Hassan Rowhani (photo: Meghdad Medadi_

On 14 June 2013, Hassan Rouhani, former foreign minister, former nuclear negotiator and reformist by default was elected the seventh president of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The result, a surprise by all accounts, led to celebrations in Tehran and other Iranian cities. With this vote, Iranians have made clear that they are tired of the current state of affairs. But how much room for manoeuvre will Rouhani actually have and will he be willing to stand up to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei to implement his campaign promises for change?

Listen to the discussion:

Dr Saeed Barzin is an Iran analyst with BBC Persian Service and the BBC Monitoring service. He has written extensively on Iranian politics, media and society, and is a regular contributor to current affairs programmes for BBC Persian television and radio, BBC World Service and UK national radio, among other programmes. 

Dina Esfandiary is a Research Associate in the IISS Non-proliferation and Disarmament Programme where she researches proliferation and security in the Middle East, with a special focus on Iran and its nuclear programme.

Azadeh Moaveni is a former Middle East correspondent for Time magazine, and has reported from throughout the region since 1999. She studied politics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and was a Fulbright Fellow at the American University in Cairo.  She is the author of Lipstick Jihad, Honeymoon in Tehran, and co-author, with Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi, of Iran Awakening. She writes widely on Iran and Middle East for Foreign Policy, the Washington Post, and she is presently working on the new media project Iranwire.

This meeting was chaired by Adam Ward, Director of Studies, IISS. It took place in the Lee Kuan Yew Conference Room at Arundel House, 13–15 Arundel Street, Temple Place, London WC2R 3DX.

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Event details

Discussion Meeting
Saeed Barzin, 
Iran Analyst, BBC Persian Service
Dina Esfandiary, 
Research Associate, Non-proliferation and Disarmament Programme, IISS
Azadeh Moaveni,
Former Time magazine Middle East correspondent
Arundel House, London
Friday 12 July 2013