Iran: The Struggle for Democracy
Zhou Enlai of China once said, “One of the delightful things about Americans is that they have absolutely no historical memory.” Perhaps the former Chinese premier was being too harsh, but then again maybe he wasn’t. Take the case of Iran. Some people remember the 1979 hostage crisis when Iranians stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and took 53 Americans hostage. But how many recall the coup the U.S. engineered that put the Shah back in power thus crushing democracy in Iran? The consequences of the coup were enormous and ultimately led to the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran. While Iran remains a repressive theocracy the struggle for democracy, spurred by women and young people, continues.
Interviewed by David Barsamian.
Nader Hashemi is the Director of the Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University. He obtained his doctorate from the University of Toronto. He was previously the founding Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Denver. He has been interviewed on PBS, NPR, BBC, CNN and Al Jazeera. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and The Nation. He is the author of Islam, Secularism and Liberal Democracy and co-editor of The People Reloaded: The Green Movement and the Struggle for Iran’s Future, The Syria Dilemma, Sectarianization: Mapping the New Politics of the Middle East and a four-volume study on Islam and Human Rights. He is a contributor to Retargeting Iran edited by David Barsamian.