#FCBBCA: Iran – power struggles and diplomatic tension

Talk March 16, 2012 7:00 PM


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Recent months have seen increased tension between Iran, its neighbours and the West.

Israel’s concerns over Iran’s nuclear programme, the storming of the UK embassy in Tehran and the closure of the Tehran embassy have all played a part in ratcheting up tensions across the region.

Sanctions on the trade of its oil provoked warnings from Iran that they will close vital access to the strait of Hormuz.

As President Barack Obama warned against the “loose talk of war” Iran’s political elite is also focused on internal power struggles between the spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Join us as we bring together a prominent panel to discuss the growing tensions between Iran, its neighbours and the West, the impact of the power struggles at the heart of government and what role the pro-democracy movement still might play in the country’s future.

Chaired by Martin Fletcher, associate editor and former foreign editor of The Times.


Ran Gidor, the Minister-Counsellor for Political Affairs at the Embassy of Israel in London. Prior to this he worked as the Head of the UK & Ireland Desk at the Israeli Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem. From 2000 to 2003 he served as the Cultural & Academic Attaché at the Embassy of Israel in Beijing, China. From 1997 to 2000, he served as the deputy Ambassador at the Embassy of Israel in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Azadeh Moaveni, Iranian-American writer, journalist and former Middle East correspondent for Time magazine. She is author of Lipstick Jihad and co-author, with Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi, of Iran Awakening.

Roberto Toscano, Italian Ambassador to Iran for five years (2003-2008). As a career diplomat, he has served in a number of other posts (India, Chile, USSR, Spain, United States, as well as at Italy’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations at Geneva). He is the author of books and articles on human rights, peacekeeping, conflict prevention, ethics and international relations.

Christopher de Bellaigue, a leading expert on modern Iran. Between 1996 and 2007, he lived and worked as a journalist in south Asia and the Middle East, writing for The Economist, the Financial Times, the Independent and the New York Review of Books. He is author of many books including most recently Patriot of Persia: Muhammad Mossadegh and a Very British Coup.

Picture credit: Daniella Zalcman