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Local perspective on Iran

Anti-government protesters attend a demonstration blaming the government for the delayed announcement of the unintentional downing of a Ukrainian plane last week, at the Tehran University campus in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020. Anti-government protesters are angered by the late announcement of the mistake by officials and military, saying an apology is not enough and all those responsible must be held accountable. Pro-government protesters say the Revolutionary Guard should not be undermined for this mistake and accuse foreign powers of stirring up unrest in the country.

(AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Anti-government protesters attend a demonstration blaming the government for the delayed announcement of the unintentional downing of a Ukrainian plane last week, at the Tehran University campus in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020. Anti-government protesters are angered by the late announcement of the mistake by officials and military, saying an apology is not enough and all those responsible must be held accountable. Pro-government protesters say the Revolutionary Guard should not be undermined for this mistake and accuse foreign powers of stirring up unrest in the country.

Tensions between the United States and Iran have escalated markedly over the past several weeks following the killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani by a U.S. drone.

The Trump administration initially said Soleimani was targeted because he was planning imminent terrorist attacks. Now, the administration says the killing of Soleimani was part of a strategy to fight worldwide threats against U.S. interests. There was great concern in the aftermath of his death that the two nations could go to war.

Then, global attention shifted to Iran after Iranian forces shot down a passenger jet, killing all on board and drawing world-wide condemnation. Iran says the plane was shot down accidentally. Demonstrations against the government have followed in Iran leading many to hope this is a sign of mass public dissent.

The situation with Iran remains very unstable even while the broader threat of war appears to have dissipated.

Appearing on Smart Talk Wednesday to help put the events into context are Dr. Mehdi Noorbaksh, Ph.D, Professor of International Affairs at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology and PA Post reporter Joseph Darius Jafaari.

Read Joseph Jafaari’s PA Post column on coverage of Iran here.

Dr. Mehdi Noorbaksh, Ph.D and PA Post reporter Joseph Jafaari appear on Smart Talk on January 15, 2020.

Alexandra Stein

Dr. Mehdi Noorbaksh, Ph.D and PA Post reporter Joseph Jafaari appear on Smart Talk on January 15, 2020.

 

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