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For Immediate Release
October 21, 2009
Contacts: Neil Tickner, 301 405 4622 or


Top Iran experts from across the United States will convene for this symposium to assess Iran's position domestically and internationally following the tumult of elections, suppression of the Green Movement and the Geneva meeting on nuclear development. The University of Maryland's Roshan Center for Persian Studies and The Sadat Chair for Peace and Development are sponsoring the event.

"The dramatic events of the past few months are bound to have important consequences for Iran domestically and internationally, and the symposium will give us a chance to assess these," says University of Maryland Middle East expert Shibley Telhami, who holds the Sadat Chair and is co-sponsoring the event.

Media Access: The media-friendly daylong event will bring together highly regarded specialists, mainly academics and journalists. The audience is expected to include U.S. policy makers and experts from Washington, D.C. think tanks and universities. Media will have access to participants between sessions, at midday and at the conclusion.

Format: The symposium will feature three 90-minute panels, each consisting of three 20-minute presentations and ample time for questions and comments from the floor.

Tenative schedule:
Session 1 - Domestic developments: Aftermath of the Iranian election; prospects for the reform coalition and its current popular standing; strategy and tactics of the Iranian government; likely trends in coming months. (9:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.)

Session 2 - Nuclear program developments: This panel will assess what the Iranian government seeks to accomplish through its nuclear program, the status of negotiations and the effectiveness of rival international strategies. (11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.)

Session 3 - International/regional developments: The robustness of the popular protests following the announcement of election results, as well as the government reaction, took international observers by surprise. This panel will examine how these events are being assessed regionally and globally and their potential for impact on regional politics. (2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.)


Speakers, chairs and moderators include (alphabetically):

Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak: director, University of Maryland's Roshan Center for Persian Studies and professor of Persian language, literature, culture and civilization; has written, edited or translated over 20 books and more than 100 major scholarly essays; contributes extensively to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the Encylopaedia Iranica and other major reference works;

Kevin Klose: dean and professor at the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism; served as president of National Public Radio for ten years and director of U.S. international broadcasting; former Washington Post editor and correspondent;

Steven Kull: director of the University of Maryland Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) and World Public, which have created a unique network of international research institutions to conduct multinational polling; has conducted extensive polling throughout the Muslim world and does extensive polling in conjunction with the BBC;

Suzanne Maloney: senior fellow, Saban Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Institution; former U.S. State Department policy adviser and counselor in the private sector with expertise on Iran, Persian Gulf political economy and Middle East energy policy; author of recent book, Iran's Long Reach: Iran as a Pivotal State in the Muslim World (2008);

Abbas Milani: Hamid and Christina Moghadam Director of Iranian Studies at Stanford University and co-director of the Iran Democracy Project at the Hoover Institution; taught at Tehran University's Faculty of Law and Political Science until 1987; has written on Iran's encounter with modernity and the politics of Iran in the last half-century; latest book is the two-volume Eminent Persians (2008);

Trita Parsi: president of the National Iranian American Council, the largest U.S. Iranian-American organization; author of Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Iran, Israel and the United States (2007); received Council on Foreign Relation's 2008 Arthur Ross Silver Medallion;

Karim Sadjadpour: associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a leading Iran researcher; extensively interviewed senior Iranian officials, Iranian intellectuals, clerics, dissidents, paramilitaries, businessmen, students, activists and youth; regular contributor to radio news programs as well as the Economist, Washington Post, New York Times and the New Republic;

Gary G. Sick: senior research scholar and adjunct professor, Columbia School of International and Public Affairs with special expertise on Iran; served on the U.S. National Security Council under Presidents Ford, Carter and briefly under Reagan; perhaps best known for voicing support for elements of the October surprise conspiracy theory regarding the Iran Hostage Crisis and the 1980 Presidential Election in the United States;

Shibley Telhami: Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland and nonresident senior fellow at the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution; author of the best-selling book The Stakes: America and the Middle East (updated 2004);

James Walsh: research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with expertise in international security and special focus on weapons of mass destruction and terrorism; has traveled to both Iran and North Korea and testified before U.S. Senate on Iran's nuclear program; current projects include two series of dialogues on nuclear issues, one with leading figures in Iran, the other with representatives from North Korea;

Robin Wright: Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow, U.S. Institute of Peace; journalist, author and foreign affairs analyst who has reported from more than 140 countries on six continents, most recently for the Washington Post; author of several books on Iran and the Middle East, including Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East; has been affiliated with several U.S. universities and think tanks.


Friday, Nov. 6 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with various breaks for media availabilities;

Session 1: Domestic developments, 9:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
Session 2: Nuclear program developments, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Session 3: International/regional developments, 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.


Orem Hall, Riggs Alumni Center, Stadium Drive,
University of Maryland, College Park

Directions and Parking: here

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