WWS Calendar

Iran at the Crossroads: A New Direction?

May 7, 2015 04:30PM to 06:00PM
Wallace Hall
Open to the Public
Amin Saikal AM, FASSA, Professor of Political Science, Public Policy Fellow, and Director of the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies (Middle East and Central Asia) at the Australian National University

Co-sponsored by The Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies

Thirty-six years have elapsed since the Iranian revolution of 1978/79 toppled the Shah’s pro-Western monarchy and spawned Ayatollah Khomeini’s theocratic pluralist Islamic regime, with an anti-American and anti-Israeli posture. Placing Iran between the "sovereignty of God" and the "sovereignty of people," the regime has continually been confronted with major domestic and foreign policy challenges. Whilst the regime has proved resilient and has survived these challenges, Iranian society has paid a high price. The June 2013 election of moderate-reformist President Hassan Rouhani has finally brought the Islamic Republic of Iran face-to-face with the need for domestic reforms, based on foreign policy flexibility that could enable it to secure a major breakthrough with the United States. In the era of President Barack Obama, who has been keen to reach out to Tehran for a diplomatic resolution of the two sides’ differences, especially in relation to the Iranian nuclear program, the prospects for a breakthrough, based on mutual need and vulnerability, appear as good as they can get. What has made the Islamic Republic so resilient? What can be expected of a possible US-Iranian rapprochement in the region? 

Please visit the LISD website for further information http://lisd.princeton.edu/events/iran-crossroads-new-direction