Iran is a country at the centre of many conflicts, from the Sunni Shia split to American support for Israel and Saudi Arabia in their battles for supremacy with Tehran.

But what shapes its policies both domestically and regionally? Is it faith, a regime fighting to survive, or revolutionary zeal? Or is it simply a country and people misunderstood?

Helping us navigate this discussion are Emeritus Professor and Middle East expert Paul Rogers, Professor in Modern History at the University of St Andrews Ali Ansari, and Afshin Shahi, senior lecturer in Middle East Politics and International Relations at University of Bradford.

About The Speakers

Afshin Shahi

Dr Afshin Shahi is a senior lecturer in Middle East politics and International Relations at Bradford University. He is a multilingual scholar and his research interests encompass sectarianism and the politics and security of the Middle East, with a particular focus on political Islam. He is the author of Politics of Truth Management in Saudi Arabia (Routledge 2013), and co-author of the forthcoming book, Iran: the Shia State and the Sunni Minority.

Ali Ansari

Ali Ansari is a Professor of Iranian History at the University of St Andrews and author of Iran: A Very Short Introduction.



About The Host

Paul Rogers

Emeritus Professor of Peace Studies at Bradford University, International Security Advisor to the Oxford Research Group and weekly contributor to Open Democracy since September 2001.