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Interview On Iran With Brother Cannon

With news of military action between Iran and the United States, it may be confusing to know what could happen next and why there are conflicts between the two countries in the first place. 

Sean Cannon is a BYU-Idaho faculty member in the History, Geography and Political Science Department. He’s had multiple opportunities to go to the Middle East and learn more about the culture and has had the chance to teach a course on the Middle East on campus since 2007. BYU-Idaho Radio student reporter J.D. Packer interviewed Cannon about the current situation between Iran and the U.S. 

Cannon gave a little background before he got into the current situation. He said the relationship between the U.S. and Iran has changed in his lifetime, which has a precedent. He mentioned even between World War I and World War II there were changes. 

For example, the United States got more involved with Iran after the British were less involved during the World War II period, so the U.S. became involved to make sure the oil supply was stable. Later in the 1950’s the United States was concerned the government in Iran was becoming very nationalist and there was even an attempt to take over the oil company to make it part of the Iranian government. This led the U.S. to overthrow the prime minister and imposed their own ruler.  

“I think this led to a lot of anti-American sentiment going all the way back to the 1950’s and the Iranian people never forgot that,” Cannon said. 

Now there are new tensions between the two countries. 

“Over the course of the Trump administration we’ve seen economic sanctions increasing against the country of Iran and it’s come to the point where relationships are extremely tense between our two countries,” Cannon said. 

He said while living in the Middle East, he learned there are many economic issues for the people in Iran.  

“The people of Iraq and Iran are sick and tired of not being able to hold down a job, support their family, visit family, travel safely and live a normal life and that’s the bottom line,” he said. 

But will there be a World War III building out of this conflict? He said, no. 

“We need to remember that Iran and that the United States have been at odds for 40 years,” he said. “The leaders of Iran get their power in large by providing anti-American rhetoric to their people by saying America is the enemy just like North Korea does and yet they are not interested in war. They know they could not win a war against the United States, a conventional war.”