Iran: A Look at a Century

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tehran skyline with panoramic view of the city. (Borna Mirahmadian/Shutterstock)

U.S.- Iran relations might be on the brink of something big when it comes to matters of diplomacy, but a recent easing of tensions between Iran and the West doesn't undo a century of upheaval in the region.

From the collective fervor of revolutionary Iran, to the certain consequences of the Iran-Iraq war, Iran now finds itself a nation scorned and isolated for its pursuit of an aggressive nuclear program. It's a dilemma that historian James Buchan says Iran must escape.

James Buchan is the author of a new book entitled "Days of God: The Revolution of Iran and its Consequences." He joins The Takeaway to discuss the transformation of Iran in the past hundred years.

Produced by:

Ellen Frankman and Jillian Weinberger


T.J. Raphael

Comments [2]

Ellen from Manhattan

What planet is this man on? The 1978-79 revolution was a relatively bloodless affair? The Pahlevis' mistake was that they tried to modernize too fast? Did he miss the years of brutal repression under the shah, the torture, etc., under this regime, which the U.S. put in place in the 1950s when it engineered a coup to get rid of Mossadegh? And where does he think the anti-Americanism comes from? We took out a democratically elected progressive leader, put in a brutal dictator, backed him for years, and, oh, surprise, the Iranians don't like Americans. I don't care for the current regime (or any government based on religion, anywhere), but a little context, please!

Oct. 23 2013 03:43 PM

1) The Shah was trying to do what Ataturk did (successfully) in Turkey and Ataturk was doing what the Japanese did under Meiji (successfully). So why wouldn't it have worked in Iran but for the success of the revolution which depended in part on our abandonment? Notice how liberals like 'Hock' will never admit that things were better (incomparably)under the Shah?
2) Hockenberry equates modernizing too quickly (The Shah's sin) with the Ayatollah's trying to bring sharia about too quickly (their 'glitch'). Anyone else see the inanity of this comparison?
3) Hockenberry speaks wistfully of his days in Iran after Khomeni's death. 'Millions and millions holding hands' etc. and he says he can't imagine this as an American. Really? What about 9/11? True, millions did not take to the streets in a grotesque exhibition overturning a coffin , rending garments etc as they did in Tehran but I think we managed to express a sense of national grieving. I was in Japan when the emperor died and it was an impressive showing of orchestrated grief. But I prefer the way we do things here...but then, I seem to 'get' the 'American idea' better then he does for all his supposed erudition...that;s john, world citizen!

Oct. 23 2013 09:47 AM

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