On Friday, President Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke on the phone for 15 minutes, marking the first conversation between heads of state in over thirty years. They might not have solved world hunger or achieved world peace, but the phone call marks an important step in United States-Iran relations. In other words, this is a big deal.
So what did the US do to deserve the 30-year silent treatment?
All right, let’s dive into a quick history lesson.
In 1979, the Iranian people kicked US-backed Shah Pahlevi out of office and forced him into exile. Unfortunately, he was dying of cancer and didn’t have access to a meth lab or a chemistry education, so he settled for treatment in the US. Simultaneously, the Islamic religious leader Ayatollah Khomeini left exile and took over Iran during the Iranian Revolution, establishing the Islamic Republic of Iran. The people of Iran were annoyed with the United States for helping the Shah, so they held over fifty American diplomats hostage at the US embassy in Tehran for 444 days. America wasn’t too happy with Iran – all communication between the two countries’ high-ranking officials ceased and sanctions were imposed. If you are still confused, watch Argo. Read more…