As the political firestorm unleashed by Iran’s June 12 presidential elections appears far from over, Carnegie co-hosted a conversation on Iran with PEN American Center, The New York Review of Books, and 92nd Street Y Unterberg Poetry Center. Carnegie’s Karim Sadjadpour, Roger Cohen, who covered the elections for the New York Times, and Haleh Esfandiari of the Wilson Center spoke with Shaul Bakhash about events on the ground over the past month and what might be unfolding behind the scenes.
Key points made by the participants:
“The government which has taken over Iran is a cartel. It’s representative of a very narrow swath of not only Iranian society but also the Iranian political elite. [This group] made $300 billion the last four years on oil revenue. They’re not going to give it up that easily. They don’t want Iran to open up to the international community, to join the WTO, and have the great oil companies of the world invest in Iran, and for Iran to become more meritocratic. On the contrary, they think, the less the merrier. Their ideological enmity towards the United States cloaks a marriage between power and greed, essentially; their power and economic clout is much better preserved in isolation or by retaining this adversarial relationship with the United States.”
This event was co-sponsored by the Carnegie Endowment, PEN American Center, The New York Review of Books, and 92nd Street Y Unterberg Poetry Center.
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