Day: April 6, 2021

Background Briefing: April 6, 2021


Today’s Opening Talks Through Intermediaries Between the U.S. and Iran

We begin with today’s first talks between Iran and the U.S. in Vienna conducted through Russian, Chinese and European intermediaries which resulted in an agreement to create two working groups, one to deal with reviving the nuclear deal and the other to deal with sanctions. Dr. Trita Parsi, the Executive Vice President of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and author of Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran and the Triumph of Diplomacy, joins us to discuss his article at the Quincy Institute, “For true JCPOA re-entry, Biden must tear down this sanctions wall.”  With Iran now only a few months away from having the bomb, there is an urgency among the Europeans, Russians and Chinese to avert a new war in the Middle East but Biden’s efforts have been booby-trapped by Trump and he will have to find a way to undo 1,600 extra sanctions imposed by Trump under the guise of terrorism. Meanwhile there is an undeclared war going on between Iran and Israel with attacks on tankers shipping oil to Syria and hundreds of airstrikes against Iranian military infrastructure in Syria which could drag the U.S. back into another quagmire after having wasted $6 trillion in losing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


The Difference Between Treason and Insurrection as it Applies to January 6

Then we examine the difference between treason and insurrection as it applies to the hundreds being charged in the January 6 storming of the Capitol and speak with one of the nation’s leading authorities on the law of treason, Carlton Larson, Professor of Constitutional Law and Legal History at the University of California, Davis. The author of On Treason: A Citizen’s Guide to the Law and The Trials of Allegiance: Treason, Juries, and the American Revolution, he joins us to discuss the likelihood many among the mob who broke into the Capitol could be charged with seditious conspiracy which carries a maximum of 20 years in prison.


Is China Trying to Get Out From Under the Dominance of the Dollar?

Then finally we look into the possibility of the Chinese government modernizing its exchange-rate arrangements in an effort to get out from under the dominance of the U.S. dollar as the global reserve currency.  An authority on the Chinese economy, Barry Naughton, the Chair in Chinese International Affairs and a scholar with the 21st Century China Program at the University of California, San Diego, joins us to discuss if and when we have three world currencies, the dollar, the euro and the renminbi.