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The United States’ policy towards Iran is one of the most contentious foreign policy issues currently dividing Democrats and Republicans in the 2020 election season. While containing Iran’s nuclear activity is a priority for both parties, it remains unclear how either one plans to deal with Iranian-backed militias, which remain a threat to lasting stability in the Middle East and a danger to America and its allies’ national security interests.

This panel will explore Iran’s activity in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, and how the current administration, and a possible future Democratic administration, might address the grave risks of Iran’s regional expansionism.


Joel Rayburn
Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Levant and Special Envoy for Syria, 
US Department of State ​​​​​

Michael B. Herzog
Milton Fine International Fellow,
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Ariane Tabatabai
Middle East Fellow, Alliance for Securing Democracy, 
The German Marshall Fund of the United States ​​​​​

Hamdi Malik
Middle East Analyst;​ Contributor,
Iran International TV; Al-Monitor

​​​​​Navvar Saban
Conflict Analyst and Expert; Nonresident Researcher,
Omran Center for Strategic Studies; Orsam Center ​​​​​


Jomana Qaddour
Nonresident Senior Fellow, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East
Atlantic Council

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