September 22, 2023 | Foreign Podicy

News Bulletin From Iran, 70 Years Late

September 22, 2023 Foreign Podicy

News Bulletin From Iran, 70 Years Late


“What’s past is prologue,” Shakespeare informed us. But what if the past is misunderstood? Or misrepresented?

 What if policy makers are making policies based on false historical narratives?

In 1979, host Cliff May went to Iran to report on the revolution that was then underway. Cliff admits that he didn’t know much about the country. But neither did most of his colleagues, reporters from around the world who had parachuted in to cover this big story.

 He was working on a documentary for PBS which had arranged for him to partner with an Iranian producer.  So, at least the producer was knowledgeable, right? Well, yes and no.

He was gung-ho for the revolution and an ardent admirer of its leader: the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. In other words, he was not a truth-seeking journalist but an enthusiastic propagandist. So, this turned out to be a challenging assignment for Cliff.

All these many years later, Ray Takeyh – the Hasib J. Sabbagh senior fellow for Middle East studies at the Council on Foreign Relations – is trying to understand and reveal the truth about modern Iranian history.

He’s well suited to the task: He holds a doctorate in modern history from Oxford University and has served as a senior advisor on Iran at the State Department. He joins Cliff for today’s discussion.

Also joining: Reuel Marc Gerecht, a former Iranian-targets officer in the Central Intelligence Agency, currently a resident scholar at FDD.