Stephen Zunes : Iran


Iran: Time for Detente
1 November 1999

Despite recent reforms, the U.S. has been hesitant to forge closer relations with Iran due to lingering hostility to the Islamic government and a fear that supporting moderates would create a backlash against them. The ongoing struggle in Iran between Islamic reformers and Islamic hard-liners, along with struggles within the U.S. foreign policy establishment between hawks and those seeking accommodation, has left U.S.-Iranian relations in a state of flux.


Iran
23 January 1997

Iran—with its strategic location, 60 million inhabitants, and control of 10% of the world’s oil reserves—continues to be a major concern to those who formulate U.S. foreign policy. The U.S. government has had contacts in Iran since early in the century, and major U.S. involvement dates back to 1953 when the CIA organized the overthrow of the country’s constitutional government. Over the next 25 years, the U.S. armed and trained the military and secret police of Shah Muhammad Reza Pahlavi, one of the most brutal dictators of his era.