Iran

Suzette Grillot and Joshua Landis discuss the ongoing conflict in Central African Republic, and why it seems reminiscent of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Later, a conversation with Iranian-American filmmaker Farzin Rezaeian. His documentary Iran: Seven Faces of a Civilization explores 7,000 years of history in his home country.

The Cyrus Cylinder maintains a record of Cyrus the Great's religious and political tolerance.
Pleia2 / Flickr Creative Commons

Iranian documentary filmmaker Farzin Rezaeian says Greek, Roman, and European history have overshadowed ancient Iranian history, yet there are valuable lessons from Iran’s past for today’s world.

“The idea of international law, the beginning of human rights as it’s first mentioned in the Cyrus Cylinder… this goes back to some 2,500 years ago, five hundred years before Jesus Christ was even born” Rezaeian says. “Unfortunately, we don’t hear about it.”

Joshua Landis and Suzette Grillot discuss the 2014 State of the Union address and some of the foreign policy objectives President Obama outlined in Tuesday night’s speech.

Later, a conversation about migration and identity with Iranian-American novelist Laleh Khadivi, and Palestinian-American poet and physician Fady Joudah.

President Obama delivers his 2014 State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress Tuesday, January 28, 2014.
The White House / YouTube

President Obama’s international outlook remains heavily oriented toward decreasing the U.S. military presence in the Middle East. In his State of the Union address, the president promised to declare an end to the 12-year war in Afghanistan.

Joshua Landis, the author of Syria Comment and the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, says President Obama’s address “claimed big successes” in a September Syria chemical weapons deal and a November interim agreement with Iran halting uranium enrichment programs in exchange for lifted sanctions.

Joshua Landis provides an update on this week's Syrian peace talks in Switzerland, and Rebecca Cruise discusses the escalation of violence in Ukraine.

Later, a conversation about mother tongue-based bilingual instruction in West Africa with Alice Iddi-Gubbels, the founder and executive director of PAMBE Ghana.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, flanked by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, gavels open the Geneva II conference in Montreux, Switzerland, on January 22, 2014.
U.S. Department of State / Flickr Creative Commons

A United Nations mediator announced Friday a Syrian government delegation and the Western-backed opposition will meet Saturday “in the same room.”

Joshua Landis, the author of the widely-read blog Syria Comment and the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, says this week’s peace conference in Switzerland shows both sides understand there has to be a political solution.

This post was updated at 11:40 a.m. ET.

The United States and European Union say they will lift some sanctions against Iran after reports from international inspectors that Tehran has suspended high-level enrichment of uranium under an interim pact to scale back its nuclear program.

The Associated Press reports:

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.

Earlier this week a six-month deal was reached to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for lighter economic sanctions. Rebecca Cruise joins Suzette Grillot to talk about the reaction among Saudis, Israelis, Americans, and Europeans.

Later, a conversation with LaNelma Johnson, whose Bahá’í faith led her and her family to India in 1971, where they taught children ages five to 18 at a small, rural school in Panchgani. Johnson told the story of her family’s 12 years in India in her memoir Okie in a Saree.

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