Dr. Neda Bolourchi joins us for a discussion of several major issues around Iran — involvement in Syria, the complicated alliance with Russia and their decentralized power structure. We also focus on the Green Revolution, the MEK and especially the misplaced expectations from some factions in the American foreign policy establishment that Iran’s people, especially their minority communities, will bring about the regime change that their adversaries desire.
To quote Dr. Bolourchi from her recent Atlantic Council article:
“Like previous American administrations, the Trump Administration seeks regime change in Tehran. And like the current White House, but more fervently, the Washington establishment assumes Iranian minorities will join in what is being called in certain circles ‘transformative change.’
Recent nationwide demonstrations in Iran—over the state of the economy, Tehran’s regional activities, corruption, and general disenchantment with the Islamic government—are strengthening the Trump administration’s hopes. But attempts to catalyze religious or ethnic minority protests as a means to transform the Islamic Republic have been a failed US policy for almost as long as the theocracy has existed. This time will be no different. History demonstrates ethnic and religious minorities will neither spur nor lead regime change.”
Dr. Bolourchi is Assistant Professor at Rutgers University-New Brunswick Center for Middle Eastern Studies. She is an interdisciplinary scholar who focuses on modern legal practices in and the history of the Middle East, particularly Iran. She is deeply engaged in legal and archival theory and methodology as she continues a book project on the ideas of political theology, nationalism, war, and minority communities. She is also working on an oral history project and she completed years of research in Iran, Syria, and Armenia for her doctoral dissertation at Columbia University.
Recorded on January 18, 2019. Music by Fluorescent Grey.
- Lessons from the Iran-Iraq War: Iranian Minorities Won’t Lead Transformative Change, Atlantic Council, Neda Bolourchi
- Iranian and Russian involvement in Syria: purposes and prospects, The International Institute for Strategic Studies
- The Sacred Defense: Sacrifice and Nationalism Across Minority Communities in Post-Revolutionary Iran, Neda Bolourchi