Iran: Influence or Threat

Al Jazeera’s Empire, with Marwan Bishara. The first short documentary is so bad that it could have been made by the BBC or CNN. Flynt Leverett is insightful as usual, but as much as I love and respect Hamid Dabashi, I think he adds little of value to the discussion.

Whatever the outcome of the recent troubles, Iran sees itself as a natural leader in the region. It is determined to follow an independent foreign policy, and regards the nuclear question as a matter of national pride, and nobody elses business. With war raging all around it, we ask: is Iran a regional influence, or an international threat?

Empire examines a country torn between traditional values and modernity, between its imperial past and its relations with the region, between its universal pretentions and its moderate means, between its highly educated and globalised urban youth and its more conservative hinterland.

Author: Idrees Ahmad

I am a Lecturer in Digital Journalism at the University of Stirling and a former research fellow at the University of Denver’s Center for Middle East Studies. I am the author of The Road to Iraq: The Making of a Neoconservative War (Edinburgh University Press, 2014). I write for The Observer, The Nation, The Daily Beast, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Al Jazeera, Dissent, The National, VICE News, Huffington Post, In These Times, Le Monde Diplomatique, Die Tageszeitung (TAZ), Adbusters, Guernica, London Review of Books (Blog), The New Arab, Bella Caledonia, Asia Times, IPS News, Medium, Political Insight, The Drouth, Canadian Dimension, Tanqeed, Variant, etc. I have appeared as an on-air analyst on Al Jazeera, the BBC, TRT World, RAI TV, Radio Open Source with Christopher Lydon, Alternative Radio with David Barsamian and several Pacifica Radio channels.

One thought on “Iran: Influence or Threat”

  1. This may come across as an unsubstantiated attack, but Dabashi has proven himself something of a fraud. I confronted him at a talk last night, and his defenses were pathetically evasive: “well, it’s a social fact that there was fraud,” and etc etc. I suggested that Ahmadinejad’s win was likewise a “social fact” among those who voted for him, and that like all elections, this one obviously broke down upon class lines, and all he did was blow smoke (to raucous applause from the hyenas in the audience every-time he perorated about some mysterious amalgam known as “Western leftists.”

    He uses a lot of big words, and knows his Spivak and his Said, and my friend said that he was a “very charismatic speaker” (I was too annoyed by the flurry of lies and half-truths to notice this), but those qualities get you to the most prestigious chair in Iranian studies in the country? Deploying abstruse rhetoric does not an intellectual make. I’ll stick with Abrahamian.
    My own take is here:
    http://www.maxajl.com/?p=1423

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