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Security in the Middle East and the Prospects of Change from Inside Iran
SECURITY IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND THE PROSPECTS OF CHANGE FROM INSIDE IRAN
Wednesday, 20 June, 11am to 12 noon
The Foreign Press Association
11 Carlton House Terrace
London SW1Y 5AJ
The Islamic republic of Iran is accused of being an increasing source of trouble in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and in Gaza, where it has provided military and financial support to Hamas. Tehran rejects these accusations as baseless propaganda.
In the meantime, Tehran is continuing its pursuit of sensitive nuclear work, and intensifying its crackdown on Iranians targeting groups as diverse as banks and labour unions, students and civic organizations which it claims undermine national security by being part of a secret plan for a “velvet revolution.” The campaign includes new censorship codes for the media banning subjects such as the enforcement of Islamic restrictions on dress, the effect of U.N. sanctions on everyday life, international sanctions on Iranian banks, travel bans on Iranian nuclear and military officials, ethnic clashes in the provinces, and strained relations between Iran and other Muslim countries.
While Europe and the US continue to pursue diplomacy to bring about a change in the behaviour of the Islamic republic, what are the prospects of change from within Iran?
Mohammad Kamaali, Founding Member - Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII) - UK
Tahirih Danesh, human rights researcher and documenter. Ms Danesh has worked with Iran human rights documentation centre (IHRDC) and the Boroomand foundation, an independent non-governmental non-profit organizations dedicated to human rights and accountability in Iran based on international law.
Amir Abbas Fakhravar, president, Iranian freedom institute, USA. Mr Fakhravar advocates regime change and has called for a constitutional referendum to rescind the powers of the supreme leader and council of guardians. Mr Fakhravar was one of the main guests at the 2-4 June conference, "Democracy and Security: core values and sound policies," organized by Natan Sharansky, Vaclav Havel and Jose Maria Aznar.
Dr. Amir Hossein Takian is president of the Iranian union of Islamic association (UISA) in London and former president of the Iranian UISA in Europe. He is a medical doctor and is currently a PhD candidate on health policy at the University of London.