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Some analysts view Iran’s June presidential elections as an opening for change in U.S.-Iranian relations. In the last election, in 2005, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad campaigned promising to strengthen the economy. Over the past four years, his policies have yielded extraordinarily high inflation and unemployment, and the nation’s array of subsidies has created budget shortfalls, even during periods of record oil prices. Ahmadinejad is now deeply unpopular, and there is hope that a reformist will become president. But with real political power vested in the supreme leader, to what extent is it realistic to expect Tehran to chart a new course? Further, as Iran ramps up its illicit nuclear program, continues its role as the world’s foremost sponsor of terrorism, and fosters close diplomatic relations with anti-American regimes across the globe, what options exist to deter and redirect the Tehran regime? As the Obama administration defines its policy toward Iran and attempts to address the substance of U.S.-Iranian relations, what—if any—impact will the Iranian elections have?

Following a keynote address by Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (I-D-Conn.), AEI resident scholars Frederick W. Kagan and Michael Rubin and the Brookings Institution’s Kenneth M. Pollack will discuss the implications of the upcoming Iranian elections for the Obama administration’s policy toward Iran. Danielle Pletka, AEI’s vice president for foreign and defense policy studies, will moderate.

At this event, AEI will unveil a new website, IranTracker.org, to serve as a resource for wide audiences to better understand Iran. The website will address the challenges posed by the Islamic Republic, including the nature of the Iranian regime and its activities, weapons programs, support for terrorism, and regional strategies.

Official Website: http://www.aei.org/events/type.upcoming,eventID.1921,filter.all/event_detail.asp

Added by insideronline on April 20, 2009

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