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Worlds Apart: A Documentary History of US-Iranian Relations, 1978-2018

The first panel of the Global Middle East Seminar Series for the Fall 2021 semester, authors Malcolm Byrne and Kian Byrne will discuss their new book, Worlds Apart: A Documentary History of U.S.-Iranian Relations, 1978-2018. In this unique history, Byrne and Byrne put the records first to explore the key themes, trends, and issues that have defined, and at times plagued, the U.S.-Iranian relationship over the past 40 years.

Date & Time

Sep. 21, 2021
11:00am – 12:30pm ET
Worlds Apart: A Documentary History of US-Iran Relations




A relationship beset with extraordinary acrimony, the U.S. and Iran rarely see eye-to-eye, if only to avoid war or nuclear catastrophe. What is at the core of this troubled rivalry that has stymied policymakers and scholars alike? Using a carefully selected collection of White House, CIA, State Department, and other records, Worlds Apart provides a comprehensive answer to this question: starting from the 1979 revolution and hostage crisis, through the Iran-Iraq War and the spread of radical Islam, to 9/11 and the nuclear impasse, to the 2009 Green Movement and the Obama and Trump presidencies. The records, which form the heart of the book, offer a rare, unfiltered view into the perspectives and experiences of the American and Iranian governments over 40 years. Providing timelines, glossaries, discussion questions, and a guide on reading declassified documents, Byrne and Byrne explore this complicated relationship accessibly and innovatively in this unique documentary history.

Hosted By

History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program makes public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, facilitates scholarship based on those records, and uses these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs.  Read more

Middle East Program

The Wilson Center’s Middle East Program serves as a crucial resource for the policymaking community and beyond, providing analyses and research that helps inform US foreign policymaking, stimulates public debate, and expands knowledge about issues in the wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.  Read more

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