Former US Foreign Service Officer
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iran and former US hostage in Tehran
Director, Government Affairs and Policy
Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans
Introduced and moderated by
Senior Fellow, South Asia Center
The Atlantic Council's South Asia Center invites you to a discussion of a new report published by the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans entitled Establishing an American-Staffed Interests Section in Iran: Advancing US National Security and Serving American Citizens. The report, written by Iran Task Force member and analyst Ramin Asgard, reviews the pros and cons of opening a US Interests Section in Tehran staffed by American diplomats.
Thirty-four years after the United States severed diplomatic relations with Iran in the throes of the hostage crisis, US-Iran relations are improving as a result of successful negotiations on an interim nuclear agreement. In his report, Asgard argues that an official presence in Iran through a US Interests Section is in the national security interest of the United States, and now is the time to seek the return of American diplomats to Tehran. The proposed Interests Section would process visas for Iranians, provide services to Americans and dual nationals, and facilitate academic and cultural exchanges between Iranians and Americans. It would allow for direct contact between officials of the United States and ordinary Iranian citizens for the first time since 1979. The panelists will explore the short- and long-term implications of re-establishing a US diplomatic presence in Iran.
On Twitter? Follow @ACSouthAsia and use #USinIran to join the discussion.
About the Iran Task Force
Chaired by Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat, the Iran Task Force 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. It is supported generously by the Ploughshares Fund.
PAAIA is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nonreligious organization that serves the interests of Iranian Americans and represents the community before US policymakers and the American public at large. PAAIA works to foster greater understanding of the Iranian-American community and its cultural heritage and to expand opportunities for the active participation of Iranian-Americans in the democratic process.
Please use the West Tower elevators when you arrive.