IISS Manama Dialogue spotlight on International Experts and Senior Fellows Dr Mamoun Fandy and Robert Whalley CB

Published December 16th, 2009 - 10:48 GMT
In preparation for the forthcoming IISS Regional Security Summit, The Manama Dialogue, spotlights on IISS Senior Fellows and Experts will be distributed bi-weekly. The Manama Dialogue will be held in Bahrain from 11 to 13 December 2009.
This week, we are pleased to feature Dr Mamoun Fandy and Robert Whalley CB. Dr Fandy and Mr Whalley are available for interviews now regarding The IISS Manama Dialogue. Please see below for information on these two gentlemen. To request an interview or receive accreditation to attend The Manama Dialogue security summit, email dialoguepress@iiss.org.
Additional information on The Manama Dialogue can be found at: http://www.iiss.org/conferences/the-iiss-regional-security-summit/
Dr Mamoun Fancy
Senior Fellow for Gulf Security and Corresponding Director for IISS-Middle East
Expertise: Middle East, Persian Gulf
1 Minute with Dr Fandy:
In the run-up to talks with Iran last month, many in Europe and the United States asked whether Iran would, or even could, come clean on its nuclear activities. Should the West trust Iranian promises? The short answer is "no." But the underlying question is "Why not?" The answer lies in Iranian belief systems – notably the doctrine of taqiyya, a difficult concept for many non-Muslims to grasp. Taqiyya is the Shiite religious rationale for concealment or dissimulation in political or worldly affairs. At one level it means that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his regime can tell themselves that they are obliged by their faith not to tell the truth. This doctrine has not been discussed much in the West, but it should be. How should the world deal with taqiyya in Shiite Islam in the context of Iran's nuclear file?
Robert Whalley CB
Consulting Senior Fellow
Expertise: Counter terrorism, intelligence, central government security co-ordination, crisis management, policing strategies
Background: Robert Whalley recently retired after 36 years in UK Government service, mostly in the Home Office, but also in the Northern Ireland Office and the Cabinet Office. In his final post, as Director for Counter Terrorism and Intelligence, he was the principal policy and operational adviser to the Home Secretary during the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the London bombings of July 2005. He chaired meetings of COBR (the Government's crisis management structure) during both those events.
He also supervised the teams responsible for legislation on terrorism in the UK Parliament from 2000 to 2005 and advised the Home Secretary on development of longer term counter-terrorism strategy covering prevention, pursuit, protective security and post-incident planning.
Within the central UK counter-terrorist structure, he chaired senior official committees concerned with developing relations with Muslim groups and leaders, and on scientific research, aviation security and terrorist financing.
He advised the Home Secretary on liaison with the US Department of Homeland Security and was the senior Home Office official on the UK/US Joint Contact Group.
He holds an MA in Modern History from the University of Cambridge.

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