Earlier this month, Real News Network broadcast a two-part interview that Gareth Porter, the wonderful journalist and historian, did with us. The interview focuses on our book, Going to Tehran: Why the United States Must Come to Terms with the Islamic Republic of Iran, but also delves into our personal experiences as (former) “insiders in the U.S. national security state.”
In Part One, see here (or, for those who prefer to use YouTube, here), we talk about our “rough transition” from being insiders to being sharp critics of America’s Middle East policy, especially vis-à-vis the Islamic Republic of Iran. We also explain why the end of the Cold War (coinciding, of course, with prosecution of the first Persian Gulf War) was such an important turning point in America’s posture toward the Middle East and Iran.
In Part Two, see here (or, for those who prefer YouTube, here), we explore what’s wrong with American “conventional wisdom” on Iran and what drives U.S. policy on the Iranian nuclear issue. We also discuss how America’s determined but quixotic pursuit of hegemony over the Middle East means that Washington can’t abide independent power centers—whether that was Nasser’s Egypt during the 1950s and 1960s or the Islamic Republic of Iran today.
–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett