Wednesday, October 1, 2014
12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Joukowsky Forum, Watson Institute
Speaker: Hooman Majd
This event is part of the Iran in the 21st Century Luncheon Lecture Series. The series is made possible through funding by a Watson Institute Collaborative Grant.
While talks on Iran’s nuclear program are ongoing, with all sides hopeful for a comprehensive deal by the deadline of November 24, it is important to understand what is going on politically inside Iran.
President Rouhani was elected by a landslide last year, partly as the most “anti-Ahmadinejad” candidate and partly because as a regime insider his campaign promises were viewed as likely to be fulfilled. His foreign policy–an open Iran that mends fences with the West–is on track, as his promise to resolve the nuclear issue which will result in a softening and eventual removal of sanctions, leading to an improved economy – the most pressing concern for the average voter.
But Rouhani, like Obama in the U.S., faces fierce opposition. The opposition has tried to derail the nuclear talks, but more successfully has blocked much of the rest of his platform, a platform that brought Green Movement supporters and the more secular youth to the polls to enthusiastically support him.
Who are the members of this opposition, and how strong are they? What do they hope to achieve by opposing a popular politician and an even more popular platform? And where does the Supreme Leader, the most powerful man in Iran, stand in this internecine battle? Perhaps more importantly, where do the people stand?
Majd's talk will examine these questions and try to shed light on the political and social situation in Iran. It will attempt to give a picture of where Iran is today, and where it wants to go.