The Persian Complex: A Centuries-Old Quest for Respect. Political Cultural and Religious Antecedents of the Iranian Worldview
CENTER FOR NAVAL ANALYSES ALEXANDRIA VA
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In September 2008, CNA convened several of the countrys leading experts on Persian history and contemporary Iran for a workshop to examine some of the factors shaping Iranians view of themselves and of the West. In Iran, the past is very much present-tangibly, in the pre-Islamic and Islamic monuments, which are among the worlds cultural treasures, and metaphorically, in the collective consciousness. Workshop speakers first focused on two aspects of the Iranian past which differentiate the Iranian identity the achievements of the ancient Persians and the acquisition of Shia Islam as the national faith. Speakers then examined 19th and 20th-century historical antecedents of Iranian resentment toward the West. Finally, two former U.S. officials who were close observers of Iranian events at the time discussed whether the U.S. could have predicted the Islamic Revolution of 1979.
- Humanities and History