Iran Protests: What is the Responsibility of the Free World?


TIME:  18:00 – 19:00, Monday 26th February 2018

VENUE: Committee Room 18, House of Commons, Westminster, London SW1A 0AA


Mariam Memarsadeghi
Co-Founder & Co-Director of Tavaana: E-Learning Institute for Iranian Civil Society

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Late last year, and for the second time, in a decade, Iran was rocked by nationwide protests. While the scale of the protests is undeniable, the extent to which outside countries should provide support and assistance has proven contentious. Though a democratic and peaceful Iran is in the West’s interests, many governments have remained cautious. Advocates of this approach argue that being seen to take the side of the protesters could strengthen the hand of the regime, by strengthening its claim that events are being manipulated by external actors. However, supporters of democratic change reject such caution, noting that the failure of the 2009 protests to bring about meaningful change demonstrates the need for international solidarity at this critical time.

By kind invitation of Bob Blackman MP, The Henry Jackson is delighted to invite you to an event with Mariam Memarsadeghi, Co-Founder & Co-Director of Tavaana. Ms. Memarsadeghi will argue that, contrary to conventional wisdom, staying silent undermines the forces campaigning for democratic change, and aids the Iranian regime’s crackdown. She will also present a number of practical measures that Western governments and civil society institutions can adopt, in order to provide practical support to popular protests.

Mariam Memarsadeghi

Mariam Memarsadeghi is co-founder and co-director of Tavaana: E-Learning Institute for Iranian Civil Society. Launched in 2010, the virtual institute offers secure democracy and human rights educational opportunities, from graduate level seminars to animated PSAs, short tutorials, case studies of democratic transitions, panel discussions, translated ebooks, comedy skits and more. Now a household brand, Tavaana reaches millions of Iranians each day via live e-classrooms, correspondence learning, satellite TV, robust social media networks and a mobile app.  TavaanaTech provides the Iranian people with digital literacy training, digital safety alerts and tech solutions for access to a free, safe internet. Ms. Memarsadeghi is an outspoken advocate for the principles of liberalism, women’s rights, civic education and internet freedom, particularly in Islamic contexts.  Her writings have appeared in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and other publications.  She is a frequent speaker at think tanks and has appeared on the PBS NewsHour, NPR and other English, Persian and Arabic language news programs.  Ms. Memarsadeghiis a 2017 Presidential Leadership Scholar and has been recognized by the Bertelsmann Foundation and the German Marshall Fund as a TransAtlantic Young Leader for her work promoting democracy and human rights internationally.


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