A Symposium featuring:
Henry Precht, former US diplomat, Chief of Iran Desk at State Department during the Revolution
Dr. Trita Parsi, Author, Treacherous Alliance – Secret Dealings of Iran, Israel and the United States; President, the National Iranian American Council
February 2009 marks the 30th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. One of the most significant events in the Middle East during 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 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 took over from what used to be 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.
Thirty years later, there are still fascinating stories to hear about the Iranian Revolution and how the US dealt with it. Henry Precht, Chief of the Iran Desk in US State Department from 1978-1980, was one of the Americans most deeply engaged in the process during the years of the Revolution and the hostage crisis.
Dr. Trita Parsi, author of Treacherous Alliance - The Secret Dealings of Iran, Israel and the United States, is the recipient of the Council on Foreign Relation's 2008 Arthur Ross Silver Medallion. Dr. Parsi was born in Iran and received a PhD in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS) where he has also served as an adjunct professor. He is a co-founder and current President of the National Iranian American Council, a non-partisan, non-profit organization promoting Iranian-American relations.
When: Saturday, February 28th, 2009
Where: Smith Memorial Student Union, room 327 (1825 SW Broadway)
Time: 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Cost: General admission is $5, Free for students
This symposium is presented by the Middle East Studies Center at Portland State University, The American Iranian Friendship Council and The World Affairs Council of Oregon.