Ali Khamenei

Rebecca Cruise joins Suzette Grillot to discuss an expansion of government surveillance in France that critics compare to the PATRIOT Act here in the United States, and they talk about African child migrants and draw comparisons to similar issues at the U.S./Mexican border.

Then Rebecca talks with Trinity University political scientist Sussan Siavoshi She's spent her career studying an Iranian cleric who almost became the country's Supreme Leader. They'll also talk about gender issues in the Islamic Republic.

Iran's now-Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (left) with Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri, 1978.
Wikimedia Commons

The only two heads of state in Iran’s history are familiar, albeit mysterious, figures to the West. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned from exile to become the face of the Islamic Revolution, with his image adorning posters outside the captured U.S. embassy in Iran throughout the 1979-1981 Hostage Crisis. His successor, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, never travels overseas, grants interviews, or meets with Western leaders.

World Views host Suzette Grillot and contributor Rebecca Cruise continue producing the program from the road, and spent this week in the United Arab Emirates.

Later, a conversation with Ambassador John Limbert to mark the 33rd anniversary of the end of the Iran hostage crisis. Limbert and 51 diplomatic and military colleagues were taken prisoner in the former U.S. embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979. They were released 444 days later as Ronald Reagan was sworn into office on January 20, 1981.

Johnson Babela / U.S. Department of Defense

Ambassador John Limbert and 51 diplomatic and military colleagues were taken prisoner in the former U.S. embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979. They were released 444 days later as Ronald Reagan was sworn into office on January 20, 1981.

Limbert has never been back to Iran in the 33 years after he boarded the plane for Algeria, even though he married an Iranian woman and his children were born there. He’s now a private citizen, no longer works for the State Department, and has no prohibition on his travel to Iran. But he says he’s not welcome by the Islamic Republic.

Rebecca Cruise returns and guest-hosts while Suzette Grillot joins the program from Italy to talk about protests sweeping Brazil's largest cities, and the implications of the newly-elected moderate president for the future of a nuclear Iran.

University of California, Berkeley historian Daniel Sargent argues the 1970s were a pivotal decade on the global stage. He calls U.S. foreign policy immediately after the Cold War “uninspiring.”

Tabarez2 / Wikimedia Commons

A week after Iran's presidential election, a previously-recorded interview run on Iranian state TV Friday suggests president -elect Hasan Rowhani may strike a more moderate tone than his predecessor.

The broadcast appears to be intended to underline Rowhani's pledge to pursue greater openness over Iran's nuclear program.

"How much is going to change is really to be determined," says Suzette Grillot, the Dean of the University of Oklahoma's College of International Studies. "The Supreme Leader (Ali Khamenei) in Iran certainly is the ultimate power-holder, so the relationship that emerges between these two and how that will have an impact on the nuclear situation is really something still to be determined."