University of Pittsburgh
February 10, 2009

Pitt Faculty Expert Says the 30th Anniversary of the Iranian Revolution Should Be a Time for U.S. Officials to Rethink Middle East Intervention Strategies

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-Magid Shihade, University Center for International Studies Visiting Professor in Contemporary International Issues at the University of Pittsburgh, is available to discuss the 30th anniversary of the Iranian revolution.

At the time of this anniversary, Shihade says, many in the Middle East view the history of U.S. and Western intervention in the region as negatively affecting the development of progressive political leadership and systems.

"After the rise of a democracy movement in Iran in the 1950s that culminated in the election of Prime Minister Mosaddeq, foreign governments toppled his government and reinstated the Shah," says Shihade. "The country later exploded in protest in reaction to Western interventions and local suppression of dissent, which culminated in the takeover of the revolution by an Islamic movement."

Shihade says the lesson taught by these events is that foreign interventions can not only lead to disrupted developments and hinder natural growth of political systems, but also could result in unexpected and unwelcome outcomes.

Shihade-a research associate in Middle East/South Asia Studies at the University of California, Davis-pursued his academic studies in Israel, Germany, and the United States. His research interests are modernity and sectarian violence, nationalism, and colonialism. Shihade teaches courses on the modern Middle East, the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, and U.S. foreign policy. Shihade received his PhD in interdisciplinary Near East/Middle East studies from the University of Washington.

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