Kinzer Iran Lecture

When I walked into Mr. Kinzer’s lecture, I knew very little about Iran. I was slightly familiar with the culture, but had absolutely no knowledge of the country’s history. He stated that prior to his first Iran assignment, he was in the same situation. As he began to speak about how he learned more, I became more and more appreciative that he learned about the history of the country by speaking to the citizens of Iran. I honestly had no idea that Iran had coup in 1953. I completely agree with his assertion that for the US, US-Iran relations begin with the hostage crisis, but for Iran, US-Iran relationships begin with the 1953 coup. I do believe that the Western world is at fault for the state that Iran is in currently, but then again, messing up the progress of developing nations is nothing new to this hemisphere. Kinzer also emphasized the cultural differences between the United States and Iran, a distinction I found important to the context of his argument. I feel like the overall outlook and feelings of the United States are immature compared to Iran, which has centuries of historical experience under its belt. Kinzer specifically pointed out that Iran knows that other countries will not be powerful and influential forever, a knowledge not shared by the United States, and is more or less content with taking a backseat for a little while because Iranian society knows that a time will come when Iran shines in glory yet again. Overall, Kinzer’s lecture enlightened me as to what the historical background of US-Iran relations is and I am now more educated and can form an informed opinion about the current situation in Iran.

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