Events Calendar

Iranian Religious Presence in the Republic of Azerbaijan: Roots, Forms and Security Implications @ Conference Room 505
Jun 21 @ 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
Iranian Religious Presence in the Republic of Azerbaijan: Roots, Forms and Security Implications @ Conference Room 505

with Fuad Aliyev

Fulbright Scholar at the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University
Iranian religious influence in Azerbaijan has recently become a ‘hot’ topic. However, there is little insiderknowledge, or data-based analysis of the situation on the ground. Is Iran indeed capable of usingreligious activists as its fifth column in the Republic of Azerbaijan? How are Iran-backed groupsorganized and funded? What are Iran’s real threats to various Azerbaijani strategic projects?
Azerbaijan has been the subject of Iranian political interests and religious influence since the first days ofits independence. Due to the contemporary interpretations of the Shi’a principles and the way it isintertwined with the political system of post-revolutionary Iran, the relationship between the twocountries is indeed a matter of concern for Azerbaijan.
Although the Azerbaijani government has always feared Iran’s possible aspirations and capacities toinfluence its domestic affairs using the Shi’a believers as the key channel through which to exert pressure,Iranian official and semi-official organizations have been allowed to spread their version of Islamthroughout Azerbaijan. However, recent developments, public statements, “spy” and “terror” plots, massprotests, arrests in both countries, and the revival of tensions around the Iranian nuclear weaponsprogram show that the previously set lines in the relations between two countries have been crossed.Understanding the roots, forms and security implications of Iranian religious influence in Azerbaijan mayprove to be helpful in forecasting possible outcomes of this relationship.
Fuad Aliyev is a Fulbright Scholar at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced InternationalStudies’ Central Asia – Caucasus Institute. Dr. Aliyev has a Master of Arts degree in Political Sciencefrom the Central European University (Budapest, Hungary) and PhD in Economics from AzerbaijanState Economic University. Dr. Aliyev previously worked as Department Head at the FinancialMonitoring Service under the Central Bank of the Republic of Azerbaijan. He authored severalpublications on Islamic economics and finance, and Islamic activism in Central Asia and the Caucasus.
Central Asia, Iran, and the Nuclear Landscape in Asia @ Lindner Commons, 6th Floor
Nov 14 @ 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM
Central Asia, Iran, and the Nuclear Landscape in Asia @ Lindner Commons, 6th Floor
Co-sponsored by the Sigur Center for Asian Studies’ Rising Powers Initiative
9:00  9:30 AM Registration and Breakfast
9:30  9:45 AM Welcoming Remarks by Douglas Shaw, Associate Dean for Planning, Research and External Relations, GWU
9:45  11:15 AM Panel I. Asia’s Changing Nuclear Landscape
Chair: Douglas Shaw, Associate Dean for Planning, Research andExternal Relations, GWU
Japan’s Nuclear Tremors: Domestic Debates about Energy & Security after 3/
Mike MochizukiSigur Center for Asian Studies, GWU
China’s Nuclear Priorities–Implications for Iran and Central Asia
Robert Sutter, Sigur Center for Asian Studies, GWU
India’s Evolving Nuclear Discourse and Search for Policy Coherence
Deepa Ollapally, Sigur Center for Asian Studies, GWU
11:15  11:30 AM Coffee Break
11:30  1:00PM Panel II. The Iranian Question and its Regional Environment
Chair: Cory Welt, Ponars Eurasia, IERES, GWU
Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions:  US and Israeli Threat Perceptions
Janne Nolan, Elliott School of International Affairs, GWU
Partners or Rivals? Contextualizing the Russian-Iranian Nuclear Relationship
Jeff Mankoff, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
Central Asia’s Viewpoint on being in Iran’s Vicinity
Marlene Laruelle, Central Asia Program, IERES, GWU
1:00  2:00 PM Lunch
2:00  3:30 PM Panel III. Central Asia’s Nuclear Strategies and Challenges
Chair: Deepa Ollapally, Sigur Center for Asian Studies, GWU
Managing Radioactive Waste in Central Asia: Successes and Challenges
Dauren Aben, Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies, Almaty
Kazakhstan in the Global Nuclear Order: Carving Out a Role That Matters
Togzhan Kassenova, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Nuclear Domestic Debates in Kazakhstan: Public Opinion and Expert Controversies
Sebastien Peyrouse, Central Asia Program, IERES, GWU
3:30 PM Wrapup
The Sigur Center gratefully acknowledges the support of the John D. and Catherine T.MacArthur Foundation for this conference.
International Water Day @ Conference Room 505
Mar 21 @ 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
International Water Day @ Conference Room 505
Marlene Laruelle, Central Asia Program, George Washington University
Julia Collins, Women and Water Project
Marcus King, George Washington University
Barbara Miller, Global Gender Program, George Washington University
Amanda Klasing, Human Rights Watch
Rebecca Fishman, WASH Advocates
Kara Gerson, Voss Foundation
In 1993, the United Nations declared March 22nd as the official “World Day for Water”,with the aim to raise awareness and focus attention on sustainably managing thisimportant resource. This year World Water Day focuses on the interplay of Energy andWater. In honor of this day, the State Department-funded Women and Water Project atGW’s Elliott School, along with WASH Advocates, invite you to a roundtable breakfastevent to discuss energy and water challenges and share knowledge on improvingmanagement and governance through enhanced participation of women and socialinclusion.
Are US strategic interests in Azerbaijan at risk? @ Voesar Conference Room
Mar 25 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Are US strategic interests in Azerbaijan at risk? @ Voesar Conference Room

with Dr. Farhad Aliyev, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute

The current US policy of disengagement from Southern Eurasia may have  a negative impact upon the US strategic interests in the region in the long-run, with Azerbaijan becoming more vulnerable to falling under Russia’s influence and having to manage a difficult relationship to Iran. Moreover, domestic evolutions are on their way: roll back in democratization and the influence of changes in values among the youth, especially under the influence of Turkey’s internal changes, may make the US position in the country more difficult.