November 22, 2020
Discussion with Karmel Melamed and George Haroonian
Karmel Melamed is an award winning internationally published journalist and attorney based in Los Angeles. As a journalist since 2000, he has given a new voice to the emerging and successful Iranian American community-- including Iranian Jews. His articles have appeared in the Jerusalem Post, JTA International Wire News Service, Orange County Register, the Times of Israel, Arutz Sheva News, L.A. Jewish Journal and the Forward.
George Haroonian is a community activist. He was born in Tehran and arrived in the United States in 1970 to pursue his university studies. Since his early youth he has been active in political and community affairs. In 1995, he was instrumental in organizing the community in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles to support Brad Sherman’s first run for the congressional district. The Iranian Community’s vote was the difference between Brad Sherman’s and his opponent. He heard from the community and was responsive on various issues of interest to the community. In 1990’s he was member of editorial of Iranian Jewish magazine, Chashm Andaaz . From 2000 to 2004, Mr. Haroonian was the president of the Council of Iranian American Jewish Organizations, actively involved in efforts to bring the unjust arrest and show trial of the famed “Shiraz 13” to the international public opinion, and mobilizing the community in their defense. He was actively involved in keeping the issue of the “ Missing 11 Iranian Jews” alive (the ones who are missing and believed to be captive of the Islamic Republic while trying to leave Iran through Pakistan border). He has Conducted radio program exclusively dealing with the issues of the Iranian Jewish community. He has appeared as a guest on Radio Israel Farsi Program. VOA, Iran International TV, Pars Israel TV and BBC Farsi about the Iranian Jewish community and Iran-Israel relations.
Regime Change in Iran: Misconceptions and Public Opinion
November 1, 2020
Discussion with Farahmand Kalayeh, Samuel Nima Shahan, and Iman Foroutan, PhD
Farahmand Kalayeh currently serves as the Chief Commercial Officer of Edlore, LLC an Industrial digital engineering software company based in California. Farahmand has been an advocate for human rights and equal rights for all minorities specifically in Iran. He also serves on the board member of a number of NGOs and organizations which are seeking a peaceful transition to secular democracy for Iran. He recently joined http://www.ARAMIran.org as the board member, an NGO based in New York City. ARAM'S mission is to monitor the human rights abuses and the persecution of the religious minorities, women and LGBT in Iran. His vision is to gather Iranian groups unified under one singular goal of accelerating the pace of transition from the current theocratic clerics rule to a secular democracy.
Samuel Nima Shahan received his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Bluefield College. He is a registered nurse and is currently working towards his Masters degree to be a Family Nurse Practitioner. As far as political activities go, Sam supports a constitutional monarchy for Iran, but has not been formally affiliated with any organizations. He advocates for human rights through online campaigns and anti-regime events.
Iman Foroutan, PhD is an entrepreneur with over 35 years of experience in Information Technology, Software Design and Entertainment industries. He is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of a few companies including Contest Factory, Classitech, and Virtual NGO. Prior to his entrepreneurial journeys, Dr. Foroutan held senior management positions in the Defense Industry as well as consulting positions with DARPA and US Air Force. He holds multiple US patents on Systems and Methods for Voting in Online Contests.
For the last 20 years Dr. Foroutan has also been focusing his efforts on bringing about democracy and human rights to Iran, where he was born but has not visited for almost 40 years. Dr. Foroutan is the founder and the current Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Executive Director of The New Iran, a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring about democracy and human rights to Iran. Dr. Foroutan has been very involved in philanthropic causes and was a member of the Innovation Board of XPrize. He is also the founder and President of Foroutan Foundation whose mission is to provide financial support to high achievement high school graduates for attending top US universities.
Dr. Foroutan received his Bachelors, Masters and Ph.D. degrees from University of California in Irvine in Electrical and Computer Engineering, with an emphasis on Image Processing and Pattern Recognition. In addition to his leadership and other activities in The New Iran, Dr. Foroutan is also leading the “First 100 Days” project where a group of Iranian experts from inside and outside Iran collaborate to develop a roadmap for the first 100 days after the collapse of the Islamic Regime, in order to minimize the potential chaos in the country following IRI’s downfall.
How the Iranian American Community Can Oppose the Islamic Republic Pseudo-Lobbies in the US?
October 11, 2020
Discussion with Shayan Arya, Jessica Emami, PhD, and Hamed Salimi, MBA
Shayan Arya is an Iran expert, human rights activist, and a member of the Central Committee of the Constitutionalist Party of Iran (Liberal Democrat).
Jessica Emami, PhD is a sociologist and academician. Her areas of concentration are civic and political engagement of immigrants, the Iranian American diaspora, and globalization.
Hamed Salimi, MBA is a software engineer and sociopolitical analyst.
Iran and Hezbollah: A Worldwide Terror Network
September 24, 2020
Discussion with Emanuele Ottolenghi, PhD
Emanuele Ottolenghi, PhD is a senior fellow at FDD and an expert at FDD’s Center on Economic and Financial Power (CEFP) focused on Hezbollah’s Latin America illicit threat networks and Iran’s history of sanctions evasion. His research has examined Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, including its links to the country’s energy sector and procurement networks. His areas of expertise also include the EU’s Middle East policymaking, transatlantic relations, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and Israel’s domestic politics. Prior to joining FDD, Emanuele headed the Transatlantic Institute in Brussels and taught Israel Studies at St. Antony’s College, Oxford University.
Iran and Snapback Sanctions
August 23, 2020
Discussion with Richard Goldberg
Richard Goldberg is a senior advisor at FDD. From 2019-2020, Richard served as the Director for Countering Iranian Weapons of Mass Destruction for the White House National Security Council. He previously served as chief of staff for Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and deputy chief of staff and senior foreign policy adviser to former U.S. Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois in both the U.S. House and Senate.
America's Iran Policy after the 2020 US Presidential Elections
August 4, 2020
Discussion with Alireza Nader and Michael Pregent
Alireza Nader is a senior fellow at the Foundations for Defense of Democracies focusing on Iran and U.S. policy in the Middle East. He also researches the Islamic Republic’s systematic repression of religious freedom and currently serves on ADL’s Task Force on Middle East Minorities.
Mike Pregent is a senior fellow at Hudson Institute. He is a senior Middle East analyst, a former adjunct lecturer for the College of International Security Affairs, and a visiting fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University.