SPUI25 on Location: Iran and its four fronts. Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen

7th Annual Sadighi lecture. In cooperation with International Institute for Social History

27mei2016 17.00 - 19.00


The powers surrounding Iran have changed dramatically over the past years. Political confrontations, armed struggles and proxy wars in Syria, Iraq and Yemen have created new opposition to “Iranian hegemony”. With Iran’s recent “nuclear deal” and the Russian intervention in Syria, it is clear that Iran is witnessing a defining moment in its history. A lecture by Ziad Majed, researcher of Middle East Studies and International Relations at the American University of Paris.

The US invasion of Iraq in 2003 modified the political configuration in the Levant, offering Iran the opportunity to rise as the strongest regional power. With new allies governing in Bagdad, old allies governing in Damascus and a powerful ally (Hezbollah) controlling South Lebanon, Teheran became directly involved in three Arab scenes, with a strategic depth and a territorial continuity. Moreover, Iran’s ties with Hamas and the Islamic Jihad allowed it to be at the heart of the Palestinian Israeli conflict.

In 2011, the Syrian revolution challenged this regional configuration. Developments that followed in Syria, Iraq and Yemen have shown the rise of other Middle Eastern powers opposed to what they call “Iranian hegemony”. Political confrontations, armed struggles, proxy wars and changing alliances have since put Iran on different fronts.

Today, it is still uncertain how Iran’s “nuclear deal” with western powers on one side, and the Russian military intervention in Syria on the other, would affect those fronts. What is certain, however, is that the Levant is witnessing a new founding moment, after 1916, 1948, 1973 and 1979.

The program will be opened by Touraj Atabaki. After Majed's lecture, Peyman Jafari will join the stage for a discussion. The public will also get a chance to ask questions or share in the discussion. 

Ziad Majed © Majd Eid

About the speakers

Ziad Majed is a researcher and an assistant professor of Middle East Studies and International Relations at the American University of Paris. He is the coordinator of the "Arab Network for the Study of Democracy" and the author of research papers and articles on political transitions in Syria, Lebanon and the Arab region. His latest publication is "Syrie, le Révolution Orpheline" (Syria, the Orphan Revolution), Actes Sud, Paris 2014.

Peyman Jafari is a lecturer in global politics at the University of Amsterdam and publishes on the political economy, social movements, oil and labour in the Middle East. He is co-editor of Iran in the Middle East: Transnational Encounters and Social History (I.B. Taurus, 2015) and the author of The Other Iran: From the Revolution to the Present (in Dutch) (Ambo, 2009).

Touraj Atabaki (moderator) is a social historian affiliated to the International Institute of Social History and held the chair of Social History of the Middle East and Central Asia at Leiden University. He first studied theoretical physics and then history. He is the author of numerous books and articles on the social and political movements in modern Iran, Turkey, the Caucasus and Central Asia.

7th Annual Sadighi Lecture

The Sadighi Research Fund was established with generous support from the Centre for Iranian Documentation and Research (CIDR) at the International Institute of Social history (IISH). This Fund provides funding to scholars undertaking projects on the social history of Iran. The Annual Lectures constitute one of the key pillars of Sadighi Research Fund’s objectives. Each year an eminent scholar is invited to present a lecture related to social sciences on topics of her/his respective expertise.


You can sign up for this program for free. Subscribing is not non-commital: we count on your presence. If you are unable to attend, please let us know via spui25@uva.nl | T: +31 (0)20 525 8142.


The location of this event is the OBA Theater, which is situated at the seventh floor of the Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam, Oosterdokskade 143, 1011 DL Amsterdam

Gepubliceerd door  Spui25