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Events

Rouhani vs the Guards

24th October 2013 - 9:30 AM

As Rouhani rages a full-scale charm offensive, how long before he and Suleimani face-off over the question of the direction and tone of Iran’s foreign policy? How much flexibility will Rouhani have on the nuclear question when the IRGC controls the program? The ultimate question is, at the end of the day, “Who rules Iran?”

Panelists:

Dexter Filkins joined The New Yorker in January of 2011, and has since written about a bank heist in Afghanistan and the democratic protests in the Middle East. Before coming to The New Yorker, Dexter had been with the New York Times since 2000, reporting from Afghanistan, Pakistan, New York, and Iraq, where he was based from 2003 to 2006. He has also worked for the Miami Herald and the Los Angeles Times, where he was chief of the paper’s New Delhi bureau. In 2009, he won a Pulitzer Prize as part of a team of New York Times reporters in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 2006-07 and a fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in 2007-08. He has received numerous prizes, including two George Polk Awards and three Overseas Press Club Awards. His 2008 book, “The Forever War,” won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Best Nonfiction Book, and was named a best book of the year by the New York Times, the Washington PostTime, and the Boston Globe.

Mark Dubowitz is executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington, D.C.-based nonpartisan policy institute, where he leads projects on Iran, sanctions, nonproliferation, and countering electronic repression. Mark is an expert on sanctions and has testified before Congress and advised the U.S. administration, Congress, and numerous foreign governments on Iran sanctions issues. He is the co-author of eight studies on economic sanctions against Iran and the co-chair of the Project on U.S. Middle East Nonproliferation Strategy, a nonpartisan project co-chaired by five nonproliferation and sanctions experts, which produced a 2013 report on U.S. Nonproliferation Strategy for the Changing Middle East. Mark has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, Forbes, Slate, The Weekly Standard, The Globe & Mail, and The National Post, and appeared on CBS Evening News, CNN, Fox News, NPR, PBS, BBC and CBC.

Ali Alfoneh is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and a top expert on Iran and the inner workings of its regime. He came to FDD from the American Enterprise Institute, where he worked as a resident fellow specializing on civil-military relations in Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. He is the originator of the thesis that the Islamic Republic is transforming into a military dictatorship, which he first published in 2005, and has since been adopted by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Ali is the author of Iran Unveiled: How the Revolutionary Guards Is Transforming Iran from Theocracy into Military Dictatorship (AEI Press, April 2013). He is also the author of the definitive series of articles on Major General Qassem Suleimani, commander of the Quds Force, the IRGC’s extraterritorial operations branch.

Reuel Marc Gerecht Reuel Marc Gerecht is a senior fellow with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.  He focuses on Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, terrorism, and intelligence. Mr. Gerecht is the author of The Wave: Man, God, and the Ballot Box in the Middle East (Hoover Institution Press, 2011), Know Thine Enemy: A Spy's Journey into Revolutionary Iran (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1997) and The Islamic Paradox: Shiite Clerics, Sunni Fundamentalists, and the Coming of Arab Democracy (AEI Press, 2004). He is a contributing editor for The Weekly Standard and a correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, as well as a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and other publications. He was previously a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and the director of the Middle East Initiative at the Project for the New American Century. Earlier, he served as a Middle Eastern specialist at the CIA's Directorate of Operations.