Inside Iran: Understanding Rouhani, the IRGC, and the Supreme Leader

October 16, 2013
12:15 pm -

Event Description

A conversation with Ali Alfoneh, J. Matthew McInnis, and Chris Griffin

A joint briefing with the Foreign Policy Initiative.

Ali Alfoneh is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), and a top expert on Iran and the inner workings of its regime. Alfoneh came to FDD from the American Enterprise Institute, where he worked as a resident fellow specializing on civil-military relations in Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. He is the originator of the thesis that the Islamic Republic is transforming into a military dictatorship, which he first published in 2005, and has since been adopted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Alfoneh is the author of Iran Unveiled: How the Revolutionary Guards Is Transforming Iran from Theocracy into Military Dictatorship. He holds a B.A. and K.A. from the University of Copenhagen.

J. Matthew McInnis is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he focuses on Iran, specifically its intentions, strategic culture, military power, and goals. He also works on US defense and regional security issues in the Persian Gulf (Iran, Iraq, and the Arabian Peninsula) and on the effectiveness of the US intelligence community. Before joining AEI, McInnis served as a senior analyst and in other leadership positions for the U.S. Department of Defense. McInnis has a master’s degree in international relations from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and another master’s degree in European studies from New York University. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in international studies from Eckerd College in Florida.

Christopher J. Griffin is the executive director of the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI). Previously, he served as legislative director to Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (ID-CT), and between 2008 and 2011, was the senator’s military legislative assistant, with responsibility for the senator’s legislative agenda as a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Prior to joining Senator Lieberman’s staff, Mr. Griffin was a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy (2005-2008), where he focused on U.S. foreign and defense policy toward the Asia-Pacific. During his time at AEI, Mr. Griffin was also a contributing editor to the Armed Forces Journal, writing feature articles on international defense industrial cooperation and a monthly column titled the “Blogs of War.” Mr. Griffin’s writings have been published in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. Mr. Griffin received a B.A. in international studies from Austin College in Sherman, Texas, and an M.A. in international studies from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC.