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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 9, 2009
9:59 AM

CONTACT: Iran Analysts

Where Is the Iranian Movement Going?

A conversation with leading Iran analysts and Iranian reform movement figures Featuring Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Fatemeh Haghighatjoo and Hamid Dabashi on the 10th Anniversary of the "18th of Tir" Protests in Iran

- July 9 - Conference call time: Thursday July 9, NOON ET 

Conference Dial-in Number: (218) 844-8230
Participant Access Code: 1027804#

The Huffington Post is hosting a teleconference on July 9 with Mohsen Makhmalbaf (spokesperson for the Mir-Hossein Moussavi's campaign abroad), Fatemeh Haghighatjoo (former Iranian parliamentarian) and Hamid Dabashi (Columbia University professor). 

On the 18th of Tir (July 9) in 1999, students protesting the closing of the reformist newspaper Salaam were attacked in their dormitories in Tehran and Tabriz.  Protests continued for six days and culminated with thousands of Iranians demonstrating for democracy and civil rights. At the time, it was the biggest display of popular discontent in the Islamic Republic's history.  The demonstrations were eventually broken up by riot police. 

Thursday marks the 10th anniversary of the 18th of Tir.  The date has been marked annually by demonstrations over the past decade, but given the events of the last several weeks, the anniversary takes on special significance. Reports indicatethat reformists are also planning events within Iran.  

This teleconference will give journalists the opportunity to speak with leading Iran analysts and Iranian reform movement figures as they reflect on the 18th of Tir and offer insights on the future of the movement.  

Mohsen Makhmalbaf is a world-renowned Iranian filmmaker.  Largely credited with helping launch Iranian new wave cinema, Makhmalbaf has won numerous awards and his films have been featured in major festivals worldwide.  As of June 12, 2009, following the events of the Iranian presidential election, Makhmalbaf was made the official spokesman of Mir-Hossein Moussavi's campaign abroad.  Since, then he has continuously drawn international attention to allegations of voter fraud and human rights abuses in Iran. 

Fatemeh Haghighatjoo, an Iranian citizen, is a human rights activist and former parliamentarian in the 6th Majils (Iran's reform parliament) from 2000 to 2004.  During her time in parliament, she was renowned as an articulate and fearless advocate of human rights and women's rights in particular and was president of the Student Movement Caucus.  Haghighatjoo is currently visiting scholar at the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Hamid Dabashi is the Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University in New York.  Having received a dual Ph.D. in Sociology of Culture and Islamic Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, Dabashi is the author over 18 books, most recently Iran: A People Interrupted.  Dabashi is also a well-respected public commentator on culture, society and politics and has written extensively on the current Iranian opposition movement.

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