The danger of war between the U.S. and Iran is increasing. U.S. forces virtually surround Iran. And they are being ramped up. In classic gunboat diplomacy a U.S. aircraft carrier battle group is positioned off the coast of Iran. Imagine if Iran had a naval armada off of New York or had troops in Canada. Why would Iran risk an armed confrontation with Washington? U.S. firepower would obliterate it. The Secretary of State demands that Iran “behave like a normal nation.” By that does he mean like the U.S. with its bases everywhere and almost $ trillion military budget? Why did the U.S. abandon the Iran deal which according to the UN was working? Instead of sending warships, missiles and bombers to the Persian Gulf, Washington should send diplomats. We should have dialogue rather than hectoring and threatening war. Interviewed by David Barsamian. Recorded at the University of Denver.
The U.S. and Iran are on a collision course. The name-calling and saber rattling are ominous. The New York Times headline reads: “Iran Calls U.S. ‘Desperate and Confused.’ Trump vows ‘Obliteration.’” Is Iran going to commit suicide by attacking the world’s most lethal military? Washington is exerting what it calls “maximum pressure” on Iran and on anyone who wants to do business with that country. For most Iranians the punitive sanctions the U.S. has imposed are a form of warfare, albeit the economic kind. The Iran nuclear deal was working just fine according to the UN when Washington unilaterally abandoned it thus triggering the current crisis and the slide to war. The attitude emanating from Washington is more like that of a bully: You do what I tell you or else. Respectful dialogue is what is needed, not hectoring and badgering. Interviewed by David Barsamian. Recorded at KGNU.
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.
Recorded at the Pacific Asia Museum.
Ervand Abrahamian is distinguished professor emeritus of Iranian and Middle Eastern history and politics at the City University of New York. He is the author of Iran Between Two Revolutions, A History of Modern Iran and The Coup: 1953, the CIA, and the Roots of Modern U.S.-Iranian Relations.
Nader Hashemi is the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Denver. He is the author of Islam, Secularism & Liberal Democracy and co-editor of The People Reloaded. He is a contributor to David Barsamian’s Retargeting Iran book.
Stephen Kinzer was a New York Times correspondent and bureau chief in Nicaragua, Germany and Turkey. He teaches at Brown University. He is author of many books including Poisoner in Chief: Sydney Gottlieb & the CIA Search for Mind Control.