The U.S. & Iran: A Breakthrough Moment?


Suzanne DiMaggio, Senior Fellow & Director of the Southwest Asia Program, New America Foundation

On 27 September 2012, President Barack Obama telephoned Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani — it was the first direct diplomatic contact between the two countries’ leaders since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Two months later, the United States and its P5+1 partners (Britain, China, France, Germany, and Russia) reached an initial nuclear agreement with Iran. The first-stage deal freezes key elements of Iran's nuclear program in exchange for limited sanctions relief and provides negotiators with a six-month time frame to work toward a comprehensive and lasting accord. Taken together, these dramatic developments have led many to ask if we are at a potential breakthrough moment in U.S.–Iran relations.

Join us as Suzanne DiMaggio, Senior Fellow and Director of the Southwest Asia Program at the New America Foundation, explores the secret negotiations that led to the interim deal and what it will take to reach a final nuclear agreement. She also will assess the prospects for U.S. dialogue with Iran on issues related to the broader Middle East and Southwest Asia, and U.S.-Iran normalization after 35 years of estrangement and hostility.


About Suzanne DiMaggio

Suzanne DiMaggio is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Southwest Asia Program at the New America Foundation. An expert dialogue practitioner, she leads New America’s Iran Initiative, which includes a Track II component that quietly brings together influential and knowledgeable Americans and Iranians to discuss issues of interest to both countries. The New America Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy institute. With an emphasis on big ideas, impartial analysis and pragmatic solutions in the areas of domestic and foreign policy, New America invests in outstanding individuals whose ability to communicate to wide and influential audiences can change the country's policy discourse in critical areas, bringing promising ideas and debates to the fore.

She previously was Vice President of Global Policy Programs at Asia Society, where she led initiatives focused on developing effective policy responses to the most critical challenges facing the United States and Asia. As Vice President of Policy Programs at the United Nations Association, she directed a U.S.-Iran Track II dialogue from 2002-2007, which served as one of the few bridges facilitating sustained, face-to-face discussions between Americans and Iranians during that period. She is the author of a chapter on U.S.-Iran Track II diplomacy in The Iran Primer: Power, Politics and U.S. Policy, which was published by the U.S. Institute of Peace. She has visited Iran four times during the past eight years.


In collaboration with the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth. Business and policy programs at Asia Society Texas Center are made possible by support from United Airlines—Official Airline of Asia Society Texas Center. Additional support provided by Asia Society contributors and members.

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Event Details

Thu 01 May 2014
7:00 PM
1370 Southmore Blvd. Houston, TX 77004 713.496.9901
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