Iran: Influence or threat?
Empire debates if the country is a regional plus or an international minus.
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2009 13:10 GMT

In depth

 The latest on Iran's post-election unrest

 Who's who in Iran

 Send us your videos and pictures from Iran

 Timeline: US-Iran relations
Watch part 2

The Islamic Revolution in 1979, headed by Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini introduced a theocracy in Iran that pledged to stand up to western dominance on the international stage.

Today, 30 years on, massive street demonstrations following a disputed election result are calling that authority into question.

A part of George Bush's original so-called axis of evil, Iran in recent times has been flexing its muscles and exerting its influence in the volatile Middle East region.

In the West has been viewed warily and as a potential international threat ever since the Shah’s overthrow of the Shah.

This month's guests

Professor Hamid Dabashi
Iranian Studies expert, Columbia University

Robert Malley
Programme Director, International Crisis Group

Flynt Leverett
Senior Fellow, New America Foundation

Professor Mansour Farhang
International relations expert, Bennington College

The subsequent US hostage crisis, and current support for groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas, does little to suggest that attitude will change anytime soon.

Empire examines the roots of discontent in Iran and questions whether there has been a loss of legitimacy and if the escalation of protests will affect Iran's regional role, its alliances and influence.

Marwan Bishara and his guests debate if Iran can claim to be a role model for other countries to follow.
We discuss whether the current crisis is one of individual leaders or of a system of governance and ask what can be expected from the Ahmadinejad and Khamenei camp in the weeks ahead.

This edition of Empire can be seen from Wednesday June 24 at the following times GMT: Wednesday 1900; Thursday 0300 and 1400; Friday 0600

Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
Ukrainians living in Russia are choosing to keep a low profile amid high tension between the countries.
Mother of jailed Al Jazeera journalist Abdullah Elshamy says her son's ordeal highlights the value of press freedom.
French Jews and Muslims say recent National Front victories in mayoral races reflect rising xenophobia.
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
Survivors of Bangladesh garment factory collapse say they received little compensation and face economic hardship.
As Iraq prepares to vote, deadly violence is surging. But at the site of one bomb attack, people insist life must go on.
French Jews and Muslims say recent National Front victories in mayoral races reflect rising xenophobia.
Up to 23,000 federal prisoners could qualify for clemency under new Justice Department initiative.
After years of rapid growth, Argentina is bracing for another economic crisis as inflation eats up purchasing power.
join our mailing list