NEW Iran Screening: Iran and the West – ‘Nuclear Confrontation’

Screening Thursday 12th February, 2009

This evening we will preview the final episode of the landmark series, Iran and the West, produced by award winning filmmaker Norma Percy and directed by Paul Mitchell (Watergate, The Death of Yugoslavia). ‘Nuclear Confrontation’ is full of extraordinary series from an A-list of contributors including Iran’s President Khatami who gives a unique insider account of the crises he faced after 9/11.

Russian President Vladimir Putin tells how he telephoned George Bush on the day before 9/11 to warn him about al-Qa’eda. ""I said that Massoud, the leader of the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, had just been killed. I told him, ‘You know, I am very worried. It makes me think something big is going to happen. They’re getting ready to act."

The programme tells how after 9/11 Iran decided to join America to help topple the Taliban and Afghanistan.  This alliance was torn apart after President Bush put first Iran into the "axis of evil" and then spurned Iran’s offer to give similar help against Saddam Hussein.

Sir John Sawers, the Foreign Office Political Director (and currently our man at the UN) reveals that a senior Iranian official came to London, asked to meet him in a smart hotel – away from other prying officials – and there laid out his government’s surprising proposal. ""We stop killing you in Iraq, stop undermining the political process there, you allow us to carry on with our nuclear programme without let or hindrance." 

Jack Straw and Iranian President Khatami tell how Khatami, on the eve of the Iraq war, offered to help the US and its allies in their war against Saddam Hussein.  Straw: "The crucial thing was to try it on Colin Powell. I called him. He was sympathetic, but he didn’t think it was a runner."  Straw also speaks frankly about how he took a different view from Prime Minister Tony Blair, over military strikes on Iran.

Three European Ministers; Jack Straw, Margaret Beckett, and Joschka Fischer of Germany describe how they struggled to find a compromise between Iran and President Bush’s administration.

Length: 60 mins

A Brook Lapping Production