After eight months of being stranded in Iran, including four months in prison, Middle East Program Director Haleh Esfandiari is excited to return to her family and work. In this Centerpoint cover story, read about her ordeal, efforts to bring her home, and the broader implications for scholars visiting rogue countries.
Dr. Haleh Esfandiari, director of the Woodrow Wilson Center's Middle East Program, arrived safely in the United States on Thursday, September 6th. Dr. Esfandiari announced that she was happy and excited to be home with her family. Read the transcript from the September 10th press conference with Dr. Haleh Esfandiari.
"We are extremely disheartened to receive this news," said Lee H. Hamilton, president and director of the Woodrow Wilson Center. "Haleh is a scholar. The work she does at the Wilson Center is open, non-partisan, and includes a broad range of views. At the Wilson Center, we do not take positions on issues, but rather, we bring all sides of an issue together for dialogue."
Haleh Esfandiari, director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and a dual Iranian-American national, was arrested in Tehran on May 8 and incarcerated in the Evin Prison.The following is background on her unjustified arrest.
Former and current Wilson Center scholars and speakers examine the war and its implications from the perspective of Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Turkey and the United States.
The Middle East Program and the former Conflict Prevention Project established the Iraqi Women's Democracy Initiative in April 2003, to focus on the substantial role women can and should have in building a new Iraq. This webpage provides information about the workshop series, publications for download, and links to relevant resources.
The June 26 meeting presented a reversal of the overarching conclusion of last year's conference that the election of President Ahmadinejad would not significantly affect Iran's path of reform. This underestimation was addressed with a discussion of the recent developments and trends in Iran. The first panel featured a discussion of the national political and socio-economic situation as well as a presentation on the power of the local democratic establishment in Iran. Speakers addressed the real versus perceived command capacity of President Ahmadinejad, the fruition or failure of his socio-economic policies, and the seeming reversal of local democratic reform under his administration. The second panel focused on Iran's foreign policy drivers, options, and goals. Speakers touched on Iran's historical and strategic ambitions in the Caspian region as well as its relations with Europe and the United States. They discussed Iran's attempt to secure itself economically and the strategic determinants steering the country's actions and overtures.
Recent events in the Middle East, including Israel's withdrawal from Gaza and the results of Israeli and Palestinian elections, generated varied reactions among panelists at a May 10 conference, which featured current and former government officials from the region. This was one of several recent meetings to discuss the unfolding situation.
Public Policy Scholar Aaron David Miller describes the bleak environment encompassing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and what the United States can do in the meantime.
The Iran Primer Blog
The Islamists Are Coming
August 25, 2014 // 2:00pm — 4:00pm
Turkey’s Presidential Elections 2014 - What do they mean for Turkey’s democratization process, the Kurdish question and Turkey’s foreign policy?
September 11, 2014 // 12:00pm — 2:00pm
Experts & Staff
- Haleh Esfandiari // Director, Middle East Program
- Kendra Heideman // Program Associate
- Michael Adler // Public Policy Scholar
- Margot Badran // Senior Scholar
- Jason Brodsky // Policy Advisor to the Director, President and CEO and Research Associate
- Aaron David Miller // Vice President for New Initiatives and Distinguished Scholar
- William Green Miller // Senior Scholar
- Amal Mudallali // Senior Scholar
- David Ottaway // Senior Scholar
- Marina Ottaway // Senior Scholar
- Emad El-Din Shahin // Public Policy Scholar
- Joby Warrick // Public Policy Scholar
- Robert Worth // Public Policy Scholar
- Robin Wright // USIP-Wilson Center Distinguished Scholar