Iranian Foreign Policy: Prospects for Change

The panel examines different avenues and prospects for change in Iranian foreign policy.

Members event, Panel Recording
9 May 2018 — 6:00PM TO 7:00PM
Chatham House, London

The January protests in the streets of Tehran highlighted a set of economic and political frustrations currently felt by the Iranian people. While Iran’s government faces challenges in addressing these frustrations with domestic policy, the country’s foreign policy stance and actions have remained largely the same since the 1979 revolution.

What can be identified as the key current foreign policy priorities in 2018 for Iran? And what avenues for potential reform and change are there going forward, in particular, in regards to relations with its neighbours and the US?

  • President Hassan Rouhani following his 2017 re-election promised a more reformist stance – what could this mean for the role Iran sees for itself both regionally and globally?

  • And is the perceived prioritization of national security and self-defence over other foreign policy initiatives the largest obstacle to potential changes in Iran’s agenda?


Mahmood Sariolghalam, Professor of International Relations, Shahid Beheshti University, the National University of Iran

Dr Sanam Vakil, Associate Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House

Chair: Nomi Bar-Yaacov, Associate Fellow, International Security, Chatham House

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