Iran | St. Louis Public Radio


Provided by Washington University

Many in the United States likely view Iran as a closed society, one that has limited contact with the western world. But many in Iran would like to see more cultural exchanges.

Among them is Grammy-nominated Iranian musician Hossein Alizadeh, who performs Sunday at Washington University. An avant-garde musician, Alizadeh is known improvising on the radif, a  traditional Persian musical instrument. He has toured the world extensively and taught music in Europe and the Middle East.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, right, and Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons take part in a roundtable on heroin abuse on Monday in Granite City.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin provided a fairly blunt reply to the proposition that the War on Drugs failed.

“By some measure, it has failed,” said Durbin, D-Ill. “If the measure is the cost of drugs on the street, it has failed. But when we look at the individual lives saved, there are certainly heroic great stories to be told. But we have to be honest about what works and what doesn’t.”

At noon: President Obama speaks on Iran nuclear deal

Jul 15, 2015
President Obama will speak to the press about the Iran nuclear deal on Wednesday, June 15, 2015.
Flickr | Official White House Flickr account

President Obama will take questions from the press today at noon on the Iran nuclear deal.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: During his 2009 Cairo speech, President Barack Obama acknowledged that in 1953 “the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government.” The complex history that coup exemplifies must be understood as we interpret the moderate persona of Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s new president. In particular, as negotiations begin this week, Mr. Obama should recall his 2009 speech and remain sensitive to the sometimes-sordid role we have played in Iran’s history.

(Courtesy Euphrates Institute)

The animosity between the governments of Israel and Iran is significant.

Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei once compared Israel to a cancerous tumor which should be “cut-off.”  President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said Israel would be “eliminated,” and that the country has no roots in the Middle East.

Israel has drawn a line in the sand and is threatening preemptive action to prevent an Iranian nuclear capability.

Two people from their respective countries, however, are engaging in peer-to-peer diplomacy, putting aside  hostility.

Obama: 'Time Is Not Unlimited' To Resolve Iran Nuclear Dispute Via Diplomacy

Sep 25, 2012
(Screen capture via UN video feed)

Updated 9:55 a.m. with recap, link to full remarks

President Obama addressed the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly today and touched on the Iran nuclear dispute and addressing the root causes of turmoil in the Middle East, among other topics.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 14, 2012 - WASHINGTON - The golden dome and minarets of the Shrine of Fatima al-Masumeh rise from the ancient holy city of Qom, the Iranian center of pilgrimage and religious scholarship for Shi'a Muslims.

A few miles to the north, near the town of Fordow, is a highly fortified, underground facility that recently began enriching uranium that, when refined to a higher grade, could be used to develop a nuclear weapon.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 8, 2012 - WASHINGTON - With Iran's currency losing more than a third of its value in recent weeks and its government wracked by internal struggles, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., is urging the White House to keep tightening U.S. sanctions that aim to curb Iran's nuclear weapons program. Kirk, the co-author of a tough new Iran sanctions measure that Congress approved in December and became law this month, said, "The world's oil and currency markets took the [U.S. Senate's] 100-0 vote as a crippling move against Iran's currency. And it's been falling ever since."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 30, 2011 - As she talks about her past and present, Valerie Plame Wilson is short and succinct. "I'm a wife, I'm a mother,'' she says. "And I was once a spy."

Plame Wilson was a veteran CIA operative when her cover was blown by the Bush administration and columnist Bob Novak in 2003 during a dispute over the reasons for the Iraq War.

2008 photo of Rocky Sickmann
Provided by Anheuser-Busch

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: For Rocky Sickmann of St. Louis, the U.S. war on terrorism began nearly 30 years ago -- on the morning he was taken hostage by Iranian militants and survived, along with 51 other American captives, 444 days of torment.