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Iran Backgrounder 2-Pack

Program #SECL001-KINS001.

First Program: Iran: History & Politics -Laura Secor

Iran, a country of 80 million people, strategically straddles West and South Asia. Once in Washington’s hip pocket, Iran dramatically left the U.S. orbit in 1979 when the Shah was overthrown and the Islamic Republic was established. The “loss” of Iran was a major blow to Washington’s policy of dominating the Middle East and controlling its oil. Pretty much, ever since, the countries have been at loggerheads. The nuclear deal of 2015 was a breakthrough. However, there is a new sheriff in town and the rhetoric coming from the White House is belligerent. The President has tweeted, “Iran is playing with fire. They don't appreciate how 'kind' President Obama was to them. Not me!" Calling Iran, “the number one terror state,” he put it on the travel ban list. What’s going on inside Iran is largely unknown. Most media reports omit context and background.

Second Program: Iran: The 1953 American Coup -Stephen Kinzer 

Regime change started decades ago. The new term is just a change of clothes. Dwight Eisenhower was president when the U.S. overthrew the popular democratic government of Mohammad Mossadegh in Iran in 1953. What was Mossadegh's transgression? He wanted Iran's oil to benefit the Iranian people. The coup brought the shah back from exile and put him on the Peacock Throne. What ensued was 25 years of tyranny and repression culminating in Ayatollah Khomeini's Islamic Revolution. The coup in Iran was a pivotal event of the 20th century. Virtually all Iranians know about it. Yet most Americans haven't even heard of it. The U.S. professes that it supports democracy in the Middle East yet when there was a democratic government in Iran the U.S. destroyed it.

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