Real Politics of Iran: Views from Within

Members of USIP’s Internal Iran Study Group discussed a range of dynamics in the universities, opposition, the economy and even the security apparatus that often escape the foreign headlines and highlighted what is expected in light of Hassan Rouhani’s recent election as president.

Iran’s June 14, 2013 presidential election produced a result that surprised many Iran watchers: a first round win for Hassan Rouhani. A long-time regime stalwart who favors a political opening at home and abroad, his election may signal the return of a more contentious politics—one that could limit the growing influence of the security apparatus or create space for a more productive Western-Iranian dialogue.

To probe the implications of these changes for Iran’s internal politics and its foreign relations, on July 15 the United States Institute of Peace hosted three distinguished Iran analysts, one of which had just returned from Iran. Drawn from USIP’s Iran Study Group, they highlighted a range of dynamics in the universities, opposition, the economy and even the security apparatus that often escape the foreign headlines. Daniel Brumberg, Senior Program Officer on Iran and North Africa at USIP, chaired this timely discussion.

Speakers Included:

  • Fatemeh Haghighatjoo, Discussant
    President & Chief Executive Officer, Nonviolent Initiative for Democracy
  • Kevan Harris, Discussant
    Postdoctoral Research Associate, Princeton University
  • Farzan Sabet, Discussant
    Doctoral Student, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
  • Daniel Brumberg, Moderator
    Senior Program Officer on Iran and North Africa, U.S. Institute of Peace
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