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FROM THIS EPISODE

The Iraq Liberation Act got little attention when Congress passed it in 1998, but it was used later to help set the nation on the path to war. What is the Iran Freedom Support Act, also passed with little attention just one month ago?  Will it set the stage for confrontation—as opposed to diplomacy—over Iran’s nuclear program?  Plus, North Korea surprises the world by agreeing to rejoin the six-nations talks, and NASA changes its mind on the Hubble Telescope.

Producers:
Katie Cooper
Karen Radziner
Christian Bordal

Making News North Korea Agrees to Rejoin Nuclear Talks 6 MIN, 3 SEC

Three weeks after North Korea conducted its first atomic explosion, a diplomatic surprise today announced by the US and China. North Korea will rejoin the six-nation talks on nuclear disarmament.

Guests:
Don Oberdorfer, Chairman of the US-Korea Institute

Reporter's Notebook NASA Decides to Fix the Hubble Telescope 6 MIN, 51 SEC

Since it was launched into orbit in 1990, the Hubble Telescope has produced spectacular images of the universe, popularized astronomy and advanced the understanding of space. But without repairs and adjustments, it could be lost to science. After the Columbia disaster, NASA decreed that repairing the Hubble was unsafe for astronauts. Today, under a new administrator, the agency changed its mind.

Guests:
Rick Fienberg, Editor-in-Chief of Sky and Telescope

Main Topic Iraq, Iran and Patterns in Foreign Policy 35 MIN, 21 SEC

It sounds as if every subject is fair game in this year's elections, but one issue that's not being debated is America's posture toward Iran. Before leaving Washington to campaign, Republicans and Democrats passed the Iran Freedom Support Act, which the President signed with little fanfare. But critics say it's strikingly similar to the Iraq Liberation Act. Voted for by most of the Congress and every Senator, it called for "regime change," and it was later used as evidence that Congress favored war with Saddam Hussein. With both parties trying to sound tough before the mid-term elections, have they created a roadblock to possible diplomacy?  Will the Iran Freedom Support Act discourage other countries from helping the US to avoid a confrontation over Iran's nuclear program?

Guests:
Laura Rozen, Al-Monitor (@lrozen)
Trita Parsi, National Iranian American Council (@tparsi)
Jon Sawyer, Director of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
Patrick Clawson, Washington Institute for Near East Policy

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