The U.S.-Iran Conflict & What's at Stake for American Foreign Policy in the Region

Jan 13, 2020

U.S. troops observe protests at the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, Dec. 31, 2019.
Credit wikimedia commons

It's been a volatile period in the Middle East, with the U.S. and Iran trading threats and attacks.  In just the last few weeks, an American contractor in Iraq was killed in an attack the U.S. blamed on an Iran-backed militia; the U.S. responded with airstrikes in Iraq that killed at least 25 fighters; hundreds of Iran-backed militiamen and their supporters held violent protests at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad; and a U.S. airstrike in Iraq killed a top Iranian general, setting off massive protests and a retaliatory strike by Iran.  We'll discuss the latest on this conflict, the history behind it, and what's at stake for U.S. foreign policy in the region.

Original Air Date: Jan. 13, 9:30 a.m. 


  • Jeannie Sowers - Associate professor of political science at the University of New Hampshire. She is an expert in comparative politics of the Middle East and the author of several books on the political economy, ecology and state-society relations in the Middle East and North Africa. Sowers studies U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, U.S. relations with Iran and Iraq, war and international humanitarian norms, the effects of sanctions, causes of failed states, the role of groups like ISIS, and the causes and consequences of popular protest in the Middle East.