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Richard Goldberg – Richard Goldberg is a senior advisor at Foundation for Defense of Democracies
About this webinar: Last week, Iran announced that they have started enriching uranium to the 20 percent level and are threatening to enrich to 40-60 percent, which far exceeds the JCPOA, the nuclear deal agreed upon with the P5 plus 1 (The United States, China, Russia, France, Great Britain, and Germany). And the plant that they are using for this enrichment, Fordow, was clandestinely built and not even covered by the Iranian nuclear deal. Recently, they also seized a South Korean tanker in the Strait of Hormuz. Iran also took, for the second time, the brazen move of putting President Donald Trump as well as 48 American officials on an Interpol List. All of this comes at approximately the anniversary of the American assassination of Qassem Soleimani, and less than two weeks before the end of the Trump administration, which is leaving office on rather shaky ground.
Are the Iranians planning to use this rather precarious moment in American history to wage an attack on the United States or her allies? Or are they doing this in order to prepare the way for a deal with the Biden administration?
Richard Goldberg is a senior advisor at FDD. From 2019-2020, Richard served as the Director for Countering Iranian Weapons of Mass Destruction for the White House National Security Council. He previously served as chief of staff for Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and deputy chief of staff and senior foreign policy adviser to former U.S. Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois in both the U.S. House and Senate.
As a staff associate for the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State-Foreign Operations, Richard worked on a wide range of issues related to U.S. foreign assistance, including foreign military financing, international security assistance, international peacekeeping, development, global health and economic support funds. He was a founding staff director of the House U.S.-China Working Group and was among the first Americans ever to visit China’s human space launch center. A leader in efforts to expand U.S. missile defense cooperation with Israel, Richard played a key role in U.S. funding for the Arrow-3 program, Iron Dome and the deployment of an advanced missile defense radar to the Negev Desert.
In the Senate, Richard emerged as a leading architect of the toughest sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic of Iran. He was the lead Republican negotiator for three rounds of sanctions targeting the Central Bank of Iran, the SWIFT financial messaging service, and entire sectors of the Iranian economy. Richard also drafted and negotiated legislation promoting human rights and democracy in Iran, including sanctions targeting entities that provide the Iranian regime with the tools of repression. His Iran sanctions work was featured in the book The Iran Wars.
As the governor’s chief of staff, Richard managed government in America’s fifth-largest state with oversight of all day-to-day operations, including homeland security, public safety, and public health. He also spearheaded the first-ever state legislation to divest public pension funds from companies engaged in boycotts of Israel, which sparked a nationwide initiative in state capitols around America.