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Episode #32 - June 1st, 2021

Iran is a key player in the Middle East and occupies an outsized amount of U.S. attention when it comes to foreign affairs. From proxy wars in Yemen, Syria, and other places, to the ongoing nuclear negotiations, understanding Iran is key to understanding U.S. policy in the region. With an upcoming election in just a few days, it is important to examine what this latest election can tell us about the future of Iran. In this episode we talk with Negar Mortazavi and Trita Parsi to find out more about the process and likely outcomes of the election. As a slate of mostly hardliners jockey for the role of President, many Iranians are dissatisfied with the overall process.

Trita ParsiTrita Parsi is an award-winning author and the 2010 recipient of the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. He is the Executive Vice President of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and an expert on US-Iranian relations, Iranian foreign policy, and the geopolitics of the Middle East. In 2021, he was named by the Washingtonian Magazine as one of the 50 most influential voices on foreign policy in Washington DC, and preeminent public intellectual Noam Chomsky calls Parsi "one of the most distinguished scholars on Iran." Parsi is the author of Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Iran, Israel and the United States (Yale University Press 2007), for which he conducted more than 130 interviews with senior Israeli, Iranian and American decision-makers. Treacherous Alliance is the silver medal winner of the 2008 Arthur Ross Book Award from the Council on Foreign Relations.

Negar MortazaviNegar Mortazavi is an Iranian-American journalist and political analyst based in Washington. She has been covering Iranian affairs and US-Iran relations for over a decade. She is a columnist for The Independent and host of the Iran Podcast. She is a frequent media analyst on Iran and US foreign policy, has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, NPR, BBC, France24, Aljazeera, and international media outlets in China, Turkey, and Israel. Negar regularly writes about Iranian politics and US foreign policy towards the middle east. Her work has been published in Foreign Policy magazine, The Intercept, Politico, Huffington Post, and elsewhere. She frequently speaks about Iranian affairs at international institutions including the Atlantic Council, Gulf International Forum, MIT, Johns Hopkins University, and American University among others. In 2021 she was featured in Forbes magazine among 30 inspirational women in various fields who have made great achievements and continue to break boundaries in their work and life. In 2020, she was named a MENA-American young leader in foreign policy by New America, among a group of talented leaders in diplomacy, national security, international development, and politics who possess unique perspectives that have been integral in re-shaping the discourse around the future of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and North Africa. She was named a MENA Young Leader by Friends of Europe in 2017, as part of a new generation of leaders able to tackle the increasing disconnects between citizens and political elites, to rebuild the trust that is vital to democracies.

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