Background Briefing: April 16, 2024


A Look Inside Iran as Its People Wait for Israel’s Retaliation Which Could Lead to a Wider War

We begin with a look inside of Iran to gauge the attitudes of its people as the country waits for a retaliation from Israel that could lead to a wider war. Joining us is Assal Rad, the former Research Director of the National Iranian American Council and the author of The State of Resistance: Politics, Culture, and Identity in Modern Iran. We discuss today’s announcement by the Secretary of the Treasury that the US is considering imposing more sanctions on Iran whose economy is beset with more than 40% inflation and a shrinking middle class as the clerical elite and Revolutionary Guards rob the country blind.


The Symbiosis Between Israel’s Hardline PM and Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei

Then we look into the symbiosis between Israel’s hardline P.M. Netanyahu and Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei who both oppose a two-state solution for the Palestinians and have delusions of global influence. Joining us is Mansour Farhang, a professor emeritus of international relations at Bennington College in Vermont. He resigned from his post as revolutionary Iran’s first ambassador to the United Nations when Khomeini’s regime refused to accept the U.N.’s recommendation to release its U.S. hostages. His books include U.S. Imperialism: The Spanish-American War to the Iranian Revolution and The U.S. Press and Iran: Foreign Policy and the Journalism of Deference.


An Assessment of Today’s Oral Argument That Could Result in the Supreme Court Undoing Charges Against Trump and the J6 Insurrectionists

Then finally we assess today’s oral arguments before the Supreme Court in a case that could undo felony charges against hundreds of January 6 insurrectionists and dismiss half of the charges Trump faces in the Washington DC trial. Joining us is Claire Finkelstein, a Professor of Law and Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania where she is also the founder and faculty director of the Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law at the Annenberg Public Policy Center. Her current research addresses national security law and policy, democratic governance, and professional ethics, and her books include The Oxford Series in Ethics, National Security, and the Rule of Law, and most recently, Between Crime and War: Hybrid Legal Frameworks for Asymmetric Conflict.