Kristin Smith Diwan
Kristin Smith Diwan is Assistant Professor of Comparative and Regional Studies at the American University School of International Service. She holds regional expertise in the politics and policies of the Arab Gulf, and functional expertise on Islamic finance and the politics surrounding it.Next »
Ash Jain, a former member of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff, is a visiting fellow at The Washington Institute. His current research is focused on Iranian regional ambitions. During his service at the State Department, from 2004 to 2010, Mr. Jain provided guidance and advice to U.S. officials on a range of strategic challenges facing the United States and its allies.Next »
Karim Sadjadpour is an associate at the Carnegie Endowment. He joined Carnegie after four years as the chief Iran analyst at the International Crisis Group based in Washington and Tehran, where he conducted dozens of interviews with senior Iranian officials, and hundreds with Iranian intellectuals, clerics, dissidents, paramilitaries, businessmen, students, activists, and youth, among others.Next »
Iranian Voices: Defending Iran
Kowsar Gowhari, a 31-year-old law student, talks about the conflicting feelings she has about Iran.
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Iran’s growing power in the Middle East had become eminent. President Ahmadenijad’s regime has gained influence in Iraq and Lebanon, and some think it has its eyes set on Bahrain. The US government is critical of Tehran expanding its power, and, in fact, much of the talk about Iran in the US centers around Iran’s aggressive foreign policy.
This can make things difficult for people like 31-year-old Kowsar Gowhardi, a law student at the University of Baltimore. Her father is a former Iranian diplomat and she struggles to defend the country she’s proud to be from.
“The whole thing emotionally was really hard for me because I always sided with the Iranian government for years and years. But the situation since the Iranian elections has been very hard for me to really defend the actions of the Iranian government. Although I definitely strongly oppose foreign intervention in Iran, it’s really emotionally hard for me to defend the actions of the government.
I have a lot of hopes and basically wishes for my country, but one thing that I really want is Iranians to be respected outside of Iran. I want this respect to come for my government, and my flag, and my national anthem. I want Iranian values to be appreciated all over the world and to have more friends than enemies.”
Tehran Rising / Executive Producer: Aaron Lobel / AAM Producers: Monica Bushman, Sean Carberry, Jordana Gustafson, Matt Ozug, and Chris Williams / Intern: Mallory Durr / Web Producer: Javier Barrera / Photo credit: yeowatzup (Flickr).
Host: Deborah Amos / Length: 51 minutes / Airdate: Apr 2011