Alexey Khlebnikov, the senior editor of Russia Direct, moderated a webcast to discuss the outcomes of the Iranian nuclear talks, which were scheduled to conclude on Tuesday, March 31.

Carnegie’s Mario Abou Zeid and Petr Topychkanov, CIS Institute’s Vladimir Evseev, and MGIMO’s Chair of Middle Eastern Studies’ Nikolay Surkov discussed changes that have occurred in the Middle East in recent weeks, including Saudi-led airstrikes on Yemen against Houthi Shia rebels and the Arab League’s decision to form an Arab joint military force. The status of the Iran nuclear talks is crucial for the further development of the region. As major world powers, including France, Germany, Russia, the UK and the U.S., are involved in the talks and pursue their own interests it makes the issue even more complicated and urgent.


  • Petr Topychkanov, Associate in the Carnegie Moscow Center’s Nonproliferation Program;
  • Mario Abou Zeid, Research analyst at the Carnegie Middle East Center, where his work focuses on political developments in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Iran;
  • Nikolay Surkov, Assistant Professor at the MGIMO's Chair of Middle Eastern Studies;
  • Vladimir Evseev, Head of Caucasus Department of the CIS Institute, Director of the Center for Public Policy Research, Academic Secretary of the Coordinating Council of the Russian Academy of Sciences on forecasting.

What questions will we answer during the webcast?

  1. What are the main results of the talks in Lausanne?
  2. With crises in Yemen, Syria and Iraq, as well as the Arab League's decision to form an Arab joint military force, the Sunni-Shia rivalry is growing in intensity. How will this rivalry affect P5+1 attempts to reach a final deal with Iran?
  3. How can Russia affect the negotiation process with Iran?
  4. How do the Iran talks and situation in the Middle East affect Russia’s interests and position in the Middle East?
  5. What are the possible consequences for the region and Russia of the deal with Iran?

This interview was originally published by Russia Direct and broadcast on the Russia Direct Google+ Channel.