On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Iranian Islamic Revolution, the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center and National Defense University's Institute for National Strategic Studies held a two-day conference on November 16-17, 2004. A number of scholars and experts from Iran and the U.S. participated. The purpose of the meeting was to provide a comprehensive overview of the developments that have occurred in the many spheres of Iranian public life since the Revolution, and to analyze these developments in a manner facilitating open discussion about the future direction of domestic and foreign policy in Iran.

The conference opened with several panels on Iranian political, economic, and societal issues. Topics included: Iranian political institutions (particularly its unelected institutions); opposition forces within the government; dissenting voices from outside the government; the impact of demographics on politics and social change; economic successes, failures, opportunities, and obstacles; and a variety of issues pertaining to civil society in Iran, including the status of women, demographic trends, and the relationship between culture and politics following the Revolution. Panels on the second day focused on foreign policy and national security issues, with particular emphasis placed on Iran's determination to acquire nuclear capability. The conference concluded with an examination of Iran's relations with the United States, analyzing the relationship from the perspectives in Washington and Tehran.

Speakers included: David Albright, Director, Institute for Science and International Security; Jahangir Amuzegar, former Minister of Commerce, Minister of Finance, and Ambassador-at-Large, Iran; Farideh Farhi, Department of Political Science, University of Hawaii; Valentine Moghadam, Chief, UNESCO, Paris; Bernard Hourcade, Senior Researcher, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris; Bijan Khajehpour, Atieh Bahar Consulting, Tehran, Iran; Saideh Lotfian, Professor, Tehran University, Iran; Mohammad Mesbahi, Professor, Florida International University, Miami; Mohsen Milani, University of South Florida, Tampa; Siamak Namazi, Atieh Bahar Consulting, Tehran, Iran; Ken Pollack, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies and Director of Research, Saban Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Institution; Morad Saghafi, Editor, Goft-o-goo ('Dialogue') Quarterly Magazine; Hadi Semati, Visiting Scholar, Democracy and Rule of Law Project, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Faculty of Law and Political Science, Tehran University.