World Views: July 10, 2015

Jul 10, 2015

Saturday marks 20 years since Serbian forces systematically killed 8,000 Bosnian Muslims in the town of Srebrenica. Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise discuss what has (and hasn't) changed about how the international community responds to genocide in the two decades since the atrocity.

Then Suzette speaks with author and journalist Stephen Kinzer about how easing hostility between the U.S. and Iran might be the best way to advance the interests of the United States in the Middle East.

A painting on the walls of the former U.S. embassy in Tehran
David Holt London / Flickr

In 1980, the United States broke diplomatic relations with Iran after 52 American citizens were taken hostage at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Since then, the relationship between the United States and Iran has been hostile.

It's been 70 years since a nuclear bomb was used in war, but in spite of that passage of time, it still has a great deal of relevance as a strategic construct even if they are unlikely to ever be used. Countries that possess nuclear weapons can pursue a more aggressive projection of power and a more aggressive foreign policy than they might be able to do otherwise.

University of Oklahoma political scientist Paul Goode joins Rebecca Cruise to discuss Russian President Vladimir Putin’s trip to Italy this week.

Then we’ll hear Suzette’s conversation with journalist Barbara Slavin. They’ll discuss what the ongoing nuclear talks mean for U.S.-Iranian relations and the possibility for diplomacy.

Anti-American street art in Tehran
toomuchtrotsky / Flickr

The June 30 deadline on Iranian nuclear talks is fast approaching, but disagreement over nuclear inspections continues to stall negotiations. Although a deal has not been reached, Barbara Slavin, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center, says the fact that negotiations are occurring is important for easing the relationship between the U.S. and Iran.

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.

Joshua Landis and Suzette Grillot discuss this week’s nuclear negotiations with Iran, and the release of al-Qaeda prisoners in Yemen and air strikes led by a Saudi coalition.

Later, a conversation with the former director of the National Clandestine Service Michael Sulick. The 30-year CIA veteran argues information leaks by people like Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden can cause far more problems than traditional spying ever did.

Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise are in Washington, D.C. this week, and discuss some of the comments they've been hearing about U.S-Iranian nuclear talks, and the implications of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's reelection.

Then, a conversation with Texas A&M University political scientist Mohammad Tabaar about international sources of Iran's domestic politics. He argues Iran is actually one of the most pro-American countries in the Muslim World.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, flanked deputies, sits across from Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and other advisers on March 17, 2015, in Lausanne, Switzerland, before resuming negotiations about the future of Iran's nuclear program.
U.S. Department of State / Flickr

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met on Monday in the latest round of nuclear talks. Iran and Western governments have been working on negotiations with the goal of reducing the size of Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the lifting sanctions imposed on the country.