Pushback: Exposing and Countering Iran

Introduced by:

Zalmay Khalilzad
Board Director
Atlantic Council

Panel One (12:25 – 1:40 p.m.):

Melissa Dalton
Senior Fellow and Deputy Director, International Security Program
Center for Strategic and International Studies

Elisabeth Kendall
Nonresident Senior Fellow, Middle East Peace and Security Initiative, Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security
Atlantic Council

Tim Michetti
Head of Regional Operations
Conflict Armament Research

Phillip Smyth
Researcher and analyst focused on Shia militia groups

Moderated by:

Alex Ward
Staff Writer, International Security and Defense

Panel Two (1:50 – 3:00 p.m.):

Mara Karlin
Associate Director, Strategic Studies Program
Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies 

Kenneth M. Pollack
Resident Scholar
American Enterprise Institute

Susan Ziadeh
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Arabian Peninsula Affairs

Moderated by:

David Sanger
Chief Washington Correspondent
The New York Times 

Much is said about Iran’s “destabilizing activities” throughout the Middle East, but often without fully describing the activities, tools, and methods Iran uses to wield influence in neighboring states. What do we really know about Iran’s activities in the region? What are the primary factors driving Iran’s foreign policy?

These are the questions the Atlantic Council seeks to answer through a new project entitled Pushback: Exposing and Countering Iran. This series examines the drivers, prospects, and constraints underpinning Iran’s efforts to undermine US policy in the Middle East and restructure the regional order to its liking. Drawing on new digital forensic evidence and expert analysis, this effort offers strategic and policy recommendations to address the growing challenge Iran poses to stability in the Middle East.

Please join the Atlantic Council for the launch of the first two analyses in this series: Revolution Unveiled: A Closer Look at Iran’s Presence and Influence in the Middle East, by Phillip Smyth, Tim Michetti and Owen Daniels, investigates Iran’s influence in the region using photographic analysis, geolocation, social media monitoring, and other methods. US Strategy Options for Iran’s Regional Challenge, by Kenneth M. Pollack and Bilal Y. Saab, presents five alternative strategies that the United States could pursue to limit Iran’s destabilizing activities.

Center for Strategic and International Studies senior fellow and deputy director Melissa Dalton, Atlantic Council nonresident fellow Elisabeth Kendall, Conflict Armament Research’s Tim Michetti, and Shia militia group researcher Phillip Smyth will discuss Iran’s regional tactics, while American Enterprise Institute resident scholar Ken Pollack, Johns Hopkins SAIS’s Mara Karlin, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Arabian Peninsula Affairs Susan Ziadeh, and New York Times Washington correspondent David Sanger, will discuss the United States’ strategic options for countering Iran’s influence. 

Please join the Atlantic Council on Thursday, September 14 at 12:00 p.m. for a conversation about newly revealed digital forensics evidence of Iran’s regional presence, and US strategy options to address the Iranian challenge. A light lunch will be served.

On Twitter? Follow @ACScowcroft and use #PushbackIran to join the conversation.

On Twitter? Follow @ACScowcroft (or specific center name) and use #PushbackIran

Atlantic Council
1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor (West Tower Elevator)
Washington, DC

This event is open to press and on the record.