07/30/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Iran and the US: Beyond the War of Rhetoric

"Prof Sahimi: Both sides are playing to their domestic audience." -- The Real News Network

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Resolution 580, similar to Resolution 362, is the newest sanction making its way through the US Senate. This resolution declares that "allowing the government of Iran to obtain a nuclear weapons capability would pose a grave threat to international peace and security." Professor Sahimi talks to The Real News Network's Paul Jay about whether or not Iran actually is a threat to security in a six-part interview.

Barack Obama and John McCain may be in full agreement with this statement, but Professor Sahimi is not. He argues that if there was evidence to justify the UN Security Council's accusations they would have included it in their rationale when they announced the sanctions.

In parts four and five of the interview, Sahimi disbands one of the most popular arguments against Iran, pointing out that while President Ahmadinejad's statement about "wiping Israel off the face of the earth" is "deplorable", it is also a mistranslated quote first spoken by Ayatollah Khomeini 30 years ago. He also says that McCain's belief that Iran is going to hand weapons over to terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah is unlikely because the Iranian government is fully aware that other countries could "easily identify Iran as a provider." Being identified as a provider of nuclear weapons used in terrorist attacks would "bring down a rain of hell on Iran's head".

In the final segment of the interview, Paul Jay summarizes the current situation and asks Professor Sahimi: "Where do we go from here?"

Watch this and other stories on The Real News Network.