New York Times reporter Dexter Filkins has been covering the war in Iraq and is back for a brief visit to the United States. Filkins updates us on the situation in the Middle East. Last year, he received the George Polk Award for War Reporting for his riveting, firsthand account of an eight-day attack on Iraqi insurgents in Falluja.
Seymour Hersh of The New Yorker discusses on the latest developments between Iran and the United States regarding Iran's nuclear power program. Hersh writes that the Bush administration has clandestine plans for a possible major attack on Iran.
The most frightening thing the United States could do to Iran, short of attacking it, is to leave Iraq, says New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. The second most frightening thing for Iran, he says, would be a U.S. success in Iraq.
Iran's attempts to restart its nuclear program in defiance of the International Atomic Energy Agency is a game of nuclear chicken, says Joseph Cirincione, the director for non-proliferation at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
As a former counterterrorism official in the Clinton and Bush administrations, Richard A. Clarke often had to imagine worst-case scenarios. His first novel — a thriller — does just that: set five years in the future, it envisions the United States on the verge of another war in the Middle East.
His new book is No God but God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam. The book is a call to reform, and a proposal to end the religious battle between East and West. Aslan was born in Iran and lives in the United States. He was a visiting assistant professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Iowa, where he got an MFA in fiction at the Writer's Workshop. Aslan has written for The Nation, Slate and The New York Times.
Mark Bowden's article about the 25th anniversary of the Iranian Hostage crisis will be featured in the December issue The Atlantic Monthly. On Nov. 4, 1979 a group of Iranian students stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and took hostage the entire American diplomatic team — which resulted in a 15-month international crisis that still has reverberations today. Bowden interviewed the former hostage-takers for his article.
Graham Allison is an expert on nuclear weapons and national security. In his new book, Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe, he argues that avoiding a catastrophic nuclear event needs to be a higher priority for the U.S. government.
In this week's New York Times Magazine cover story (Sunday, Jan. 11) he writes about Maj. John Nagl, a professor at West Point and a counterinsurgency expert who is putting into practice for the first time his theories about counterinsurgency. He is in Iraq with a tank battalion in the Sunni Triangle.
Milhollin is director the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, a non-profit research group in Washington, D.C. that has been tracking the spread of weapons of mass destruction since 1986. He will talk about who has nuclear weapons, who is developing them, who has intelligence about them and who poses the biggest threat. Milhollin is also professor Emeritus of the University of Wisconsin Law School. His op-ed pieces about nuclear weapons have appeared in many publications, including The New York Times.
He's the author of the new book, All The Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror. It's about the 1953 CIA coup in Iran that put an end to democratic rule, and in turn led the way for the Islamic Revolution of 1979. He writes, "It was the first time the United States overthrew a foreign government. It set a pattern for years to come and shaped the way millions of people view the United States."
Journalist Elizabeth Neuffer is the Foreign Affairs/U.N. Correspondent for The Boston Globe. She recently returned from Iran and was in Iraq earlier this year. She has also reported on the war on terrorism from Afghanistan. She's also the author of the book, The Key to My Neighbor's House: Seeking Justice in Bosnia and Rwanda, about the war crimes tribunals and the efforts of victims to find justice.
Filmmaker Jamsheed Akrami is a scholar of Iranian film. His two documentaries are Dreams Betrayed and Friendly Persuasion: Iranian Cinema After the Revolution. Together, they explore Iranian filmmaking before and after the 1979 revolution. In Iranian films, male and female characters are not allowed to touch, ever, and women must be veiled at all times. Despite these and other limitations, Iranian cinema has garnered international critical acclaim. Akrimi is an associate professor at William Paterson University.
Iranian filmmaker Bahman Farmanara. He began making films 30 years ago in his native country. Recently he returned to Iran after many years living in Canada, running a film festival and teaching. He's also returned to filmmaking. His new film Smell of Camphor, Fragrance of Jasmine is his first in 20 years. He also stars in the film about a fictional film director making a film about his own death.
Journalist Elaine Sciolino. She covered Iran for some 20 years for Newsweek and the New York Times. Her new book “Persian Mirrors: The Elusive Face of Iran” (Free Press) was just released last month. It illustrates the culture of Iran: its press, its movie industry, its restaurants and homes. She speaks today on Iran’s political position during the Middle East crisis. She is a Senior Writer at the Washington bureau for the New York Times. She lives in Washington, D.C.
Former hostage Terry Anderson talks about his 100-million dollar lawsuit against the government of Iran. He alleges Iran supported the Islamic extremists who kidnapped him and held him hostage for seven-years. The former Associated Press Middle East correspondent now teaches journalism at Ohio University. The lawsuit was filed last week in U.S. District Court in Washington. The Iranian government denies any role in his captivity. We'll first listen back to an excerpt from Anderson's 1993 (12/28/93) interview with Terry. And then we have their current interview.
Iranian film maker and film professor Jamsheed Akrami will discuss film making in Iran and Iran's Fajr (FAH-jer) Film Festival which took place in February. This year's festival included a juried competition for international films and was open to Iran's independent and government sponsored producers.
Author and activist Mahnaz Afkhami lobbied for many years for women's rights in her native Iran. For the past fifteen years, she has been in exile from her country for this work. During that time, she talked with other women in exile from all over the world. Twelve of these women's stories are recorded in her new book, "Women in Exile."
New York Times Reporter Chris Hedges He's based in Cairo, Egypt where he covers the Middle East. Terry will talk with him about the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Egypt and Iran. In Iran, the militant group, Basij -- which is being funded by the Iranian Government -- has been cracking down on Western style behavior and culture in the Country.
Social Worker Sattareh Farman-Farmaian (sa-TAH-ray FAR-mahn far-m'YAN). She's the daughter of an Iranian prince of a fallen dynasty. She spent her childhood in a harem in Persia in the 20s and 30s. She's 70 years old and has spent a life time challenging Iran's conventions. She became the first Persian to study at the University of Southern California where she earned an advanced degree in social work. Returning to Iran she founded the Tehran School of Social Work.