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July 4, 2011

ACNIS Looks at the Relation Between Iran and the Arab Revolutions

Yerevan—The Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS) today held a roundtable discussion to explore the impact of the Arab revolutionary movements on Iran.  The meeting brought together leading analysts, policy specialists, and members of the press.

ACNIS analyst Edgar Vardanian welcomed the audience with opening remarks and presented the day’s speaker, Dr. Ali Granmayeh, an international relations expert and a professor at London Middle East Institute of the University of London.

In his detailed presentation, Dr. Granmayeh noted that Iran’s reaction to the most recent revolutionary activities in the Middle East and North Africa could be compared with former Soviet Union’s position on the changes that occurred at the capitalist front thirty years ago. And this attitude, in the speaker’s view, is nothing but an attempt to distort the substance of the struggle for instating democratic values and to present this stance as the people’s discontentment against the system.

“By way of its official propaganda, Iran is trying to convince its own society that the revolutionary movements in the Arab world are not intended for democracy, liberties or socioeconomic reforms, but solely for Islam. One of Iranian ideology’s primary objectives is to demonstrate that the societies are no longer interested in calls and slogans for democracy because in these appeals they detect the seeds for the separation of state and religion, and this harms national interests,” Ali Granmayeh argued. He also specified the peculiarities of Iran’s standpoint toward the events which unrolled in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and elsewhere.

The presentation was followed by a series of questions and answers, and featured a lively exchange with the audience. The roundtable participants also included Hrant Ashjian of the “Ukht Ararati” initiative; Anna Nazaryan from Public Radio; Arkadi Movsisyan of Panorama.am news agency; ACNIS Administrative Director Karapet Kalenchian; and several others.

The Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS) is a leading independent strategic research center located in Yerevan, Armenia.  As an independent, objective institution committed to conducting professional policy research and analysis, ACNIS strives to raise the level of public debate and seeks to broaden public engagement in the public policy process, as well as fostering greater and more inclusive public knowledge. Founded in 1994, ACNIS is the institutional initiative of Raffi K. Hovannisian, Armenia’s first Minister of Foreign Affairs.  Over the past fifteen years, ACNIS has acquired a prominent reputation as a primary source of professional independent research and analysis covering a wide range of national and international policy issues.

For further information on the Center call (37410) 52-87-80 or 27-48-18; fax (37410) 52-48-46; email root@acnis.am or info@acnis.am; or visit www.acnis.am.

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