Iran's Regional Operations and the Biden Administration


Thursday, May 6, 2021
10:00 AM (Pacific Time)
Zoom Webinar

The Biden Administration started nuclear negotiations with Iran amid significant regional escalations by Tehran, its proxies, and its adversaries, mainly Israel. It is still early to determine if the negotiated new deal will include Iran’s regional operations; however, regional escalations could force themselves on the negotiation table, leading to possible complications with the deal. This discussion is expected to shed light on Iran’s regional operations and offer policy recommendations on how the US could deal with Iran's military presence and influence in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq.


MODERATOR— Hanin Ghaddar is the Friedmann Fellow at The Washington Institute’s Geduld Program on Arab Politics, where she focuses on Shia politics throughout the Levant. The longtime managing editor of Lebanon’s NOW news website, Ghaddar shed light on a broad range of cutting-edge issues, from the evolution of Hezbollah inside Lebanon’s fractured political system to Iran’s growing influence throughout the Middle East. In addition, she has contributed to a number of US-based magazines and newspapers. Prior to joining NOW in 2007, Ghaddar wrote for the Lebanese newspapers As-Safir, An-Nahar, and Al-Hayat, and also worked as a researcher for the United Nations Development Program regional office.


PANELIST— Dr. Rouzbeh Parsi is Head of the MENA program at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs in Stockholm. He is also the director of the European Middle East Research Group, a European-wide network of Iran and Middle East experts. Between 2009 and 2013, Dr. Parsi worked as senior analyst at the EU Institute for Security Studies in Paris, covering Iran, Iraq, and the Persian Gulf. He wrote his PhD (2009, Lund University) on early 20th century Iranian intellectual history, while his more recent work has been on contemporary Iran, politics, the nuclear issue, and EU-Iran relations.



PANELIST— Kirsten Fontenrose is the director of the Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative at the Atlantic Council, a bipartisan think-tank headquartered in Washington, DC. Ms. Fontenrose has 20 years of experience working with the national security apparatuses of nations in the Middle East and Africa from positions within the US Department of Defense, Department of State, White House, private industry, and non-profit sector. She most recently served as the Senior Director for Gulf Affairs at the US National Security Council, leading the development of US policy toward nations of the GCC, Yemen, Egypt, and Jordan. Ms. Fontenrose holds a BA in Middle Eastern studies from the College of William and Mary, MA in Middle Eastern studies from Indiana University, and MBA from Harvard Business School.


PANELIST— Brigadier General (Ret.) Michael Herzog, an International Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, served as Head of Strategic Planning in the Israel Defense Forces and as Senior Military Advisor and Chief of Staff to four Israeli ministers of defense. Since the early 1990’s, General Herzog actively participated in most of Israel’s peace negotiations with the Jordanians, the Syrians, and the Palestinians— including the last 2013 to 2014 round of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. General Herzog provides frequent analysis on the major Middle East policy issues and on Israel’s security challenges. 



Sponsor(s): Center for Middle East Development, Department of Public Policy

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Duration: 01:41:06


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