#FCBBCA: Iran – diplomatic tensions and power struggles

Talk March 16, 2012 7:00 PM


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Recent months have seen a rise in tension between Iran and the West; the storming of the UK embassy in Tehran in November led William Hague to order the expulsion of Iranian diplomats from the UK and the closure of the embassy in Tehran.

The latest flashpoint has been the strait of Hormuz, the narrowest point in the Gulf, through which a fifth of the world’s traded oil passes. Iran has warned that if sanctions on the trade in Iranian oil come into effect they could respond by closing the strait. Recent Iranian and Israeli military activity in the region has only increased these tensions.

Internally 2011 saw ncreased tensions in the country’s political elite focusing on a power struggle between the spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

There was a continued crackdown on dissidents, with a rise in arrests and executions and the suggestion that Iran might follow North Korea in creating a domestic intranet that could eventually close off the internet to millions of Iranians.

Join us at the Royal Institution of Great Britain where we will be discussing the growing tensions between Iran and the West, the impact of the power struggles at the heart of government and looking at the future of the pro-democracy Green Movement.


Picture credit: Daniella Zalcman