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Körber Network Foreign Policy – Field Trip to Iran

31. August bis 5. September 2007

The participants of this year’s field trip from the Chancellor’s office, the Foreign Ministry, the Federal Ministry of Defence, the Bundestag, and the European Commission and Council were able to gain a personal impression of the current political situation in Iran and the domestic and foreign policy challenges facing the country. The talks, held with representatives from the worlds of politics, business and society in general, centred on subjects like the negotiations on the nuclear issue, relations between Iran and the EU and the USA, and the Iranian government’s energy policy.

During the two-day stay in Tehran, the group was received by the Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs, H.E. Dr. Saeed Jalili, and by Dr. Mahmoud Vaezi, the Deputy Head of Foreign Policy Research at the Center for Strategic Research. The challenges connected with the Iranian energy policy were the focus of talks held at the Institute for International Energy Studies with Dr. Ali Asghar Zarei, the Director of the Institute. The political discussions in Tehran were concluded by a comprehensive briefing from Dr. Dr. Dietrich Fritz Pohl, Minister Counsellor and Deputy Head of the German embassy in Tehran, lectures given by Alexander Jung (politics & press) and Peer Horstmann (economics & trade), and a visit to the Islamic Azad University, the largest private university in the country.

A reception at the Imam Khomeini Education and Research Institute in Qom, given by the Director for International Relations, A. Haghani, provided an opportunity for a lively debate on issues related to inter-religious dialogue, the way that Muslims, Christians and Jews live together in the multi-ethnic country of Iran – and the current political situation in the Middle East.

In Isfahan, regional issues were discussed at a meeting with the Deputy Governor for Political Affairs in the province of Isfahan, Nadr ol Asl.

The Körber Foundation organizes a field trip to a focal point of German and European foreign policy once a year as part of the Körber Network Foreign Policy.

Field trips took participants of the Körber Network Foreign Policy to Serbia/Kosovo in 2005 and Georgia in 2006.

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