The LSE Public Lectures and Events at the London School of Economics, in short the LSE podcast, is great series of guest lectures at the LSE, which are almost invariably worth listening in on. Subjects that are of great interest are being discussed by world specialists and responded to by an educated audience.
Whether Hooman Majd, an Iranian journalist who lives in the US, is such a great specialist is something he actually shed doubt on in his own lecture The Ayatollah Begs to Differ - the path to an Islamic Democracy. Although he has written a book under the same title and he frequently visits Iran, he states there are no Iran experts and he certainly doesn't regard himself as one. The audience also turns out to have second thoughts. When Majd wants to argue that Iran is not a dictatorship, critical questions about that statement are met with cheers in the hall.
Nevertheless, this lecture is very interesting. It emphasizes once more, as we have heard in other podcasts, that Iran is in no way a monolithic state. It is not so culturally, ethnically, religiously and even politically. As others have done Majd paints a picture of two factions vying for power, the fundamentalists with Ahmedinijad in their side and the moderates with Moussavi. There might even be more flavors in the spectrum, but even in this picture, Majd tells how free, open and carefully democratic Iranian society is. And in this version of Iran, the road to further liberalization is open. And as to the nuclear program, Majd sees that as a scientific and energy project.
I have added the episode to the composite podcast feed Anne is a Man - Iran.
More LSE Events:
In Search of Islam’s Civilization,
Religion and the Market - John Gray on LSE,
John Gray's cultural pessimism,