Presented by the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED)

Friday, May 24, 2013
10:00 am – 11:30 am
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Choate Room, 1st Floor
1779 Massachusetts Ave. NW

Click here to view video from the event on C-SPAN.

On June 14, the Iranian people will participate in an election to elect the Islamic Republic’s next President. While most observers do not expect the election to be free and fair, Iran’s political scene remains lively and competitive, within rigid ideological confines. The announcement of candidates by the Guardian Council and the subsequent campaign period could provide Iranians the opportunity to debate and challenge alternative approaches to the country’s future. Despite these openings, U.S. policy has focused primarily on nuclear negotiations and economic sanctions, while largely ignoring domestic politics or internal dynamics within Iran.

What events or issues are likely to define the campaign period in the weeks leading up to the election? What differences exist between the candidates, and what do these differences mean for U.S.-Iran relations? What policies and political forces have driven restrictions on reform initiatives, civil society organizations, and political activists? What opportunities might these elections present for U.S. policy regarding Iran? How can U.S. policymakers use the election to bring attention to issues beyond Iran’s nuclear program?

Nazila Fathi
Former New York Times Journalist in Tehran
Research Fellow, Harvard University

Ambassador John Limbert
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iran, Department of State
Distinguished Professor, United States Naval Academy

Mariam Memarsadeghi
Co-Founder and Co-Director, E-Collaborative for Civic Education,
Parent Organization to Tavaana: E-Learning Institute for Iranian Civil Society

Moderator: Stephen McInerney
Executive Director,
Project on Middle East Democracy