While the Iranian nuclear program grabs all of the headlines, for the average Iranian what matters more is the worsening human rights abuses of the regime in Tehran. The United States was vague on this issue for over a year after Iran's disputed 2009 presidential election and the protests and brutal crackdowns that followed. However, the Obama administration has now strongly signaled that it is heeding the advice of many Iranians and humanitarians around the world to take up this cause by sanctioning eight Iranian regime officials for their involvement in large-scale abuse of human rights.
On October 28, the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings and the National Security Network hosted a discussion of human rights and its relevance to broader American policy towards Iran. Panelists include Century Foundation Fellow Geneive Abdo; Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Philo Dibble; Iranian human rights activist Saba Vasefi and German Commissioner for Human Rights Markus Löning.
Senior Fellow Kenneth Pollack, director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion. After the program, the panelists took audience questions.