Series: Iran Advisory Group
The Iran Advisory Group convened its tenth meeting on May 30, 2014 in Beirut, Lebanon. It brought together experts and policymakers to discuss under Chatham House rules how substantial the changes are that have occurred in Iranian domestic politics under President Hassan Rouhani. The seminar aimed to shed some light on the impact the domestic dynamics have on Iran’s regional policy agenda, in particular Iran’s relationship with the Levant and the Gulf region.
Since President Hassan Rouhani was elected nearly a year ago and negotiations began between Iran and the P5+1, Western governments have tried to assess whether the new presidency has led to a substantive shift in Iran’s factionalized political system. As negotiations on the nuclear question continue, will Rouhani and the Foreign Ministry he oversees be empowered to alter Iran’s regional policy agenda in the Middle East? With a region in turmoil, what role will Iran play in its neighborhood? In this workshop, we examined the internal dynamics of change in Iran, its contentious regional relations and what Western governments can do to advance regional cooperation and stability while balancing their support for their allies with safeguarding their national interests.