Unable to attend? Watch live at 12:30 pm EST on Thursday February 22. Follow the conversation on Twitter: #TrumpIran.
With the second year of the administration of President Donald J. Trump underway, U.S. policy toward Iran is rapidly taking on new characteristics in strategy as well as rhetoric. The administration’s intensifying threats to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear agreement with Tehran, statements expressing a new U.S. commitment to helping shape the outcome of the conflict in Syria, strong declarations encouraging the recent protest movement in Iran, and the focus on combating Iran’s regional agenda in the recently released National Security Strategy all suggest a new level of determination in Washington to limit Iran’s hegemonic and military ambitions.
AGSIW is pleased to host a panel discussion examining evolving U.S. policies toward Iran and how they affect Washington’s Gulf Arab partners and shape their own calculations and strategies.
A light lunch will be served.
Ali Alfoneh is an Iran analyst based in Copenhagen, Denmark. He is the author of Iran Unveiled: How the Revolutionary Guards is Transforming Iran from Theocracy into Military Dictatorship, published by the AEI Press in April 2013. Alfoneh grew up in Tehran, but moved to Denmark in 1988. He served as an elected member of the Herlev City Council from 1994-98. He has held various positions, including at the Federation of Danish Industries, at the parliamentary group of the Social Democratic Party of Denmark, a lectureship in political economy at the University of Southern Denmark from 2003-04, and a research fellowship at the Institute for Strategy at the Royal Danish Defence College from 2004-06. Additionally, Alfoneh was a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute from 2007-13, and a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies from 2013-16. Alfoneh is a political scientist by training and holds a BA and an MA from the University of Copenhagen.
Paul Salem is the senior vice president for policy research and programs at the Middle East Institute. He focuses on issues of political change, transition, and conflict as well as the regional and international relations of the Middle East. Salem is the author and editor of a number of books and reports including: From Chaos to Cooperation: Toward Regional Order in the Middle East (edited with Ross Harrison, 2017); Broken Orders: The Causes and Consequences of the Arab Uprisings (in Arabic, 2013); “The Recurring Rise and Fall of Political Islam” (CSIS, 2015); “The Middle East in 2015 and Beyond: Trends and Drivers” (MEI, 2014); Bitter Legacy: Ideology and Politics in the Arab World (1994); and Conflict Resolution in the Arab World (ed., 1997). Prior to joining MEI, Salem was the founding director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, Lebanon from 2006-13. From 1999-2006, he was the director of the Fares Foundation and in 1989-99 founded and directed the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies, Lebanon’s leading public policy think tank. Salem earned a BA, an MA, and a PhD from Harvard University.
Ambassador Susan L. Ziadeh is a non-resident fellow at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. She enjoyed a 23-year career with the U.S. Department of State where she most recently served as the acting principal deputy assistant secretary for Near Eastern Affairs, and the deputy assistant secretary of state for Arabian Peninsula Affairs (2014-16). She served as the U.S. ambassador to the State of Qatar from 2011-14. She held senior leadership positions in Riyadh, Baghdad, and Bahrain as well as postings in Kuwait, Amman, and Jerusalem. Currently a Middle East strategic advisor based in Washington, Ziadeh is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service. A recipient of the Department of State’s Distinguished Honor Award, she also received the Department of State’s 2007 Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Public Diplomacy and the 2014 Arnold L. Raphel Memorial Award for Leadership. In 2015, she was awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, the Defense Department’s highest civilian award. A Fulbright scholar in Egypt and Lebanon, Ziadeh earned a PhD in history from the University of Michigan, an MA from the American University of Beirut, an MS from the National War College, National Defense University, and a BA from the University of Washington.
Hussein Ibish is a senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. He is a weekly columnist for The National (UAE) and a regular contributor to many other U.S. and Middle Eastern publications. He has made thousands of radio and television appearances and was the Washington, DC correspondent for The Daily Star (Beirut). Ibish previously served as a senior fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine, and executive director of the Hala Salaam Maksoud Foundation for Arab-American Leadership from 2004-09. From 1998-2004, Ibish served as communications director for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. He has a PhD in comparative literature from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.