Raymond Tanter

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From the biography section of the Iran Policy Committee:

Raymond Tanter, Former Senior Staff Member, National Security Council: Raymond Tanter is Visiting Professor at Georgetown University, where he teaches courses on International Relations and Terrorism. Tanter is adjunct scholar at The Washington Institute for Near east Policy and was scholar-in-residence at the Middle East Institute in Washington. He researched U.S. policy options regarding Iran at both think tanks. After receiving a Ph.D. from Indiana University in 1964, Prof. Tanter taught at Northwestern, Stanford, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Tanter was a fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford and the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington and a Fulbright scholar, University of Amsterdam. In 1975, Tanter spent a month as scholar-in-residence at the American Embassy, Tokyo, lecturing on petroleum interruption scenarios, with special reference to the Middle East. In 1967, Tanter was deputy director of behavioral sciences at the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense and a member of the Civilian Executive Panel, Chief of Naval Operations. He served at the White House on the National Security Council staff, 1981-1982. In 1983-1984, he was personal representative of the Secretary of Defense to arms control talks in Madrid, Helsinki, Stockholm, and Vienna. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Among Tanter's publications is Rogue Regimes: Terrorism and Proliferation, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1997. Tanter is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Committee on the Present Danger.[1]

Tanter was also a professor of Political Science at the Univ. of Michigan for many years, and it is curious that this doesn't feature in the official biography for the principals of the IPC. At the Univ. of Michigan he was renowned for his pro-Israeli stance, and teaching history/politics of the Middle East. He frequently appeared as a featured speaker at events hosted by the Jewish National Fund (JNF). In 1989, Tanter also spearheaded attempts to expunge student journalists who were critical of Israel and US foreign policy from the student nespaper, the Michigan Daily.

On 18 December 2005, Tanter gave an address panel on Democratic change in Iran for the Committee for Defense of Human Rights in Iran. He noted that: "When Mohammad Khatami became President of the government of Iran in 1997, Washington decided to strengthen “moderates” within the Iranian clerical establishment. By designating Tehran’s most important domestic adversary—the MEK—as a member of the FTO, the U.S. Government attempted to reinforce the Khatami faction.' [2]

In an interview for a SBS documentary shown in October 2006 in Australia, Tanter clarifies that the People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (otherwise known as the MEK) are a tool for Western interests:

PROFESSOR RAYMOND TANTER: I am not a lobbyist for the MEK and the NCRI, I'm a lobbyist for America, which is different. You keep asking me questions which imply that I am trying to push the MEK on to people.
REPORTER: But you are promoting their cause, you're trying to get them off…
PROFESSOR RAYMOND TANTER: I am not promoting their cause, I am promoting American interests. There is a difference.
REPORTER: You're not suggesting they are necessarily a good replacement government, you are saying rather they are a good tool for Western interests?
PROFESSOR RAYMOND TANTER: That's what you asked me, they are a tool for Western interests, yes. They are accused of being a tool of Western interests by the regime. It's true!
REPORTER: And they are a tool for Western interests?
PROFESSOR RAYMOND TANTER: Yes! They want to be a part of the West. [3]

Affiliations (alpha order)


  • Personal website at Univ. of Michigan.
  • Email: rtanter@umich.edu (may not be operative)
  • Tel: 202-452-0650 · Fax: 202-223-5364 (at the Washington Institute).

External resources

Articles by Tanter


  • Linda R. Benson, "Ray Tanter: Professor of the Well-Chosen Soundbite", Ann Arbor Observer, Feb. 1991, pp. 37– 43
  • Yossi Melman, Ultimately The US Will Attack, Haaretz.com, September 20, 2006.
  • "Right Web: Profile", RightWeb, Accessed October 2006.
  • Bronwyn Adcock, "Gunning for Iran", Dateline, SBS , 4 October 2006.