Tag Archives: Iran

How We Got Here #32

Check out the latest episode of my history podcast here.

My Prison, My Home

An amazing book by an amazing woman. Here’s my interview with Haleh Esfandiari on PRI’s The World today. A longer version will go in the next episode of my How We Got Here podcast which I hope to get out by the end of the week.

Iran crisis continued

Here’s a link to my story yesterday on Ahmedinejad’s swearing-in with commentary from Gary Sick and Mansour Farhang.  Like me Sick is just back from vacation–for catch up Iran reading he recommends Roger Cohen in last Sunday’s NYT Magazine.  I would have to agree–and Cohen has a good piece in The New York Review of Books as well.

Britain and Iran’s fraught history

Here’s a BBC online piece tracing the history of bad blood between Britain and Iran–

How We Got Here #20


Extraordinary scenes have unfolded in Iran over the past week as demonstrators have taken to the streets to protest the results of the June 12th election.   On this week’s history podcast I turn to Shaul Bakhash, professor of Middle East history at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia and the author of The Reign of the Ayatollahs: Iran and the Islamic Revolution. Bakhash was educated both in the U.S. and Iran. During the Islamic Revolution he was a reporter in Tehran.  He talks about the history of protest movements in Iran and the different kinds of governments it has experienced in the past century or so.

Thanks to all of you who sent in questions for this week’s podcast. I need to keep thinking about how best to do shows with listener input–this one was good in one sense–many of the questions were of a similar theme, what sort of government existed before the 1953 coup, do Iranians see the Supreme Leader as representative of the will of the people and how has that changed in recent times, what’s the post-Revolution structure and the balance of power between elected and unelected officials. But then there were questions that were just too large to tackle in one episode or too contemporary to answer without some serious on-the-ground reporting.   I’ll try to narrow the request a bit more next time. Anyway, enjoy the interview with Shaul Bakhash; he has a wise and measured tone and a lifetime of experience and scholarship to bring to bear on events in Iran.  I’m glad for once to have the opportunity to let him speak in full instead of  soundbites.



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For more Iran history check out the radio series I did in 2004 on the troubled history of U.S. – Iranian relations.

History and Iran

This is a plea for help. I’m devoting this week’s episode (#20) of my history podcast How We Got Here to events in Iran. What are your history questions? Curious about past protests in Iran? Past reform movements? The history of democracy there? More on US-Iranian relations?  Bios of specific personalities?  I think the more specific the question the more interesting the show will be. Otherwise it might all get a bit vague and big. Anyway, send me your thoughts and suggestions and questions and I’ll work what I can into the podcast. The email address is

howwegothere at gmail.com.

It’ll be fun to track down some answers.  Many thanks.

How We Got Here


I’m pleased to announce the launch of How We Got Here, a new history podcast from PRI’s The World. Each week I plan to choose one item or topic in the news and delve into the history behind it. This week, with all the talk of diplomacy with Iran, I go back to one of the biggest sore points in US-Iranian relations–the 1953 coup in which the CIA helped oust Iran’s democratically-elected prime minister Mohammed Mossadegh.  To subscribe please go to www.theworld.org/podcasts.  If you do give a listen I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. You can send them to howwegothere@gmail.com.  Or you can always leave word here.

Huge thanks to The World’s Clark Boyd who has coached me through the process of starting a podcast–from cajoling me to shed the stiffness of the radio-reporter persona (to the supposedly more-the-real-Jeb podcast persona), to navigating the metadata, file sizes and ftp minutiae.  Clark paved the way here at The World with his much-loved Tech Podcast and now spends a good deal of time teaching the rest of us how to get started.