The New Nuclear Agreement: How Does Tehran View Its National Security?

The U.S. considers Iran a national security threat, and in Iran it's the mirror image. Many Iranians see the U.S. and Israel as a profound danger. In this project, veteran foreign correspondent Reese Erlich looks at the security issue as seen from Tehran in light of the recent nuclear agreement reached with the U.S.

Under the shah, Iran planned to build nuclear power plants, fearing that Iran's oil reserves would eventually dry up. Those plans ended with Iran's 1979 revolution, but were resurrected in recent years. What the West sees as nuclear bomb potential, Iran sees as energy self-sufficiency. Meanwhile, there's very little debate in Iran about the high costs and safety issues related to nuclear power.

The US has imposed stringent economic sanctions on Iran, but they have had little impact on the lifestyle of Iran's leaders. Meanwhile ordinary Iranians suffer due to lack of medicines, a falling currency and severe economic recession. Some of the economic problems flow directly from sanctions, others from Iranian mismanagement.

Visiting hospitals, the rich and working class neighborhoods of Tehran, and the famous Bazaar, Erlich presents the voices of ordinary Iranians. How do they assess the nuclear deal with the Obama Administration and what are their hopes for future US-Iran relations? Will the two countries find additional areas of cooperation or will hostilities transfer away from the nuclear issue towards regional conflict?

Iran Belongs to Its Youth

In this radio documentary for Making Contact, Reese Erlich delves into the political and economic impact of Iranian youth on the country's government.

Foreign Investments Spark Controversy in Iran

Following the Iran nuclear deal, international sanctions are being rolled back. While President Rouhani hopes to attract foreign investments, the issue remains contentious.