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Iran Deal Update, with Assal Rad, Giorgio Cafiero, Peter Beattie, and Derek Davison

Thu July 21 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EDT

Thursday, July 21st

7:00pm – 8:00pm


A year and a half into the presidency of Joe Biden, the United States continues to stay out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Violating both international norms and his own campaign promises, President Biden has wasted time and threatened to scotch one of Barack Obama’s greatest foreign policy achievements. Advocates for peace and justice have been left scratching their heads, wondering what the solution is to an intransigent administration.

We’ll be joined by experts to discuss next steps for the Peace Movement and the overall state of US-Iran relations.

Dr. Assal Rad graduated with a PhD in Middle Eastern History from the University of California, Irvine in 2018. Her PhD research focused on Modern Iran, with an emphasis on national identity formation and identity in post-revolutionary Iran. With this background, Assal works with the policy team on research and writing related to Iran policy issues and U.S.-Iran relations.

Assal joined the National Iranian American Council in January 2019. After working with NIAC in California as a volunteer on election and voting campaigns in 2018, Assal joined the team in order to further this work and embolden the voices of Iranian Americans. Her writing can be seen in Newsweek, Independent, the National Interest, and Responsible Statecraft, and she has appeared as a commentator on the BBC, Al Jazeera, BBC Persian and NPR.


Giorgio Cafiero, CEO and Founder of Gulf State Analytics is a regular contributor to the Middle East Institute, Al Monitor, LobeLog, Inside Arabia, and New Arab. Based in Washington, DC, Mr. Cafiero is also an adjunct fellow at the American Security Project and an affiliate at the Mena Center. Additionally, he is an analyst at London-based advisory Rosa & Roubini Associates. Mr. Cafiero frequently appears on Al Jazeera, TRT World, BBC Persian, and other networks as a commentator.

He has taken part in dozens of closed-door meetings with high-ranking government officials, ambassadors, and other diplomats in Bahrain, Kuwait, Iran, Iraq, Oman, Qatar, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Throughout his career, Mr. Cafiero has spoken about Persian Gulf-related issues at conferences and delivered lectures on the region in Egypt, Slovenia, and the United States. From 2014-2015, Mr. Cafiero was an analyst at Kroll, an investigative due diligence consultancy. He received an M.A. in International Relations from the University of San Diego.


Prof. Peter Beattie’s research focuses on the role of ideas and information in political economy. This interest was sparked during law school, when he was first introduced to the American school of legal realism. After practicing law for six years, he entered a PhD program to explore the relationship between psychology and political economy, particularly how the news media affects the functioning of contemporary democracies, focusing on the U.S. His first book, Social Evolution, Political Psychology, and the Media in Democracy: The Invisible Hand in the U.S. Marketplace of Ideas, describes the role the news media currently plays, contrasting it with the role it is supposed to play within democratic theory. Influences from the demand side – political psychological biases that affect how users of news media interpret information – and from the supply side – political economic pressures affecting what information and interpretations are offered by the news media – distort the marketplace of ideas, or the ecology of information, and frustrate the promise of democracy. His most recent research applies “elective affinity” theory, that psychological traits influence the development of political ideology, to China and other countries in East and Southeast Asia.

Derek Davison has been studying and/or writing about international affairs for nearly twenty years. After obtaining degrees in Middle East Studies and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago, he left academia and broke into journalism by covering the 2014 Ukraine crisis and the 2015 Iran nuclear deal talks for LobeLog, where he later served as editor. Around that time, he started a blog that later became a Patreon project and eventually evolved into the Substack newsletter (and occasional podcast) Foreign Exchanges. He is the co-host, with Daniel Bessner, of the American Prestige podcast.


Thu July 21
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EDT
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