U.S.-Iran Relations: Truce but No Breakthrough

I attended the event entitled U.S.-Iran Relations: Truce but No Breakthrough with Ms. Barbara Slavin. Slavin’s book, “Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies”, was published in 2007 and has since gained international attention as one of the best books on current state of U.S.-Iranian relations. She began her career as a journalist and her first visit to Iran was in 1996. Throughout her talk, Slavin discussed how she has been fortunate enough in her career to have been allowed unique glimpses into the processes that have led to this period of d├ętente between the two historically polarized nations. I found Slavin’s frank insight refreshing; all too often the conversations surrounding diplomatic policies of the U.S. regarding the Middle East are composed entirely of men. Hearing of Slavin’s success and listening to her analyze the potential state of the political climate gave me hope for my dreams to become a diplomat.

Slavin theorized that a deal with Iran is likely to materialize soon. She guessed that if a deal does not occur, relations are likely to be forever changed due to the opening of communication channels that are the first of their kind. As evidence for this claim, she cites the increasing frequency with which Iranian and American diplomats meet, the frequency and content of talks between John Kerry and senior Iranian officials, and the political climate since the late 2000’s. The most interesting aspect of the Iranian question is, in my opinion, the complex chain of allied and enemy countries that all have a stake in how the U.S. relates to Iran. Slavin analyzed this to an extent; however, I would be fascinated to hear her detailed thoughts on the matter.

Barbara Slavin speaking at the University of Oklahoma

Barbara Slavin speaking at the University of Oklahoma

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