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The Conference



The Iran discourse is dominated by security policy concerns. The western focus on the nuclear debate has resulted in the marginalization of numerous (domestic) political and socio-cultural phenomena in Iran.
Covering a broad range of topics, the contributions from internationally recognized experts on Iran will serve as “investigations into Underlying Aspects”, that expose relevant dimensions beneath the surface of the nuclear and sanctions debate. In addition to scholarly experts, this conference will also give voice to directly affected stakeholders: Iranian journalists, bloggers, activists. All contributions will be simultaneously translated.


The conference is divided into the following panels:

Panel 1

Domestic Politics

The discussion begins with an inventory of the current internal dynamics two years after nation-wide unrest. The focus here is on the political output, the consolidation and shift of power in the second presidential term of Ahmadinedjad, and the religious advances of the “New Right”, as well as the economic performance of the regime.

Panel 2

Civil Society and Human Rights

The speakers in this section discuss the scope of human rights violations and question the judicial and political implications on the international stage. Closely related to the topic of human rights is the question of civil society. How can civil society develop in such a repressive climate? The speakers here address the relevant parties and structures that strengthen and weaken Iran’s civil society.

Panel 3

Internet and (New) Media

Despite systematic state repression, Iran has a vital media landscape. Since the “ritual” of establishing and shutting down media critical of the regime is an everyday reality in the Islamic Republic, a large segment of independent reporting has moved into the virtual world. Numerous Iranian bloggers act as authors and distributors of information. The speakers here address Iran’s conventional and virtual media landscape and the political and social impact of the internet.