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America and Iran: From Allies to Adversaries

Evening Program

Thursday, January 28, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET
Code: 1L0360
Tickets
$20 - Member
$25 - Non-Member
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Tehran was brought to a standstill by millions of protesters demanding the Shah’s ouster, 1978

STREAMING PROGRAM INFORMATION

  • This program is part of our Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
  • Platform: Zoom
  • Online registration is required.
  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

Iran and America’s fraught relationship seems to be always in and out of the news. This January, after the drone strike assassination of Qasem Soleimani, headlines declared the two nations on the brink of war. More recently, it was revealed that Iran may be planning, alongside Russia and China, to interfere in the presidential election this November.

Historian John Ghazvinian draws on his new book, America and Iran: A History, 1720 to the Present—for which he had access to Iranian government archives rarely available to Western scholars—to examine a complex relationship that reaches back to the Persian Empire and architects of American independence.

Long before the “Great Satan” and “Axis of Evil” speeches, before the 1979 hostage Crisis and the Ayatollah Khomeini—the two nations were allies and looked to each other for friendship, inspiration, and opportunity. Ghazvinian covers what he terms the “four seasons” of U.S.–Iran relations: the spring of mutual fascination; the summer of early interactions; the autumn of close strategic ties; and the long, dark winter of mutual hatred.

Ghazvinian was born in Iran and raised in London and Los Angeles. He has a doctorate in history from Oxford University. Ghazvinian’s writing has appeared in Newsweek, the Sunday Times, The New Statesman, Slate, and The Nation. He directs the Middle East Center at the University of Pennsylvania and lives in Philadelphia.

Copies of America and Iran (Knopf) are available for purchase.

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Location
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.