Iran

Women in various states of dress on the streets of Iran.
Amir Farshad Ebrahimi / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Nazila Fathi’s childhood bookended the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. She was nine years old when supporters of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ousted the Shah and established the current theocratic regime. Before the revolution, her father had been a high-level civil servant in the Ministry of Energy. After the Shah was overthrown, he became a farmer.

Historian Beeta Baghoolizadeh says 19th century Iranian slavery can appear softer alongside its American counterpart, but that’s not a fair comparison. She'll trace the country's history of slavery and its erasure from the national consciousness.

But first, Joshua Landis joins the show again for a discussion of the Russian airliner that crashed in Egypt and what may have caused it, and Turkey’s recent parliamentary elections.

"...a thoroughly modern sculpture by the Scandinavian artist Clara Sörnäs.   It shows five slave figures, slightly larger than life, chained together in a pit.
missy & the universe / Flickr

Iran only abolished slavery in 1928, but since then, it’s been largely erased from the national consciousness. Historian Beeta Baghoolizadeh, who studies Iranian slavery, says the taboo surrounding slavery and Iran’s effort to distance itself from its past is due to its precarious position on the world stage 87 years later.

This is the story of the United States, the atom and Iran.

It's the story of a historic nuclear agreement — a story we may be tempted to think we know. After all, Congress just finished a chaotic debate that ended when lawmakers failed to block the deal. There was no solemn national moment of decision — no up-or-down vote, as with a treaty or a war.

But this was just the latest twist in a long and complex tale that dates back more than a half-century.

Ambassador Seyed Hossein Mousavian
Chatham House / flickr

Ambassador Hossein Mousavian has been a key diplomat for Iran for the past quarter century. He represented the Islamic Republic in Germany from 1990 to 1997, and then took a post as the head of the Iranian National Security Council’s Foreign Relations Committee until 2005, where he served as the country’s chief spokesman during nuclear negotiations with the European Union a decade ago.

Joshua Landis provides an update on two stories he's following in the Middle East: the different reactions to the nuclear deal with Iran, and news that Syrian soldiers trained and equipped by the U.S. in Turkey were captured and killed as they crossed the border into Syria.

Then Suzette talks with Joe Masco, an anthropologist at the University of Chicago who studies the evolution of the national security state. His latest book traces surveillance and privacy issues from the start of the Cold War to what he now calls the “post-privacy era.”

President Barack Obama talks on the phone in the Oval Office with Secretary of State John Kerry to thank him for his work with the negotiations on the nuclear agreement with Iran, July 13, 2015.
Pete Souza / The White House

After years of negotiation designed to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and keep the balance of power from shifting in the Middle East, Congress will vote on a nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic next month.

The memorial in Nagasaki, Japan marking the location of ground zero of the August 9, 1945 nuclear attack.
Dean S. Pemberton / Wikimedia Commons

Seventy years ago Thursday, the United States dropped the first of two atomic bombs on the Empire of Japan – the opening salvo to the final days of World War II. The attack on Hiroshima, and Nagasaki three days later, killed as many as 200,000 people, and remain the only times nuclear weapons have ever been used against another nation.

This post was updated at 2:46 p.m. ET

President Obama delivered a foreign policy speech today aimed at bolstering public support for the Iran nuclear deal. He also attempted to discredit criticism from those who claim the agreement was a mistake.

"I've had to make a lot of tough calls as president. But whether or not this deal is good for American security is not one of those calls," Obama said during his remarks at American University, located about 10 miles from Capitol Hill.

In light of this week’s nuclear agreement with Iran, Asia-Pacific trade talks and renewed diplomatic relations with Cuba, Rebecca Cruise and Suzette Grillot talk about why 2015 has been arguably President Obama’s most successful year in foreign policy.

Then I’ll talk with Nigerian filmmaker Kenneth Gyang about bringing attention to issues facing his country through narrative storytelling.

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