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.

Introducing the Young Global Professionals Program

Sat, Oct 24, 2020

Atlantic Council’s Young Global Professionals Program – Spring 2021 (Paid)


The Young Global Professionals (YGP) Program, the Atlantic Council’s paid internship program, is designed to provide exceptional young people with in-depth exposure to international affairs and an opportunity to play an active role in shaping real-world solutions to global challenges. The Atlantic Council is non-partisan and welcomes applicants from diverse backgrounds. International applicants are encouraged to apply.


Past events

Wed, Nov 18, 2020

Renewing transatlantic strategy on Iran

Online Event A new report by Ellie Geranmayeh, Barbara Slavin, and Sahil Shah presents a series of recommendations for the E-3 and the European Union to preserve the JCPOA, promote regional peace and development and boost people-to-people contacts with Iran in concert with a potential new US administration.

9:30am Economy & Business Iran Middle East Politics & Diplomacy

Mon, Aug 31, 2020

‘Desert One’: How the Hostage Crisis and failed rescue raid still cloud US-Iran relations

Public Event ONLINE EVENT – Panel discussion of the new documentary ‘Desert One’. Directed by master documentarian Barbara Kopple, with new archival sources and unprecedented access to key players on both sides, the film reveals the true story behind one of the most daring rescues in modern US history: a secret mission to free hostages captured during the 1979 Iranian revolution.

12:00pm ONLINE EVENT Conflict Iran Middle East Politics & Diplomacy

Fri, Jun 26, 2020

Iran’s economy under COVID-19 and sanctions: How bad is it?

Public Event ONLINE EVENT – Under the strain of economic sanctions, an embargo on the export of oil, and the impact of COVID-19, the Islamic Republic faces some of its biggest economic challenges in decades.

9:30am ONLINE EVENT Coronavirus Economic Sanctions Economy & Business Iran

Wed, May 20, 2020

Will COVID-19 exacerbate or defuse conflicts in the Middle East?

Public Event ONLINE EVENT – The reshuffling of priorities needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic has cast new light on long-running conflicts, particularly in the Middle East. United Nations Under-Secretary General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo discusses potential new openings to advance peace in the region.

10:00am ONLINE EVENT Middle East Politics & Diplomacy Resilience & Society Security & Defense

Wed, Feb 12, 2020

Iran: Propaganda and perception 41 years after the revolution

Public Event Half-day conference with keynote remarks and two discussion sessions on Iran’s digital influence efforts and foreign coverage of Iran.

9:30am Washington DC Cybersecurity Disinformation Iran Media

Thu, Jan 9, 2020

US-Iran tensions rising with Iraq in the middle

Public Event The Atlantic Council’s Iraq Initiative and Future of Iran Initiative hosted a conversation on US-Iran tensions and the impact on Iraq with Congressman Seth Moulton and Senator Chris Murphy.

2:00pm Washington Conflict Economic Sanctions Iran Iraq

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Tue, Jan 19, 2021

Does Russia really want a US return to the Iran deal?

The Kremlin has also backed European efforts to save the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action since the US’s unilateral withdrawal from the deal in 2018. Below the surface, however, Russia’s views may be more complicated and ambivalent.

IranSource by Arman Mahmoudian and Giorgio Cafiero

Iran Middle East

Thu, Jan 14, 2021

Advice to Iran as a new administration takes over the White House

The end of the Donald Trump era and the beginning of the Joe Biden one offer Iran and its neighbors the best opportunity they have had in years to ease conflict and tension and boost prosperity.

IranSource by Barbara Slavin

Iran Middle East

Wed, Jan 13, 2021

Swedish trial paves the way for accountability for Iran’s human rights violations

Universal jurisdiction proceedings may help prevent another forty-one years of total impunity for perpetrators of grave human rights violations in Iran while granting redress for those affected by the violations.

IranSource by Aida Samani

Iran Middle East

Fri, Jan 8, 2021

Will the families of PS752 ever receive justice?

The efforts undertaken on behalf of those aggrieved include diplomatic efforts, arbitration, civil litigation, and the possibility of criminal inquiries.

IranSource by Gissou Nia

Iran Middle East
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