On April 1, 2014, Iranian dissident Mohsen Sazegara gave a guest lecture as part of Prof. Joshua Muravchik’s class on Ideas and Values in International Politics (IWP 606). His remarks covered the topics of ideology and interest in the international policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Mr. Sazegara had served as a press assistant to Ayatollah Khomeini during his exile in Paris, and accompanied him triumphantly back to Teheran. The youngest member of the elite circle of the Iranian revolution, Mr. Sazegara went on to become head of national radio, then chief of heavy industry, among other high-level positions in the Islamic Republic.
But he grew disillusioned with the cruelty of the regime, and in stages became one of the country’s key dissidents. After four arrests and a prolonged hunger strike he was allowed to depart Iran in 2004 for medical care, intending to return. Then he was sentenced in absentia to six more years imprisonment in order to deter him from returning to Iran. He is one of the leading members of the dissident movement in exile, and served in 2009 as the US representative of the Green Movement.
The Ideas and Values class at IWP covers the role of ideas in international politics and the practical application of ideas to the conduct of foreign policy. The course serves in many ways as the conceptual core of the Institute’s approach to the study of international politics.