The Foreign Service Journal - October 2017

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | OCTOBER 2017 37 At the closing ceremony, I was on stage as the minister unveiled a large woven likeness of Dr. Borlaug, with a quote by him in both Farsi and English. While they were ultimately unable to place a statue on the ABRII campus, this artwork would be prominently displayed there, reminding all Iranians of Norman Borlaug’s legacy and of the power of agricultural exchanges to bring people together. Epilogue Two months later, in October 2014, the director general of the Iran Seed Improvement Center arrived in Iowa to take part in our Borlaug Dialogue symposium, where he was able to interact with more than 1,400 participants. The theme for our conference was “The Single Greatest Challenge in Human History: Can We Sus- tainably Feed the Nine Billion People Who Will be on Our Planet by 2050?” The presence of an Iranian participant at our event just may have been one of the most significant developments of the entire yearlong Borlaug Centennial. To continue this initiative, in each of the two following years, I designated a World Food Prize laureate to speak at a major agricultural congress in Iran. I also had the opportunity to revisit our Iranian connection at a U.N. Food and Agriculture Organiza- tion–sponsored conference at Expo Milano in 2015, where I met with Agriculture Minister Hojjati and his team. As someone who dealt with a range of terrorist incidents in the Middle East during my diplomatic career, I have no illusions about those elements of the Iranian power structure that have supported a range of threatening organizations and sought to attain nuclear weapons. But having seen the U.S. relationship evolve so dramatically with the former Soviet Union and with China, with agriculture playing a leading role, I cannot help but think that building a connection to Iran around Norman Bor- laug’s legacy would be a highly useful asset. My wife Le Son and I are thinking about writing a memoir, Honeymoon in Iran . And I dream that Norman Borlaug’s statue will one day stand on the Agricultural Biotechnology Research Institute of Iran campus in Karaj, just as it does in Mexico, India and Washington, D.C. n