February marks the 30th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Iran . One of the most significant events in the Middle East in the last half century, it dramatically changed the political balance of power in the region and created one of the US’s greatest foreign policy challenges. The revolution caught all the western intelligence agencies off-guard. The Shah’s monarchy, characterized by President Carter a year earlier as the Island of Tranquility , had disappeared and a revolutionary government unlike anything seen before had taken over the most valuable US ally in the Persian Gulf .
US-Iran relations have regrettably gone from bad to worse over the past 3 decades. During this same period, Iran has gained great influence in the region and is a major player in all Middle East arenas – Iraq and Palestine in particular. Many analysts of foreign affairs today agree that having a normal relationship with Iran is critical if the US goal for stability of the Middle East is to be realized.
Iranian government on Thursday celebrated its 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution while mass protests continues. Violent suppresions of the demonstrators related to the Green Movement was apparent all over the country. I talked with Professor Ahmad Sadri about the prospects of a resolution to the 8 month unrests in Iran with a look at Iran's recent nuclear maneuvers and challenges for the Obama Administration.
Ahmad Sadri is Professor of Sociology and James P. Gorter Chair of Islamic World Studies at Lake Forest College. He received his BA and MA degrees at the University of Tehran and his PhD from the New School for Social Research.