After two years, Peabody Award Winner Reese Erlic returned to UNC on Thursday to speak about U.S. policy in Iran and the Middle East. He touched on topics like the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly known as the Iran Nuclear Deal, the Trump administration and relationships between Iran and other countries.
Erlich, an author and journalist, travels often to Iran and studies its relation to the U.S. and other Middle Eastern countries. His most notable trip to Iran was when he guided Sean Penn through the world of the ordinary Iranian by seeing how their culture compared to those in the U.S. He was the first Hollywood movie star to come to Iran since the revolution in 1979.
During his presentation, he talked about U.S. policies and how the Trump administration has affected Iranians. Despite extensive conflicts with the U.S. in the 21st century, the Iranian people are known to be very friendly to Americans, Erlich said.
Erlich said this is because Iranian people view American people and the American government separately. On the contrary, he said many Americans tend to group everyone from the Middle East as a threat to our society.
Under the Obama administration in 2015, the Iran Deal was created to halt nuclear production in Iran and allow the U.S. to ensure the premises of the deal were followed by Iran. The deal was put in place to assure that Iran was not advancing in the production power. In return for signing this plan, the U.S. would lift sanctions put against Iran.