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Former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar to discuss Iran nuclear deal

Former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar will discuss the tenor and partisanship of the debate about the Iran nuclear deal in a September 22 lecture at St. Olaf.

Former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar will visit St. Olaf College September 22 to discuss the Iran nuclear deal and American partisanship.

The United States and five world powers reached a deal with Iran in July that aims to significantly limit Tehran’s nuclear ability in exchange for lifting international sanctions. Lugar will talk about the tenor and partisanship of the debate about the deal.

Gary Eichten, who spent 45 years covering public affairs for Minnesota Public Radio, will moderate the discussion.

The event, which will be streamed and archived online, is free and open to the public.

Lugar’s visit is co-sponsored by St. Olaf College’s Institute for Freedom and Community, which aims to foster intellectual inquiry and meaningful discussion of important political and social issues, and the Political Science Department. His talk also marks the college’s observance of Constitution Day.

During his 36-year tenure representing Indiana in the United States Senate, Lugar exercised leadership on critical issues such as food security, nuclear nonproliferation, energy independence, and free trade. One of the most widely respected foreign policy experts in Congress, he chaired the Foreign Relations Committee from 1985 to 1987 and again from 2003 to 2007. His greatest accomplishment was a bipartisan partnership with U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn that produced a program that has dismantled and destroyed nuclear weapons in the former Soviet Union.

Lugar is now president of the Lugar Center, a nonprofit organization focused on global food security, nuclear nonproliferation, aid effectiveness, and bipartisan governance. He also serves as a professor of practice and distinguished scholar at the new School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University and is a senior transatlantic fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, which houses the Richard G. Lugar Institute for Diplomacy and Congress.

In 2013 President Barack Obama named Lugar a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.