Tag Archives: Afghanistan

Sep. 5, 2012 Iran Ambassador Seyed Mousavian

On Wednesday, September, 5, 2012 in San Francisco at The Commonwealth Club, Ambassador Seyed Mousavian, Visiting Research Scholar of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University spoke about his new book “The Iranian Nuclear Crisis: A Memoir” with Philip Yun of the Ploughshares Fund.

Being a diplomat in the Middle East is not easy. Mousavian was the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council. A student in international affairs, he got his Masters degree in Teheran in 1998 and his PhD in Kent, England in 2002. The next year he represented Iran negotiating with the EU and the International Atomic Energy Agency. By 2007, Iran’s Ahmadinejad administration charged him with espionage while dealing with European nations. His book is a personal account of his years as a diplomat and now dissident, his assessment of Iran’s history and its possible future. There is a great deal of mistrust between Iran and the West, not to mention internal divisions in Iran. There are American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, on either side of Iran. This makes Iran nervous. Iran has a nuclear weapons program and has funded terrorism. This makes the West nervous. Without establishing trust, there will be no resolution to the impending threat.

As for internal politics, you have to remember this is a country where cultural conservatives have joined forces with a wealthy oil faction struggling to keep control against a more open tolerant sustainable society. And then there is Iran. I wonder if they want tax cuts too? :-)

Copyright 2012 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Jun. 29, 2010 SDF Batteries

On June 29, 2010 in Palo Alto at SAP, SDForum presented a Clean Tech Breakfast titled “Next Generation Batteries: Challenges and Opportunities in Energy Storage.” Jeffrey Selman of Nixon Peabody moderated panelists Dania Ghantous of Qnovo, Ashok Lahiri of Enovix, Mark Platshon of VantagePoint and Camille Ricketts of VentureBeat.

To give you an idea how much things are changing, Tesla has gone public on the NASDAQ. Storing alternative energy and  the growth of mobile technology is driving the need for more efficient and environmentally sustainable batteries. The demand of batteries for cell phones, laptops and cameras will only skyrocket when we need thousands of batteries for electric cars. We need more students majoring in math, science and particularly chemistry. Buy your child a chemistry set and walk them through a periodic table. In the mean time there will be a scramble for the raw materials for lithium ion batteries and in countries like Afghanistan and Bolivia just as there is for oil in the Middle East. There is strong interest in the outcome of battery technology. In the audience I saw people from Lawrence Livermore, Sony, Wells Fargo and one mysterious gentleman in the corner who did not want to be identified.

I mention him because over the weekend I saw a movie starring Tom Cruise called Knight and Day. A crazy secret agent finds and protects a genius who develops a super battery. I never thought batteries would be a major plot point in a Hollywood movie, but I think it will be key to our economy in the future.

Copyright 2010 DJ Cline All rights reserved.