Iran, the Islamist Threat, and American Policy

The Iranian regime is reportedly within sprinting distance of acquiring nuclear weapons capability. Past attempts at negotiating with Iran have all failed, and the current UN-backed gambit may serve only to buy Iran more time to advance its illicit program.

What would be the impact on the region and on American interests of a nuclear-armed regime in Tehran? What is the nature of the threat from Iran and its proxies Hamas and Hezbollah? What lessons can be learned from America’s response to Iranian belligerence—not only in recent years, but going back to the emergence of a militant Islamist regime in Tehran? What policy options are available to the United States for responding to Iran and its Islamist affiliates?

Michael Rubin and Elan Journo will consider the record of U.S. policy toward Iran (and its allied groups), and assess what the Obama administration is doing—and should do—to safeguard American national security in the face of this threat. Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute will discuss the nature of the threat posed by Iran, and strategic policy options today. Elan Journo of the Ayn Rand Institute will discuss the approach of U.S. policy toward Iran and the impact it has had both on the Iranian regime and American willingness to address the threat.

November 12, 2009
3:00 – 4:30 p.m.

Reception following: 4:305:30pm

722 12th Street NW, Sixth Floor
Washington, D.C.

(Americans for Tax Reform conference room)

This event is free of charge and open to the public.

To register: Call 202-470-3129 or email

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and author of Into the Shadows: Radical Vigilantes in Khatami’s Iran (Washington Institute, 2001); coauthor of Eternal Iran: Continuity and Chaos (Palgrave, 2005); and coeditor of Dissent and Reform in the Arab World: Empowering Democrats (American Enterprise Institute Press, 2008). Rubin was primary drafter of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s 2008 taskforce report, Meeting the Challenge: U.S. Policy toward Iranian Nuclear Development.

Elan Journo is a resident fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute focusing on foreign policy and the Middle East, and the editor of and chief contributor to Winning the Unwinnable War: America’s Self-Crippled Response to Islamic Totalitarianism (Lexington Press, 2009). He is also a contributing writer for “The Objective Standard,” a quarterly journal of culture and politics.

Sponsored by the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights