Webinar: Understanding Russian and Iranian perspectives on the Afghan peace process

Russia and Iran have complex historical relationships with Afghanistan. Though the current Afghan peace process–centered by the talks in Doha as well as the February 2020 US-Taliban agreement–is strongly Western backed, regional powers still have significant stakes in the conflict. 

One may argue that regional powers such as Iran or Russia have different strategic goals in South Asia and the Middle East than Washington and its allies. That said, Afghanistan’s (in)stability has both positive and negative ramifications on their respective domestic affairs, such as trade access and connectivity into South Asia, drug trafficking, cross-border terrorism, refugee flows, and illicit financial networks, to name a few. It is thus crucial to ensure that ongoing discussions of peace in Afghanistan include Russian and Iranian perspectives to obtain critical regional buy-in for a prosperous, democratic Afghanistan.

Join the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center, Eurasia Center, and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty on Thursday, May 13 at 10:00 AM EST for a conversation about Russian and Iranian perspectives on the Afghan peace process.


Fatemeh Aman
Non-Resident Senior Fellow
Middle East Institute 

Irina Lagunina 
Special Projects Editor, Russian Service 
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty 

Ambassador Omar Samad
Non-Resident Senior Fellow 
Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center

Moderated by

Qadir Habib 
Director, Afghan Service  
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Opening remarks by

Ambassador John E. Herbst
Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center

Welcome remarks by

Harris Samad
Assistant Director
Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center

Closing remarks by

Andres Ilves
Near East Regional Director
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

The South Asia Center is the hub for the Atlantic Council’s analysis of the political, social, geographical, and cultural diversity of the region. ​At the intersection of South Asia and its geopolitics, SAC cultivates dialogue to shape policy and forge ties between the region and the global community.

The Eurasia Center’s mission is to enhance transatlantic cooperation in promoting stability, democratic values and prosperity in Eurasia, from Eastern Europe and Turkey in the West to the Caucasus, Russia and Central Asia in the East.

RFE/RL’s mission is to promote democratic values and institutions and advance human rights by reporting the news in countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established.

Related Experts: Omar Samad, John E. Herbst, and Harris A. Samad

Image: Officials, including Afghan former President Hamid Karzai and the Taliban's deputy leader and negotiator Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, attend the Afghan peace conference in Moscow, Russia March 18, 2021. Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool via REUTERS