How do we understand the impassioned debates around the Iran nuclear deal? What can we learn from a broader historical context? And what might be the aftermath? Israeli Brig. Gen. Relik Shafir, one of eight pilots the Israeli air force selected to raid the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak in 1981, and Dr. Steven Spiegel, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Middle East Development at UCLA, will discuss the strategic interests and perspectives of the Israeli and American governments in regards to the deal’s implementation. They will also discuss how the nuclear deal will affect other countries in the region and provide a broader historical framework for analysis.

About the Speakers: Israeli Brig. Gen. Relik Shafir was one of eight pilots the air force selected to raid Osirak. Shafir, who was also commander of the Tel Nof Airbase and of the Hatzor Airbase’s pilot school, now serves as a foreign press spokesperson for the Israeli Air Force (IAF) during emergency situations and assists the Israel Air Force Center (IAFC), which is in Herzliya and serves as a facility for youth educational programs, including for potential IAF recruits, leadership training for IAF officers, and a think tank.

Steven L. Spiegel serves as Director of the Center for Middle East Development at UCLA. Through the innovative and informal negotiation techniques he has developed, Dr. Spiegel helps produce cutting edge ideas for promoting Middle East regional security and cooperation. For this work, he received the Karpf Peace Prize in 1995, awarded to the UCLA professor considered to have done the most of any faculty member for the cause of world peace in the previous two years.

Conversation with:


Relik Shafir

(Pilot, Israeli Brig. General)


Steven Spiegel



saba green blouse

Saba Soomekh

Sponsored by:
UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies
Funding by the
NEH Endowment in Jewish Civilization
Cosponsored By:
UCLA Center for Middle East Development
Hillel at UCLA
UCLA Y & S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies
Israel Air Force Center Foundation
The UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations