Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is seen during a military parade to commemorate Army Day, in front of the mausoleum of the late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, just outside Tehran, Iran, Thursday, April 17, 2008. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
TOPEKA -- This Thursday evening, March 4th at 7:00 p.m., the Topeka Center for Peace and Justice invites local residents to a discussion about Iran.
Bethel College Professor Rev. Dr. Patricia Shelly will present “Building Bridges between Iran and the United States: Three meetings with Iranian President Ahmadinejad.” This sixth in a series looking at international remedies will take place in Room 114 at the Washburn School of Law, 18th & McVicar in Topeka.
Dr. Shelly, along with 12 other religious leaders from 7 different Christian denominations, was part of a delegation that visited Iran for a week and met with President Ahmadinejad and other leaders in February, 2007. She was also part of interfaith meetings with the President of Iran in September, 2007, and September, 2008, when Ahmadinejad was in New York City to address the United Nations General Assembly. She will describe these three encounters, the motivations for these meetings and discuss some of the issues related to U.S.-Iranian relations. “Even though there are serious tensions and disagreements between our nations, we need to develop channels of dialogue and exchange so that we can work at more just and peaceful relationships within the global community,” Shelly says.
“Our U.S. delegation traveled to the Islamic Republic of Iran believing that it is possible to build bridges of understanding between our two countries. War is not the answer to the problems the U.S. and Iran have with each other.”
Dr. Shelly plans to lead an Israel-Jordan-Palestine peace journey in January 2011.