18 to 23 April 2017
In 2017, the members of the Körber Network Foreign Policy embarked on an insightful Field Trip to the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Körber Foundation in cooperation with the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS) offered the network an extensive programme on the security policy in the region and its implications for German and European foreign and security policy. In the run-up to the presidential elections, the members engaged with representatives of politics, culture, academia and civil society.
The programme began with an engaging talk with Dr. Majid Takht-Ravanchi, Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs. During the course of three panel discussions, the members spoke with Mehrdad Kiaei, Head of Middle East Department (IPIS), about the ongoing crisis in the Middle East and discussed human rights issues with Ambassador Rezvani, Head of International Law Department (IPIS). The discussions concluded with an insightful exchange on Iranian-European relations with the Head of Europe Department (IPIS), Kiumars Javidnia. The briefing with Ms. Nezhadi, Deputy of the Vice President for Women and Family Affairs, was followed by an interesting exchange with Dr. Kamal Dehghani Firouzabadi, Deputy Chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee in the Iranian Parliament.
On the following day, the network conversed with Natalie Amiri, foreign correspondent of the German news network ARD in Teheran, about the upcoming presidential elections and then travelled to Qom. In Qom, the network visited the mesmerizing Ayatollah Marashi-Najafi Library, the house of late Imam Khomeini, the Islamic Institute of International Studies and the Fatima Masumeh Holy Shrine. After the visits, the members spoke with Ayatollah Alavi Boroujerdi. In Isfahan, they looked at the Armenian Vank Cathedral, proceeded by a guided tour over the Naqsh-e Jahan Square and the Masjid-e Mosque and met with the Deputy Governor-General of Isfahan. At IPIS the network spoke to students of the School of International Relations about A ‘Westphalia’ for the Middle East? followed by a discussion with Dr. Seyed Kazem Sajjadpour, Deputy Foreign Minister for Education and Research and President of the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS), and spoke with Alireza Khani, editor-in-chief of the newspaper Ettela’at, about the media landscape in Iran. After a guided tour through the Iranology Foundation and the headquarters of Press TV, the network visited the Tajrish Mosque. During dinner, the network spoke about civil society in Iran. The field trip concluded with a talk with Marian Schuegraf, Deputy Head of Mission and Chargée d’Affaires a.i., and a visit of the exhibition Berlin-Rome Travelers in the Museum of Modern Art in Teheran.