The Middle East Institute is proud to host Iranian scholars Ali Alfoneh and Alex Vatanka for a discussion about the ongoing unrest in Iran and the implications for the stability and future of the Islamic Republic. With the Green Movement having proved its staying power, some scholars and analysts are starting to predict the beginning of the end for the regime of Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, while others dismiss the idea as wishful thinking and argue that the Islamic Republic is here for the long-term.
Alfoneh and Vatanka will tackle these questions and their implications for US and regional strategies towards Iran by focusing on two issues. Vatanka will consider the evolution of the Iranian opposition since June 2009 and discuss its future prospects. By highlighting the main drivers behind the protests, he will identify the most significant interest groups that comprise the opposition Green Movement and evaluate how the internal dynamics of the opposition have aided or hampered the common front against the Khamenei-Ahmadinejad regime.
Ali Alfoneh will examine Khamenei's options in the face of this growing opposition movement. How far might he be willing to go in using the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to suppress the revolutionary movement, despite risking his own sovereignty? Or might he be willing to sacrifice President Mahmoud Amadinejad to accommodate the opposition's demands?