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Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life

Iran and the Arab Spring: Tehran's Love-Hate Relationship with People Power

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Photo by Scott Peterson.

Scott Peterson
Christian Science Monitor

Date: Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Time: 12:00-1:15 PM
Location: Boisi Center, 24 Quincy Road

Abstract:  In his recent book, Let the Swords Encircle Me (2010), Peterson writes about the latest episodes of Iran’s century-old quest for democracy and freedom. The book gives voice to Iranians themselves—the clerics and the reformers, the filmmakers and the journalists, the True Believers and their Westernized and profane brethren—to understand the complexities of Iran today. In his talk, Peterson will draw from his experience as a foreign correspondent and photojournalist in the middle east--including 30 visits to Iran--to explain how Iran's 2009 election and its violent aftermath established a template for people-power revolution across the Middle East, but also forced the Islamic Republic into a web of contradictions that may result in its downfall.

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Scott Peterson is the Istanbul Bureau chief for the Christian Science Monitor and a photographer for Getty Images. He has covered Iran as the Middle East Correspondent for the Monitor based in Amman, Jordan, then later as Moscow Bureau Chief. During those years, his coverage stretched from Algiers to Beirut to Tehran, and later all of Russia and Central Asia. Prior to joining the Monitor, he covered Africa and the Balkans for The Daily Telegraph (London) working throughout the former Yugoslavia on conflicts in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Serbia. Peterson is the author of Let the Swords Encircle Me: Iran--A Journey Behind the Headlines (2010) and Me Against My Brother: At War in Somalia, Sudan, and Rwanda (2000). As a photographer for Getty Images, his work has appeared in major news magazines includingTime, Newsweek, The New York Times Magazine, Paris Match and Le Figaro. Peterson earned his bachelor's degree in English and East Asian Studies from Yale University.

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In the News

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In a recent Washington Post Op-Ed, Ray Takeyh argues that Iran has added legitimacy to the Green movement in Iran, which is pushing the nation toward a post-authoritarian stage. On Sept. 27, photographer and writer Scott Peterson shared his observations on the mind of Ahmadinejad and how Iran has locked itself into a web of contradictions. Listen to the audio of his talk.