About the program
The US-Iranian relationship has experienced significant challenges over the past forty years. The lack of diplomatic relations, changes in both the US and Iranian administrations, repeated US military interventions in the region as well as Iran’s support for militant groups and increasingly harsh rhetoric on both sides have further undermined chances for reconciliation. Through a balanced approach of engagement and containment, there is a need to push back against Iranian intervention while promoting US interests, regional conflict resolution, and the well-being of the Iranian people.
The Atlantic Council Iran Program convenes experts, policy makers, activists and other key stakeholders to discuss US policy toward Iran and Iran’s policies toward the US. We provide pragmatic recommendations for a more constructive US-Iran relationship that addresses the current security challenges facing the US and its allies and the security and socio-economic challenges facing Iran. We aim to preserve channels to Iranian officials and civil society through Track II dialogues and to engage Europeans officials and analysts on ways to maintain open channels of communication.
Featured commentary & analysis
IranSource Nov 22, 2022
Iranians are knocking clerics’ turbans off. This isn’t an anti-religion act but an indirect tool for accountability.
By Shadi Sadr
This viral trend of #Turban_Throwing is not an attack against Islam as a religion and faith, but rather a stand against a regime that has used religious practices as a cover to commit unimaginable violence.
IranSource Nov 10, 2022
The Hamid Noury conviction in Stockholm—a win for People’s Tribunals?
By Marilena Stegbauer
The former Iranian official’s conviction sends a powerful message: although the mills of justice may grind slowly, nobody can remain beyond the reach of justice forever.
IranSource Oct 20, 2022
The next generation of Iranian women dare to imagine a future with freedom. This is what they want us to see.
By Rosa Rahimi
Iranians are demanding very un-audacious things: to own their own bodies; to live in a country where their mothers don’t feel compelled to risk their own lives out of hope their daughters may lead freer ones; to wear what they like to breakfast.
Featured in-depth research & reports
Issue Brief May 18, 2022
Afghanistan: Where US-Iranian interests may yet intersect
By Borzou Daragahi
Borzou Daragahi’s latest report delves into the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and how the swift collapse of the US-backed government in Kabul last summer shocked the United States and its influential neighbor, Iran.
In-Depth Research & Reports Apr 29, 2021
Iranian women in the year 1400: The struggle for equal rights continues
By Mehrangiz Kar and Azadeh Pourzand
A new report outlines an image of women’s struggles for equality to help US policymakers better understand the intricacies of Iranian society and to design policies that support—but do not supplant or undermine—the women’s movement.
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