Capitol Hill Conferences

Informing Policy MakersDiane Feinstein

NIAC holds major policy conferences on Capitol Hill to examine the most significant and timely issues facing the U.S. and Iran. We bring together the world’s foremost experts on Iranian politics, human rights, US-Iran relations, and nuclear weapons to answer the toughest questions that policy makers wrestle with everyday. All of this is part of NIAC’s continued mission to bring the Iranian-American perspective into the halls of power in Washington DC.

Here you will find information about our past and upcoming conferences, including videos, transcripts, and more.

2013 Leadership Conference

  October 13 – October 15

Nuclear Diplomacy with Iran & the Saudi & Israeli Perspectives

Yossi Alpher, former Mossad and Israel Defense Forces Official
Dr. Shireen Hunter, former Iranian Diplomat and Center for Strategic and International Studies expert
Dr. Aaron David Miller, Vice President of the Woodrow Wilson Center
Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, former Saudi Ambassador to the United States and Chief of Saudi Intelligence

Panel Summary

Making or Breaking U.S. – Iran Diplomacy

Dr. Colin Kahl, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East
Dr. Mohsen Milani, Executive Director of the Center for Strategic and Diplomatic Studies, University of South Florida
Dr. Giandomenico Picco, Former Undersecretary-General of the United Nations

Panel Summary

Iranian American Identity & Cyrus the Great

Dr. Marc Gopin, Director of the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution (CRDC)
Dr. Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak, Chair of the Department of Middle Eastern Studies and Professor of Persian Language, Literature, and Culture at the University of Maryland
Dr. Bijan Khajehpour, Manager and founding partner of consulting firm Atieh International
Reza Zarghamee, Author of Discovering Cyrus: The Persian Conqueror Astride the Ancient World

Panel Summary

New Opportunities for Human Rights in Iran

Mehrangiz Kar, attorney, writer, and activist 
Mohammad Nourizad, Iranian journalist, filmmaker, and political advocate
Sarah Leah Whitson, Director, Human Right’s Watch Middle East and North Africa Division

Panel Summary

Click Here for NIAC’s photo album on Facebook from our 2013 Conference!

Media Coverage
BBC Persian, C-SPAN, JTA, National Journal, Voice of Russia


Arms Control Association and National Iranian American Council Conference
Iran 2013: Making Diplomacy Work

   November 26

Keynote Speech

Zbigniew Brezinski, former National Security Adviser, 1977-1981

Speech Summary

Panel Discussion

Rolf Ekeus, Former Head of the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq
Ahmad Sadri, James P. Gorter Chair of Islamic World Studies Lake Forest College
James Walsh, Research Associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Security Studies Program

Panel Transcript

Media Coverage
C-SPAN, Al-Monitor, Radio Free Europe, Inter Press Service, RT, Lobe Log Foreign Policy 


2012 Leadership Conference

  September 30 – October 2

Sanctions Briefing: Are Iran Sanctions Worse than Iraq?

Eric Ferrari, Washington-Based Sanctions Attorney and Expert
Justin Logan, Director of Foreign Policy Studies at the Cato Institute
Sanam Anderlini, International Civil society Action Network

    Briefing Summary

U.S. and Iran: On the Path to War?

Farideh Farhi, University of Hawaii Scholar
Honorable Robert Hunter, Former US Ambassador to NATO
Honorable Thomas Pickering, Former Ambassador to Israel and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs

  Panel Summary 

The Iranian People’s Quest for Democracy – The Role of the Diaspora

    Maziar Bahari, Journalist and Filmmaker
Nazila Fathi, Former Tehran-based Journalist for the NY Times
Ramin Jahenbegloo, University of Toronto Professor, Author, Prominent Iran Scholar
Bijan Khajehpour, Political and Economic Analyst, and Chairman of Atieh International

Panel Video 

Reinventing the Wheel? What Iranian Americans Can Learn from other Communities

    Tom Dine, Executive Director of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee
James Zogby, President of the Arab American Institute
Aram Suren Hamparian, Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of America

Panel Summary;Panel Video

Highlight Video

Media Coverage; The American Conservative: The Guardian


 The Day After Baghdad: Assessing the Iran Nuclear Talks

   May 23, 2012

PJ Crowley, Former Assistant Secretary of State
Bijan Khajehpour, Political and Economic Analyst, and Chairman of Atieh International
Aaron David Miller, Distinguished Scholar at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
George Perkovich, Director of the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Summary and Video   

  Media Coverage 
LinkTV broadcast; 


 The Iranian Nuclear Dilemma: Risk of an Iraq Sequel?

   February 21, 2012

Hans Blix, Former Director General of the IAEA
Colin Kahl, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East
Robert Kelley, Former Chief Inspector for the IAEA in Iraq

Summary; Transcript

  Media Coverage
LinkTV broadcast; WSJ; IPS; 


 2011 Leadership Conference

  October 2 – 4

    U.S.-Iran Relations: Opportunities and Set Backs from the Washington insider’s Perspective

John Limbert, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iran Ambassador
Ramin Asgard, VOA Persian News Network Director
Dr. Jim Walsh, Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Security Studies Program
Rouzbeh Parsi, European Union Institute for Security Studies

  Panel Summary

    The Iranian American Experience: Overcoming Obstacles and Celebrating Success

    Erich Ferrari, Sanctions Attorney and Expert
Darius Shahinfar, Former Congressional Candidate
Reza Marashi, NIAC Research Director

