U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has described upcoming talks with Iran over its nuclear program as "the last chance to resolve the crisis." Yet as the final hour approaches for an opportunity to avert a military attack, there are few apparent signs Iran will make compromises. Recent parliamentary elections have only strengthened the power of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the hardliners in his inner circle who aspire to make the Islamic republic a regional superpower. Join us for a discussion with Geneive Abdo and Syed Aliakbar Mousavi on the impact of the elections on the future of Iran's nuclear program, and the outlook for the forthcoming negotiations aimed at de-escalating U.S.-Iranian tensions.
Geneive Abdo is the director of the Iran Program at The Century Foundation, a Washington and New York-based think tank. Her current research focuses on contemporary Iran and political Islam. She is the creator and editor of the newly-launched website: www.insideIRAN.org She was formerly the Liaison Officer for the Alliance of Civilizations, a U.N. initiative under Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Before joining the United Nations, Abdo was a foreign correspondent. Her 20-year career focused on coverage of the Middle East and the Muslim world. From 1998-2001, Abdo was the Iran correspondent for the Guardian and a regular contributor to the Economist and the International Herald Tribune. Abdo is the author of No God But God: Egypt and the Triumph of Islam (Oxford University Press, 2000), and Mecca and Main Street (Oxford University Press, 2006). Abdo's commentaries and essays on Islam have appeared in Foreign Policy, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, among other outlets. She has been a commentator on NPR the BBC, the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, CNN, and al-Jazeera,
Seyed Aliakbar Mousavi is a visiting fellow at the University of Maryland and a digital freedom & human rights activist. From 2000 to 2004, Mousavi served as a member of the 6th Parliament of Iran, where he held several positions including Deputy of the Parliamentary ICT Committee, Secretary of the Tehran District, and Head of Inspecting and Supervising of Prisons. Currently, he advises the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, an advocacy group based in the United States, and was a visiting fellow in the Iranian Studies program at Stanford University. He is the founder and former general secretary of the Iranian Graduates Organization and was a member of the Central Council of the Iranian Students Union. Mousavi was also a participant in the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), and an founder of the Prisoners Rights Defense Association.