atieh International, Vienna

Carool Kersten, Reader in the Study of Islam & the Muslim World, King's College London

Cemil Aydin, Professor in the Department of History ,University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Charles E Butterworth, Emeritus Professor, Department of Government & Politics,University of Maryland

Daniel Brumberg, Director Democracy and Governance Program, Georgetown University, Department of Government

Daryoush Ashouri, Public intellectual and author

Daryoush Mohammad Poor, Senior Research Associate, Institute of Ismaili Studies

David Priestland, Professor of Modern History, University of Oxford

David Yaghoubian, Professor of History ,CSU San Bernardino

Deniz Ülke Aribogan, Professor of International Relations, Istanbul Bilgi University

Donna J Haraway, Distinguished Professor Emerita, UC, Santa Cruz

Doug Henwood, Producer/Host, Behind the News, KPFA radio

Ebrahim Ahmadian, Researcher in Islamic Studies, independent journalist & environmental activist

Ebrahim Moosa ,Professor of Islamic Studies, University of Nortre Dame

Edward R. Shapiro, M.D. Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Yale Child Study Center

Edward Wastnidge, Lecturer in Politics & Internatipnal Studies, Open University

Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, Professor in Political Science ,Northwestern University

Ellie Geranmayeh, Senior Policy Fellow

Evaleila Pesaran, Lecturer in Politics and International Relations, Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge

Fanar Haddad, Senior Research Fellow, Middle East Institute, National University of Singapore

Farhad Khosrokhavar, Professor of Sociology, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, France

Farhang Jahanpour, Distinguished Professor, University of Isfahan

Farideh Farhi, Affiliate Graduate, Faculty of Political Science, University of Hawai’i at Manoa

Farrokh Negahdar, Political Analyst and Activist

Farzaneh Milani, Chair of Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Virginia

Fatima Tofighi, Assistant Professor & EUME fellow, University of Religions, Qom and Forum Transregionale Studien, Berlin

Gennaro Gervasio, Senior Lecturer in History and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa,Roma Tre University, Italy

Ghoncheh Tazmini, Scholar and Author

Giuseppe Acconcia, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Padova

Hamid Ahmadi, Iranian Filmmaker

Hamid Zangeneh, Professor of Economics, Widener University

Hamze Ghalebi, Iran Analyst and Former Political Advisor, Paris, France

Hatsuki Aishima, Associate Professor, National Museum of Ethnology, Japan

Hossein Abadian, Professor of Iran Modern History

Hossein Khosrojerdi, Artist and Designer, London

Hussein A H Omar, Junior Research Fellow in History, Pembroke College, Oxford

Iradj Sobhani, Head of Gastroentology Department, Unviresity Paris-Est CRETEIL

Jamal Abdi, VP for Policy, National Iranian American Council

James M. Gustafson, Associate Professor of History ,Indiana State University

James McDougall, Associate Professor of Modern History, University of Oxford

Kamiar Mohaddes, Janeway Fellow in Economics, University of Cambridge

Kathryn Babayan, Associate Professor of Iranian History & Culture, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Kaveh Ehsani, Assistant Professor of International Studies, DePaul University, Chicago  

Kevan Harris, Assistant Professor in Sociology, UCLA

Kiumars Pourahmad, Iranian film director

Lord John Alderdice, Director of the Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflict, Harris Manchester College, Oxford

Mahmud Farjami, Independent scholar, author and stand-up comedian

Mamak Khadem, Musician/ Mathematics Instructor, California, USA

Mana Kia, Assistant Professor, Middle East, South Asian and African Studies, Columbia University

Mani Haghighi, Filmmaker and Actor

Mania Akbari, Filmmaker and Artist , London

Manoutchehr Eskandari-Qajar, Professor, Department of Political Science, Director, Middle East Studies Program, Santa Barbara City College, CA

