Haleh Esfandiari is a distinguished Iranian-American public intellectual. The director of the Woodrow Wilson Center's Middle East Program, she is the former deputy secretary general of the Women's Organization of Iran and has taught at Princeton University. She has worked in Iran as a journalist and is the author of Reconstructed Lives: Women and Iran's Islamic Revolution.
In part one of a two-part interview, host John Milewski speaks with Haleh Esfandiari, director of the Woodrow Wilson Center's Middle East Program, about her recently published memoir My Prison, My Home: One Woman's Story of Captivity in Iran. Dr. Esfandiari discusses how her annual holiday trip to Iran to visit her mother became a political nightmare that subsequently exposed the tensions in Iran-U.S. relations and the fear and paranoia that characterizes the current regime in Tehran. Haleh recounts her long and harrowing ordeal with the Iranian Intelligence Ministry and her detainment at the notorious Evin Prison, where she would spend 105 days in solitary confinement.