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Middle East Focus is a weekly podcast featuring talk and analysis on U.S. foreign policy, contemporary political and social issues in the Middle East, and the arts and culture of region. It is produced by the Middle East Institute, a non-partisan think tank in Washington, D.C. For more information visit

Sep 23, 2022

Today's episode challenges preconceived notions about Iranian society, the hijab, and the regime clinging to power in Tehran. Joining us today for a highly enlightening conversation are two Iran experts, Marjan Keypour Greenblatt and Alex Vatanka. Marjan is the founder and director of the Alliance for Rights of All Minorities (ARAM), a non-resident scholar with MEI’s Iran Program, and a member of the Anti-Defamation League’s Task Force on Middle East Minorities. Alex is the director of MEI’s Iran Program and a Senior Fellow with the Frontier Europe Initiative. He is the author of the 2021 book The Battle of the Ayatollahs in Iran: The United States, Foreign Policy and Political Rivalry Since 1979.