Haleh Esfandiari knows the tense relationship between the United States and Iran from both sides. She’s an Iranian native that holds citizenship in both countries, and she established the Middle East program at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars.
In 2007, Esfandiari was jailed for more than 100 days as Iranian officials interrogated her about her work in academia. She was released only after her 93-year-old mother turned over the deed to her apartment to authorities in Tehran.
On April 21, Dr. Esfandiari delivered a lecture titled “Iran: Defender or Disrupter of Regional Security?” at the Howard H. Baker Center for Public Policy in Knoxville. Just before her talk, she spoke with WUOT All Things Considered anchor Brandon Hollingsworth about the issues facing the U.S. and Iran.