For Journalists




University Of Virginia Experts Available For Comment

April 18, 2003 -- With the situation in Iraq moving to a new stage, one that focuses on the aftermath of war and issues ranging from the looting of antiquities to the subtleties of politics, we’d like to offer an abbreviated, updated list of University of Virginia experts who can speak knowledgeably about events and developments.

Iran and Other Persian Gulf Countries
Ruhi K. Ramazani
A professor emeritus of politics, Ramazani is one of the world’s leading experts on Iran, its factions and policies, as well as the complexities of the Persian Gulf region in general. He has been consulted on the Persian Gulf by the White House, the departments of State, Defense and Treasury as well as by the United Nations Secretariat General and foreign ministries of Israel, Britain, Iran, Turkey and Pakistan.
Phone: (434) 295-6788 (o), (434) 295-6788 (h)

Archeology and Antiquities
Malcolm Bell
A professor of classical art and archeology, Bell is director of the University’s excavations at Morgantina, Italy. He is an expert on international trade in stolen antiquities. He helped broker an accord signed in January 2001 between the governments of Italy and the United States that deals with the return of stolen antiquities to Italy. Bell played a key role in distributing a declaration by American archeologists in conjunction with international archeology scholars pledging that they would help the Iraq antiquities administration get back on its feet after the war. As vice president for professional responsibilities at the Archeological Institute of America (the U.S. arm of the international archeology organization), Bell is actively dealing with the issues surrounding the recent sacking and looting of treasures in Iraq.
Phone: (434) 924-7648

Islam, Islamic Extremists, Middle Eastern Politics
Abdulaziz A. Sachedina
A professor of religious studies, Sachedina is an expert in Islamic and Persian studies and specializes in Shiite Islam. He is the author of two books, “Islamic Messianism: The Idea of Mahdi in Twelver Shi'ism” and “The Just Ruler in Shiite Islam.”
Phone: (434) 924-6725 , 924-3741( o), (434) 295-7655 (h)

Middle-East Politics, Oil
W. Nathaniel Howell
Former U.S. ambassador to Kuwait during the Persian Gulf War, Howell is director of U.Va.’s Arab Peninsula and Gulf Studies Program.
Phone: (434) 974-9315

National Security Law, Palestinian-Israeli Conflict, War on Terrorism
John Norton Moore
Moore is a professor of law and director of the Center for National Security Law at U.Va. He can discuss international law, national security law, law of the sea, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the war on terrorism, the Gulf War, war crimes, terrorism, nuclear weapons, intelligence, democracy and the rule of law.
Phone: (434) 924-7441 (o), (434) 977-2749 (h)

History of U.S. Policy In Persian Gulf, Europe
W. Taylor Fain
A professor of politics at the Miller Center of Public Affairs, Fain is an expert on Anglo-American relations, U.S.-European relations and U.S. policy in the Persian Gulf region. Currently completing a history of Anglo-American diplomacy in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Peninsula, he can discuss similarities and differences between present and past alliances and conflicts.
Phone: (434) 924-6059 (o), (434) 971-9103 (h)

Economics, U.S. Economy, Defense Spending
Christopher Otrok
An assistant professor of economics, he teaches macroeconomics and can discuss the impact of a war on the U.S. economy, especially, the effect of an increase or decrease in defense spending.
Phone (434) 924-3692

Financial and Physical Infrastructure
Elias M. Awad
Professor of commerce and an expert in computer applications, systems design and banking, he has had 34 years of consulting experience in the Middle East and speaks fluent Arabic. He has worked with numerous U.S. and foreign construction firms and international organizations in the Middle East and expects a difficult and complicated situation before Iraq's infrastructure can be revitalized.
Phone: (434) 924-3423 (o)

Contact: Lee Graves, (434) 924-7550

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services


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Top News site edited by Dan Heuchert (; maintained by Karen Asher (; releases posted by Sally Barbour (
Last Modified: Monday, 21-Apr-2003 08:52:22 EDT
© 2003 by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia
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