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NEWS RELEASE
March 30, 2011

Contact: Josh Block, jblock@ppionline.org
              Andrew Apostolou, apostolou@freedomhouse.org

Freedom House and Progressive Policy Institute Announce Iran Strategy Task Force

“Beyond Sanctions: The Next Iran Strategy”

WASHINGTON D.C. -- Freedom House and the Progressive Policy Institute today announced the creation of an Iran Strategy Task Force, Beyond Sanctions: The Next Iran Strategy. Convening leading scholars and analysts, the joint task force will formulate new approaches to dealing with Iran and make recommendations after meeting with key policymakers in the Obama Administration, Members and Staff in the U.S. Congress, other experts from the U.S. and abroad, and the diplomatic community.

Amidst recent revolutionary upheaval in the region, including renewed demonstrations and suppression in the Islamic Republic, it has become clear that the Obama Administration needs to rethink its Middle East strategy. At the core of that challenge will be how to deal with Iran.

Two years of attempted engagement with the Iranian regime have borne no fruit. Tehran continues its nuclear defiance and quest for regional hegemony. At the same time, the lack of internal popular support for the Iranian regime has become glaringly apparent. Unlike Arab dictatorships that have either fallen or made concessions to popular protests, the Iranian regime’s sole response is repression.

Led by Andrew Apostolou, Senior Program Manager for Iran at Freedom House, and Joshua Block, Senior Fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute, the Iran Strategy Task Force will focus on the non-nuclear aspects of the Iran issue, especially human rights and the conventional threat that Iran poses to the region in its quest for regional dominance. Beyond Sanctions: The Next Iran Strategy will provide a U.S. counter-strategy to that of the Iranian regime.

Former Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, David J. Kramer, the Executive Director of Freedom House said: “This exciting project will build on Freedom House’s successful and innovative Iran programming, as well as its unique Iranian human rights connections.  We are delighted to be teaming with PPI on this important venture.”

Will Marshall, the president and founder of the Progressive Policy Institute, said: “PPI believes a more democratic world is a safer world. The United States has failed to apply that principle to Iran, even as popular movements for freedom spread throughout the Middle East. It's time for a new approach.  Freedom House is an ideal partner in this critical, and timely, initiative.”

Celebrating its 70th anniversary, Freedom House is Washington’s oldest democracy promotion and human rights organization. The Progressive Policy Institute is Washington’s leading centre-left policy institute. To learn more about the organizations leading the task force, please visit their websites: www.freedomhouse.org & www.progressivefix.com


TASK FORCE MEMBERS:
Andrew Apostolou, co-chair, Freedom House
Joshua Block, co-chair, Progressive Policy Institute
Jim Arkedis, Progressive Policy Institute
Rafael Bardají, Atlantic Council/Fundación para el Análisis y los Estudios Sociales
Jeffrey Herf, University of Maryland
Ken Pollack, Saban Center for Middle East Policy, the Brookings Institution
Steve Beckerman, American Israel Public Affairs Committee
Renee Redman, Iran Human Rights Documentation Center
Ray Takeyh, Council on Foreign Relations
Michael Adler, Woodrow Wilson Center
Golnaz Esfandiari, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
 
ADVISORY COUNCIL:
David J. Kramer, Freedom House
Will Marshall, Progressive Policy Institute
Larry Diamond, Stanford University
Rob Satloff, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Walter Russell Mead, Bard College

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The Progressive Policy Institute is an independent research institution founded in 1989 that seeks to define and promote a new progressive politics in the 21st century. Through policy analysis and dialogue, PPI challenges the status quo and advocates for radical policy solutions.



Media inquiries should be sent to: Jblock@ppionline.org



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