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Hon. Benjamin L. Cardin, Chairman
Hon. Alcee L. Hastings, Co-Chairman
For Immediate Release
July 13, 2009


WASHINGTON—Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission), and Co-Chairman Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) announced today they will hold a hearing on:

The Impact of the Iran Crisis on its OSCE Neighbors

WHEN: 2 p.m., Thursday, July 16, 2009

WHERE: B-318 Rayburn House Office Building

A number of Iran’s OSCE neighbors including Russia, in and around the Caucasus, and in Central Asia are watching the still-unfolding events in Teheran with great interest. Some of these neighboring states have records of dubious elections, media clamp downs and suppression of street protests that make developments in Iran particularly unsettling.

Especially in the former Soviet space, leaders and publics closely watch activities in other countries. The precedent of “color revolutions” is a first-order nightmare for repressive governments. While opposition movements and civic activists take heart from massive post-election street protests in neighboring states, ruling regimes are appalled.

This hearing will go beyond the opaque internal situation in Iran to focus on the implications of events there on neighboring OSCE states, and what developments mean for the course of democracy throughout the region. The following panelists are scheduled to speak:

• Former Assistant Secretary of State David Kramer, Senior Fellow, German Marshall Fund of the United States
• Ms. Jennifer Windsor, Executive Director, Freedom House
• Dr. Stephen Blank, Research Professor of National Security Affairs, Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College
Media Contact: Neil Simon
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Representative Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Commissioner on the U.S. Helsinki Commission, calls for more revenue transparency in the extractive industries May 28, 2009, at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly Economic Conference in Dublin