Monday, Jan. 13, 2020
Doors open at 5:30 p.m.; program begins at 6 p.m.
The Sebastian-Vail |Vail
Forty years ago, a group of Iranian militants seized 98 people at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in what became known as the Iran hostage crisis. All remaining hostages were released from captivity 444 days later. But the damage was done. In the intervening decades, Americans have held an overwhelmingly unfavorable view of Iran. According to 2019 Gallup polling, 82 percent of Americans view Iran unfavorably.
The current administration has pursued a policy of “maximum pressure” against Iran which includes harsh economic sanctions and pulling out of the Iran Nuclear Treaty that was negotiated during the Obama Administration and included five other major powers. For its part, Iran has not shied away from provocative and deadly behavior towards the United States and its Middle Eastern allies.
On January 3, 2020, Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds military force and one of the most powerful figures in the Islamic Republic, was killed in an American airstrike in Baghdad. Did the United States avert escalating hostilities with this airstrike, or throw gasoline on the fire?
In this incredibly timely program, Milani will provide a look into the turbulent internal dynamics of Iranian society, particularly as it relates to its troubled economy, rising unemployment and inflation, diminished options on oil, questions of succession and an increasingly assertive women’s movement. Will Iran be more democratic in the future? And how will recent events impact the United States’ policy and relationship with Iran?
As events continue to unfold, this program will undoubtedly change as well to reflect the most up-to-date information and news.
Abbas Milani is the Hamid & Christina Moghadam Director of Iranian Studies at Stanford University. He has been one of the founding co-directors of the Iran Democracy Project and a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. His expertise is U.S.-Iran relations as well as Iranian cultural, political and security issues. Until 1986, he taught at Tehran University’s Faculty of Law and Political Science, where he was also a member of the Board of Directors of the university’s Center for International Relations. After moving to the United States, he was the Chair of the Political Science Department at the Notre Dame de Namur University for 14 years. For eight years, he was a visiting Research Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley’s Middle East Center.
From his “boots on the ground” news coverage in more than 80 countries around the world, including on-the-ground coverage of the revolution and then the hostage crisis in Iran, moderator Greg Dobbs is a professional speaker on global affairs, the author of two books (with two more in the works) and a journalist for almost 50 years, spending most of his time as a correspondent for two American television networks. Greg is the winner of three Emmy awards and the “Distinguished Service Award” from the Society of Professional Journalists.
This program is underwritten by Sandy & Fred Pack and Pat & Larry Stewart
The Geopolitics Series is graciously underwritten by Cindy Engles