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US foreign policy and the Iranian Revolution: The Dynamics of Engagement and Strategic Alliance

During this talk, Dr Emery will discuss the main findings from his new book: 'US Foreign Policy and the Iranian Revolution: the Cold War Dynamics of Engagement and Strategic Alliance'. In February 1979, a revolution led by a seventy-six year old cleric espousing a relatively obscure interpretation of Shia Islam succeeded in dislodging one of Washington's most powerful allies in the Middle East. Although low-level analysts had long warned of a crisis looming in Iran, Carter's senior foreign policy advisors, distracted by more pressing foreign policy initiatives, had resisted any serious rethinking of US strategy. Dr Emery will examine the nature of the adjustment they were forced to make. He will show that, contrary to the claims of Iran's leaders, US diplomats tried in good faith to build bridges with the new regime. Good faith was not enough, however, and Dr Emery will discuss how Cold War dogma and a range of misperceptions undermined America’s 'new' policy. His talk will then focus on how US policy objectives in Iran were refashioned in light of three major and converging crises: the Iran hostage crisis, the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, and the onset of the Iran-Iraq dynamic. Dr Emery will provide a fresh perspective on the origins of one of the most bitter and enduring confrontations in international relations.

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Event Details

Speaker: Dr Christian Emery, University of Plymouth
Chair: Dr Roham Alvandi, LSE
Monday 02 December 2013
Time: 18.30-20.00
Location:  Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE
Attendance: This event is free and open to all on a first come first served basis. Our events are very well attended, please make sure to arrive early. We cannot guarantee entry




Christian Emery is a Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Plymouth. He completed his PhD at the University of Birmingham and held teaching positions at the University of Warwick and the University of Nottingham. Between 2010 and 2013 he was a Fellow in the Department of International Relations at the London School of Economics. He is the author of several articles and book chapters on US foreign policy and US-Iranian relations and he has written for a variety of mainstream media outlets. 'US Foreign Policy and the Iranian Revolution' is his first monograh.