Explaining Sectarianism Conference at Tufts University

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Association for Iranian Studies Conference at UC Irvine

I have since shortened the title of my presentation to “The Iranian Left’s Latin Roots: Protest and Protest Music.” Click here for the program.

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“The Roots of US-Iran Antagonisms via the History of Democracy in Modern Iran”

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“The Genealogy of Protest in Iran: Lessons from History”

My latest piece in The Fletcher Forum of International Affairs: “The United States would be wise to heed the lessons of history and let Iranians determine their own fate as any further intervention—whether soft or hard—could easily derail Iran’s organic political evolution in unforeseen ways. Soft intervention by way of presidential statements in Washington or at the United Nations in support of dissent would enable the Iranian government to cast its dissidents as part of an American plot. Any hard military intervention would provoke a nationalist backlash that would sideline calls for change from within.”

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“Iran Among the Ruins: Tehran’s Advantage in a Turbulent Middle East”

Dean Vali Nasr in Foreign Affairs: “Some observers see Iran today, with its use of militias and insurgents abroad, as the United States saw the Soviet Union or China at the height of its revolutionary fervor—as a power intent on using asymmetric means to upset the existing order and sow chaos. Iran’s goal is to “expand its malign influence,” Mattis said at his confirmation hearing, “to remake the region in its image.” But Iran is closer to modern Russia and China than to their revolutionary predecessors. Like them, it is a revisionist power, not a revolutionary one. It opposes a regional order designed to exclude it. Iran’s methods often defy international norms, but the national interests they serve, even when at odds with those of the United States, are not uncommon. Iran’s view of the world is shaped less by the likes of Lenin and Mao than by those of Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. And it is driven less by revolutionary zeal than by nationalism.”

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