    Panel Summary

    The Impact of Sanctions on Iran, the U.S., and the Global Economy

    Bijan Khajehpour, Managing Partner Atieh International
Robert Pape, Political Scientist University of Chicago
Lucian Pugliaresi, President Energy Policy Research Foundation

 Panel Summary; Panel Video

  Highlight Video
  Alan Eyre Dinner Keynote Address

  Media Coverage
IIP Digital: Voice of America

 Answering the Iranian People’s Call for Human Rights

   March 15, 2011

Congressional Remarks
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN)

Suzanne Nossel, Deputy Assistant Secretary
Jonas Hafström, Swedish Ambassador to U.S.
Nazila Fathi, Former Iran-Based New York Times correspondent and Fellow at the Nieman Foundation
Prof. Nader Hashemi, Assistant Professor and Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the Josef Korbel School of
International Studies
Alireza Nader, RAND International Policy Analyst
Sarah Leah Whitson, Human Rights Watch MENA division

Summary and Videos

  Media Coverage
Yahoo News: U.N. rights body votes to appoint Iran human rights monitor, Proposal at U.N. Body Puts Focus on Iran’s Human Rights Record
  Ground Report: Iran Says No to Human Rights Investigator;
  State Dept: Holding Iran Accountable for its Human Rights Record


 Iran at a Crossroads: Assessing a Changing Landscape

  March 10, 2010

Congressional Remarks
Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA)
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN)

Video of Congressional Remarks

A Century Old Struggle for DemocracyProf. Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak, University of Maryland
Prof. Scott Lucas, University of Birmingham, UK
Prof. Muhammad Sahimi, University of Southern California
Moderator: Neil MacFarquhar, Author, The Media Relations Department of Hizbollah Wishes You a Happy BirthdayPanel Summary; Panel Video 
The US and Iran: Back to Confrontation?Prof. Juan Cole, University of Michigan
Amb. Robert Hunter, RAND Corporation
Robert Malley, International Crisis Group
Moderator: Dr. Trita Parsi, NIAC PresidentPanel Summary; Panel Video

  Conference Transcript


 The US & Iran: Human Rights, Diplomacy, & Sanctions

  November 4, 2009
Human Rights and the Battle for IranProf. Mehrzad Boroujerdi, Syracuse University
Geneive Abdo, The Century Foundation
Dr. Hadi Ghaemi, International Campaign for Human Rights in IranPanel Summary 
Assessing Obama’s DiplomacyAmb. John Limbert, US Naval Academy
Amb. Thomas Pickering, Former Undersecretary of State
Greg Thielmann, Arms Control AssociationPanel Summary 

 Conference Video; Conference Transcript


 The US & Iran: Between Elections and Enrichment

  June 17, 2009

  Congressional Remarks
Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY)
Rep. John Tierney (D-MA)

Reassessing Inspections and VerificationDr. David Kay, Former Weapons Inspector, Iraq
Amb. François Nicoullaud, Former French Ambassador to Iran (2001-2005)
Bruno Pellaud, Former Head of IAEA Safeguards
Moderator: Glenn Kessler, The Washington Post
A Conversation on the Iranian ElectionsProf. Ali Akbar Mahdi, Ohio Wesleyan University
Hooman Majd, Author, The Ayatollah Begs to Differ
Dr. Suzanne Maloney, The Brookings Institution
Moderator: Nisid Hajari, Foreign Editor, Newsweek

   Conference Transcript

 Can Obama Untangle the Iranian Challenge?
Prospects for a New Iran Policy

  November 18, 2008

  Congressional Remarks
Senator Thomas Carper (D-DE)
Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA)
  Rep. John Tierney (D-MA)

  The Future of US-Iran Policy: An Agenda for Change
Amb. James Dobbins, Former Assistant Secretary of State
Dr. Farideh Farhi, University of Hawaii
Joseph Cirincione, The Ploughshares Fund 

 Summary; Transcript 


 Breaking the US-Iran Stalemate

  April 8, 2008

  Congressional Remarks
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)


New Majles, New ChallengesScott Peterson, Christian Science Monitor
Prof. Ahmad Sadri, Lake Forest College
Barbara Slavin, USIP/USA TodayPanel Summary; Panel Video 
Beyond Zero Enrichment: Finding the Nuclear FixDr. Hans Blix, Former Director General, International Atomic Energy Agency
Amb. Thomas Pickering, Former Undersecretary of State
Dr. David Albright, Institute for Science and International SecurityPanel Summary; Panel Video 

  Conference Transcript


 Human Rights In Iran and U.S. Policy Options

  July 26, 2007

  Congressional Remarks
Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA)
Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA)
Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO)

Alex Arriaga, Amnesty International
Joe Stork, Human Rights Watch
John Tirman, MIT
Laura Secor, The New Yorker

  SummaryTranscript, Video


 US-Iran Relations: Collision, Stand-off, or Convergence?

  March 27, 2007

  Congressional Remarks
Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA)

Joseph Cirincione, Center for American Progress
Bruno Pellaud, Former Deputy Chief of Safeguards at the IAEA to Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Steve Clemons, American Strategy Program, New America Foundation
Francis Fukuyama, Johns Hopkins University
Flynt Leverett, Former National Security Council Official
Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, General Colin Powell’s Chief of Staff
The Honorable Matthew Levitt, Washington Institute for Near East Policy and Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for             Intelligence & Analysis
Daniel Levy, New America Foundation; former advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak