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This fall, for the first time since the days of disco, the president of the United States and the leader of Iran spoke directly by phone. Iran’s newly elected president, Hassan Rouhani, is taking steps to end his country’s international isolation. But it’s hard to tell if Rouhani and his moderate allies are serious about effecting change—or if they’re merely making promises in order to get economic sanctions lifted. And, given how much power resides in the conservative establishment, Rouhani may not have any real chance of changing Iran. What might it mean for both countries–and for the dynamics of the Middle East—if the U.S. and Iran were, once again, to become real allies? How would a relationship reset affect oil prices, our relationship with Israel, and life for Iranian-Americans here? Occidental College political scientist Hussein Banai, co-author of Becoming Enemies: U.S.-Iran Relations and the Iran-Iraq War, 1979-1988, Asia Society vice president of global policy programs Suzanne DiMaggio, and Occidental College historian Thaddeus Russell visit Zócalo to discuss whether we may be entering a new era in the relationship between the U.S. and Iran, and how it could change both nations and the world.
*Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.