This week, the Brookings Institution will launch the latest in a newly-established series, The Brookings Essay. If you happen to have read the two previous iterations of TBE — which focused on the “deadly triangle” of Afghanistan-Pakistan-India and the gun control debate in the aftermath of last year’s Sandy Hook tragedy — you will appreciate that these essays are intended to provide a deep dive into an important issue of public policy and to engage readers in open dialogue and debate.
This newest edition is entitled “Iran Surprises Itself and the World,” and it focuses on the June presidential election and the future prospects of the Islamic Republic. The format of this Essay enabled us to reach back into history to consider the forces that have generated such a fascinating and often unpredictable evolution of Iranian politics. We hope that it will offer a valuable contribution to the debate surrounding Iran on the eve of the first-ever visit by the country’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, to the United States for the upcoming session of the United Nations General Assembly. Thanks to the phenomenal work of a team of artists and multimedia experts, the text of the Essay is amplified by really compelling graphic and video content, including interviews with a former senior U.S. official and a well-known Iranian human rights activist.
Check back here or on the Brookings home page this week for a link to the full content. Throughout the week, we’ll be providing snapshots of the Essay, and extending the discussion to some of the issues that it raises, including the challenges of advancing human rights in Iran, the nuclear negotiations, and the implications of a U.S. strike on Syria for Iran and the apparent efforts of its new president to move Iran in a different direction from his controversial predecessor. Through Iran @ Saban, we hope to draw readers of the Essay into a conversation about Iran, the election, and the related policy issues. Please send us your thoughts, questions, comments to IranAtSaban@brookings.edu, and follow me on Twitter, @maloneysuzanne.