EP 427 Is Iran as Bad an Actor as America Says It Is?

Once America declares you part of the axis of evil or decides that your behavior require heavy economic sanctions, it’s tough to escape the impact our actions can bring.  That’s why the notion of the Iran nuclear deal pursued by the Obama Administration was such a risky political move.  Yet, by the strict reporting requirements of the deal, struck with America and its European allies, the Iranians were in compliance with the deal when the Trump Administration pulled America out and imposed sanctions that clearly have had an impact on the lives of the Iranian people.  Ironically, Iranians, generally younger or more well educated than others in the Middle East, have a fondness for America and our culture.  Now we can go back to the 1950’s and our overthrow of a democratically elected government in Iran in order to prop up the Shah or we can go back to the Ayotollah Khomeini and the taking American hostages in 1979, but either way we have had flashpoints with the Iranians for decades now.  So where do current relations stand at the early stages of the Biden Administration?  David Barsamian has edited a collection of thinking on the topic in the new book, ‘Retargeting Iran’.  The history is complicated and news accounts will not unpack the issues we do on this podcast.