About the Conference
This conference is devoted to examining the escalating tensions between the United States and Iran. The re-imposition of sanctions by the administration of President Donald Trump after the US’ withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has resulted in a sharp deterioration in Iran’s economic situation. Tehran, in turn, has embarked on a campaign of “maximum resistance” to American pressure. With both sides sticking steadfastly to their positions, the risk of a collision, whether accidental or deliberate, has grown.
The danger of conflict was brought into sharp focus when Iran shot down an American drone and President Trump gave the go-ahead for a retaliatory strike, then cancelled it at the last minute. This conference brings together former diplomats and experts from both sides to discuss the roots and aims of American policy on Iran, the possible consequences of the US’ “maximum pressure” strategy, and the response from the Islamic Republic. In addition, policymakers and experts will examine the impact of a prolonged crisis on Asia’s already-slowing economies, which have already been bruised by the US-China trade war.
Keynote speakers include HE Richard Armitage, former US deputy secretary of state, and HE Dr Seyed Mohammad Kazem Sajjadpour, Iranian deputy foreign minister.
The full programme for the conference may be found here.
Those who missed the event or wish to find out more about it, you can tune in to the videos and podcasts, and read more about the event via the links below.
First Keynote Speech by former US Deputy Secretary of State Richard L Armitage
Read “We’re not on the verge of war”: says Armitage of rising US and Iran tensions or listen to the podcast of his speech.
Second Keynote Speech by Iranian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Seyed Mohammad Kazem Sajjadpour
Third Keynote Speech by Indian Member of Parliament MJ Akbar
Mr Akbar said: “The price of a US-Iran conflict will be paid in many currencies.” Find the podcast of Mr Akbar’s speech here.
First Session: US Actions and Consequences
In this panel on US Actions and Consequences, panellists — Dr Michael Singh and Mr Karim Sadjadpour — discussed the goals of US policy towards Iran and whether “maximum pressure” would change Iran’s behaviour.
Mr Sadjadpour’s The Iranian Hedgehog vs the American Fox
Second Session: The View from Iran
In The View from Iran, Dr Ali Vaez, Dr Julia Roknifard and Mr Kevjn Lim discussed the domestic political situation in Iran as well as the probability of regime change.
Dr Vaez’s The Risk of Maximising Pressure on Iran
Third Session: The Impact on Asia
Singapore’s permanent secretary for Ministry of Trade and Industry, Mr Gabriel Lim; Mr Hitoshi Tanaka, Prof Pan Guang and Dr Tilak Doshi talked about The Impact on Asia with the rising tensions in the Strait of Hormuz.
Mr Tanaka’s A Japanese Perspective
Dr Doshi’s the Impact on Asia
Closing Session: Media Competition
In the session on Media Competition, Ms Ellie Geranmayeh, Mr Esfandyar Batmanghelidj, Ms Holly Dagres and Mr Meir Javedanfar talked about how the narratives surrounding the two countries and their actions shaped perceptions and hindered greater understanding of the issues involved.
Mr Batmanghelidj’s We Don’t Understand Iran’s Economy
Mr Javedanfar’s Israel’s Concerns and Iran-US Tensions
About the Speaker(s)
Ambassador Armitage is the founder and President of Armitage International, L.C., an international business consultancy that provides critical support in the areas of international business development, strategic planning and problem-solving. He is a former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State and has served as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia and Pacific Affairs. In addition, Ambassador Armitage has held a wide variety of high-ranking U.S. diplomatic positions; including, Presidential Special Negotiator for the Philippines Military Bases Agreement, Special Mediator for Water in the Middle East, Special Emissary to Jordan’s King Hussein during the 1991 Gulf War, and Ambassador directing U.S. assistance to the new independent states of the former Soviet Union.