Vail Symposium presents program on Iran, the United States and what the future holds |

Vail Symposium presents program on Iran, the United States and what the future holds

The current administration has pursued a policy of “maximum pressure” against Iran. The Vail Symposium program will discuss Iran's past, present and future through a current events lens.
Special to the Daily

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What: Iran in Turmoil? Prospects for Change

When: Doors open at 5:30 p.m. today; program begins at 6

Where: The Sebastian-Vail | Vail

Tickets: Tickets are $25 in advance, $35 at midnight before the show and at the door.

More information: Visit for more information and to purchase tickets.

With Iran’s recent declaration that it will no longer follow the nuclear deal it signed with the U.S. in 2015 after the death of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in a U.S. drone attack in Baghdad, the Vail Symposium’s program Monday couldn’t be more relevant.

The Vail Symposium and Abbas Milani, Ph.D., the Hamid and Christina Moghadam director of Iranian Studies at Stanford University, will present a timely program focusing on Iranian history, present and future at 6 tonight at the Sebastian-Vail.

Forty years ago, a group of Iranian militants seized 98 people at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in what became known as the Iran hostage crisis. All remaining hostages were eventually released from captivity 444 days later, nut the damage was done. In the intervening decades, Americans have held an overwhelmingly unfavorable view of Iran. According to 2019 Gallup polling, 82% of Americans view Iran unfavorably.

The current administration has pursued a policy of “maximum pressure” against Iran, which includes harsh economic sanctions and pulling out of the nuclear treaty that was negotiated during the Obama administration and included five other major powers. For its part, Iran has not shied away from provocative and deadly behavior toward the United States and its Middle Eastern allies.

On Jan. 3, an airstrike killed Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force and one of the most powerful figures in the Islamic Republic, in Baghdad. Following the event, Iran backed out of the aforementioned nuclear deal from 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to limit Trump’s authority to take military action while the administration has imposed sanctions on Iran.

“Americans don’t like Iran” said Claire Noble of the Vail Symposium. “Given Iran’s support for Hezbollah, (Syrian President) Bashar al-Assad and militants within Iraq, that animus is understandable and justifiable. However, Iran is a complex and pivotal country in an incendiary part of the world. It behooves us to better understand what is going on in Iran and what their future moves might include.”

In this timely program, Milani will provide a look into the turbulent internal dynamics of Iranian society, particularly as it relates to its troubled economy, rising unemployment and inflation, diminished options on oil, questions of succession and an increasingly assertive women’s movement. Will Iran be more democratic in the future? And how will recent events impact the United States’ policy and relationship with Iran?

As events continue to unfold, this program will undoubtedly change as well to reflect the most up-to-date information and news.

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