Mansour Farhang, Professor of Political Science, Bennington College

Masoud Behnoud, Journalist and Author

Massoumeh Torfeh, Iran Analyst, London School of Economics

Maureen Sioh, Associate Professor, Department of Geography, DePaul University

Mehdi Ghadyanloo, Artist/ Public artist

Mehran Kamrava, Professor, Georgetown University-Qatar

Mehrzad Boroujerdi, Professor of Political Science, Syracuse University

Mohammad Ali Ardebili, Professor of Criminal Law, Shahid Beheshti Law School, Tehran

Mohammad Ghanoonparvar, Professor Emeritus of Persian and Comparative Literature, The University of Texas at Austin

Mohammad Jamal Samavati, Iranian Musician and Ethnomusicologist, Sheyda Ensemble

Mohammad Salemy, Artist & Curator, The New Centre for Research & Practice

Mohammad Taghi Karoubi, Professor of International Law, SOAS University

Mohammad Tavakoli-Targhi, Professor of History and Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto

Mohsen Sajadi, Group leader in the Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society in Berlin

Moisés Garduño García, Professor in International Relations, National Autonomous University of Mexico

Mojtaba Mahdavi, Associate Professor of Political Science and ECMC Chair in Islamic Studies, University of Alberta

Nader Entessar, Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Criminal Justice, University of South Alabama

Nadia Marzouki, chargée de recherche, CNRS, Paris, France

Nasrin Rahimieh , Howard Baskerville Professor of Humanities, University of California, Irvine

Nayereh Tohidi, Professor of Gender and Women's Studies and Director of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, California State University, Northridge

Nima Shirazi, Writer, Editor, Political and Media Analyst, Muftah Magazine / Citations Needed

Norma Claire Moruzzi, Associate Professor in Political Science & Gender Studies, University of Illinois, Chicago

Noushin Darya Framke, Writer, Editor,

Parviz Tanavoli, Artist and Scholar

Peyman Jafari, Lecturer in Modern History, University of Amsterdam

Philip G. Kreyenbroek, Professor Emeritus of Iranian Studies, University of Goettingen

Philip Grant, Honorary Fellow, College of Arts, Humanities, and  Social Sciences,University of Edinburgh

Reza Zia-Ebrahimi, Senior Lecturer in History, King’s College London

Richard Tapper, Professor of Anthropology, SOAS, University of London

Rudi Matthee, John and Dorothy Munroe Distinguished Professor of History, University of Delaware

Saeed Barzin, Iran analyst, BBC World Service (retired)

Saeed Paivandi, Professor of Sociology, University of Lorraine, Nancy, France

Sasan Fayazmanesh, Professor Emeritus of Economics, California State University, Fresno

Shahir Shahidsaless, Political analyst and freelance journalist

Sheila Carapico, Professor, Political Science and International Studies, University of Richmond, Richmond, Virginia

Siavush Randjbar-Daemi, Lecturer in Modern Middle Eastern History, University of St Andrews

Sima Shakhsari , Assistant Professor in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies,University of Minnesota

Simindokht Dehghani, Gallerist and translator

Simon Wolfgang Fuchs, Lecturer in Middle East and Islamic Studies, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany

Sophia Mihic, Professor in Philosophy and Political Science, Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, IL

Stephanie Cronin ,Roshan Research Fellow in Modern Iranian History, St Antony's College, Oxford

Stephen Engelmann, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Illinois, Chicago

Timothy Mitchell, William B Ransford Professor of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies, Columbia University

Toby C. Jones, Professor and Director, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Rutgers University

Tomoko Yamagishi, Professor in Cultural Theories and Iranian Studies, Meiji University, Tokyo

Touraj Atabaki, Senior Researcher, International Institute of Social History and Professor Emeritus and Chair of the Social History of the Middle East and Central Asia, Leiden University

Touraj Daryaee, Maseeh Chair in Persian Studies, Culture & History, UC Irvine

Yaser Mirdamadi, PhD candidate in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Edinburgh, Scotland

Ziba Mir-Hosseini, Professorial Research Associate, Centre for Islamic and Middle Eastern Law, SOAS University of London

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