At a time of rising tensions between the United States and Iran, Iran and the wider Shia world are facing important successions for leadership that will impact a number of issues. These include how independent Iraq will be of foreign influence, whether Iran finally succeeds in exporting its unique system of government, whether Iran continues to comply with a 2015 nuclear agreement, and the nature of both countries’ relations, or lack thereof, with the United States.

On July 15, the Atlantic Council’s Iraq Initiative and Future of Iran Initiative convened a public event to discuss these issues and release a report, “After Sistani and Khamenei: How Looming Successions Will Shape the Middle East,” by Iraq Initiative Director Abbas Kadhim and Future of Iran Initiative Director Barbara Slavin. They were joined on the panel by Texas A&M University Associate Professor Mohammad Ayatollahi Tabaar, and Director of the University of South Florida’s Center for Strategic and Diplomatic Studies Mohsen Milani moderated the conversation.