Date: Wednesday, March 4 2009, 8 p.m.
Venue: Werkstatt der Kulturen, Berlin, Germany.
30 years of Islamic Republic of Iran stand not only for dictatorship and terror, but also for 3 decades of failed Iran policy of the West. While the tyranny in Iran – the persecution of the opposition, women, independent labor unions, religious and ethnic minorities – continues, the enforced nuclear program makes the regime an daily growing international threat. Atomic weapons would not only pose an existential threat to Israel, but would also lead to an arms race in the crisis-ridden Middle East and would strengthen radical Islamic forces worldwide. The extensive Iranian support for Hamas and Hizbollah already aims at the annihilation of Israel and the spreading of the Islamic revolution.
The year 2009 will be decisive. While the Iranian nuclear program is in its last stadium, the new US-administration under president Obama has announced a change of strategy. Direct talks with the Iranian leadership together with tougher sanctions should lead to concessions by the regime. To gain an assessment of the risks and chances of this strategy Amir Taheri will look back at the results of the Western Iran policy and analyse the structure and ideology of the Islamic republic. Thereby the German Iran policy and its role as the most important Western trade partner of Iran will also come into focus.
Amir Taheri, born 1942, was chief editor of one of the biggest Iranian Newspapers. Since 1979 he lives in exile in London and works as author and journalist for many international media, e.g. New York Times, New York Post, CNN, Asharq Al-Awsat, Spiegel, FAZ, Die Welt and Die Zeit. His books have been translated in up to 20 languages, he has just published The Persian Night. Iran under the Khomeinist Revolution.