On October 4, the Atlantic Council’s Iran Task Force held a public briefing on Rethinking Policy Towards Iran.


Panelists engaged in a thorough discussion of the status of the Iranian nuclear program and efficacy of multilateral diplomacy and sanctions. They also analyzed the internal political situation in Iran and the country’s role in a region that is increasingly witnessing political instability. The discussion also focused on US policy toward Iran under the Obama Administration and post-election recommendations on rethinking the formulation and implementation of US policy towards Iran.

The Iran Task Force, co-chaired by Atlantic Council Chairman Senator Chuck Hagel and Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat, seeks to perform a comprehensive analysis of Iran’s internal political landscape, its role in the region and globally, and any basis for an improved relationship with the West.

The report launch scheduled for this date has been postponed to follow US presidential elections.

Introductory remarks by

The Hon. Stuart E. Eizenstat
Board Member and Co-Chair, Iran Task Force

Atlantic Council 

Barbara Slavin
Senior Fellow, South Asia Center
Atlantic Council 

A discussion with

Suzanne Maloney
Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Saban Center for Middle East Policy
Brookings Institution 

Ali Vaez
Senior Analyst, Iran
International Crisis Group

Moderated by 

Barbara Slavin

The Iran Task Force is generously sponsored by the Ploughshares Fund. 

Suzanne Maloney  is a senior fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, where her research focuses on energy, economic reform, and US policy toward the Middle East. Most recently, she published a book titled Iran’s Long Reach: Iran as a Pivotal State in the Muslim World. Dr. Maloney was a member of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, covering Iran, Iraq, the Gulf States, and broader Middle East issues. Prior to joining the government, she was the Middle East advisor at ExxonMobil Corporation, where she worked on regional business development, political risk analysis, and corporate outreach and communications. Dr. Maloney directed the 2004 Council on Foreign Relations Task Force on US Policy Toward Iran, chaired by Zbigniew Brzezinski and Robert Gates. She was the recipient of an International Affairs Fellowship at the Council on Foreign Relations and has previously served at Brookings as an Olin Fellow and a Brookings Research Fellow. She holds a PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. 

Ali Vaez is the International Crisis Group (ICG)’s senior analyst, Iran. Before joining ICG, he headed the Iran project at the Federation of American Scientists in Washington, DC, focusing on Iran’s nuclear and missile programs. Trained as a scientist, Dr. Vaez has more than a decade of experience in journalism, including as a foreign correspondent for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Switzerland. He has written widely on Iranian affairs and is a regular contributor to media outlets such as BBC, CNN, NPR, and Reuters. His work has appeared in the International Herald Tribune, Foreign Policy, Huffington Post, The Atlantic, and The National, among others. Dr. Vaez was a post-doctoral f ellow at Harvard University from 2008 to 2010 and holds a PhD from the University of Geneva, and a master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. 

Barbara Slavin  is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center and Washington correspondent for Al-Monitor.com, a website devoted to news from and about the Middle East. The author of a 2007 book, Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies: Iran, the US and the Twisted Path to Confrontation, she is a regular commentator on US foreign policy and Iran on NPR, PBS, and C-SPAN. A career journalist, Ms. Slavin previously served as assistant managing editor for world and national security of The Washington Times, senior diplomatic reporter for USA Today, Cairo correspondent for The Economist, and as an editor at The New York Times Week in Review.


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