The Unknown Iran
Another Case for Federalism?

Five years after George W. Bush’s election, his administration still lacks a clear policy toward Iran—this despite the fact that the Department of State labels Iran the world’s leading sponsor of international terrorism. Of late, the discussion of Iran has focused almost entirely on that country’s nuclear program, with some analysis of the meaning of its recent presidential elections. Many basic political questions, including those that any future Iranian government will face, are rarely addressed.

Of particular importance is the fact that although Iran is made up of various ethnic and religious groups, few realize that Persians likely constitute a minority of the Iranian population. The majority is composed of Azerbaijanis, Kurds, Baluchis, Turkmen, and the Arabs of Khuzistan / al-ahwaz. In the event the current regime falls, these groups will undoubtedly play an important role in their country’s future.

This AEI discussion will present representatives of these largely unknown elements of the Iranian population, all of whom are experiencing unprecedented levels of repression at the hands of the Islamic Republic. They will discuss their plight and hopes for a democratic future for Iran. Please join us in an AEI panel discussion with Dr. Ali Al-Taie , professor of sociology at Shaw University; Mrs. Manda Zand Ervin, founder and president of the Alliance of Iranian Women, Dr. Morteza Esfandiari, North American representative of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan; Mr. Amanollah Khan Riggi, adviser to the Alliance for Democracy in Iran; and Mr. Rahim M. Shahbazi, from the Azerbaijani Societies of North America. AEI resident scholar Michael A. Ledeen will moderate.

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Monday, September 22, 2014 | 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
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