MIT Center for International Studies
About CIS

News & Events

Persian Gulf Initiative
Search Home Print Version Search

& the Nuclear Question
November 2, 2005

The Center for International Studies’ Persian Gulf Initiative convened Iranian scholars in New York City for presentations at a public forum and briefings at the United Nations on the structure and context of nuclear decision-making in Iran. The speakers reviewed Iran’s recent history, including the personalization of politics, especially by Iran’s Supreme Leader; the gradual growth of the Revolutionary Guard; the consolidation by conservatives of a shadow decision-making apparatus; and the growing complexity of Iran’s politics. They also discussed the ways in which global and regional geopolitics since 9/11 have tended to strengthen the call by Iranian conservatives for heightened security measures; also, how the conservative view that nuclear weapons are a deterrent “strategy of peace” resonates with the Iranian population.

Full Summary of the forum.



Dr. Fatemeh Haghighatjoo
Visiting Scholar, MIT Center for International Studies 2005-2006, Member of the Majlis, 2000-2004

Dr. Ali Mostashari
UNDP, Co-founder of the Iran Studies Group at MIT

Prof. Vali Nasr
Naval Postgraduate School, author of Democracy in Iran and Shi’a Revival  

Prof. Hadi Semati
University of Tehran and Fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

John Tirman (moderator)
Executive Director, MIT Center for International Studies



Massachusetts Institute of Technology