"This is more than just enrichment and centrifuges," commented Trita Parsi from the stage at Ploughshares Fund's Chain Reaction gala. "I think we are in front of an opportunity to potentially lose an enemy in the Middle East."
It's that opportunity that brought together over 230 people to celebrate the incredible work that Ploughshares Fund's partners and grantees have done to preserve the possibilty of a diplomatic deal with Iran. Hosted by actor (and Ploughshares Fund board member) Michael Douglas, Chain Reaction 2014 served up delicious hors d'oeurves with substantive conversation about the prospects for a deal in July.
Speaking together publicly for the first time, Trita Parsi, head of the National Iranian American Council, and Jeremy Ben-Ami, head of J Street, spent 30 minutes in conversation with Ploughshares Fund president Joe Cirincione, discussing their work and their assessment of what a nuclear deal with Iran would achieve. They also expressed appreciation for the leadership role Ploughshares Fund has played in bringing a diverse coalition of groups together to work on the issue.
"What Ploughshares Fund has done in bringing these groups together, structured in a strategic vision is unprecedented and that's part of the reason these battles have been won," commented Parsi.
At the end of the night, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and actor Farshad Farahat gave a special tribute to Michael Douglas for his 10 years of service on the Ploughshares Fund board of directors.