When a Tunisian street vendor set himself on fire in December, 2010 to protest treatment by a police officer, he set off an unlikely chain of uprisings throughout the region, now dubbed as the "Arab Spring." Both Tunisia and Egypt's revolutions resulted in a change of government, and later in 2011, Libya's government also fell to rebels.
Marcia Franklin talks with Suzanne Maloney, a scholar at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, about the reasons why the uprisings are occurring, and their potential effects on the United States. The two also discuss U.S.-Iranian relations. Maloney is an expert on Iran.
Before she took her current position, Maloney worked as the Middle East advisor for ExxonMobil Corporation, was a member of the U.S. State Department's Policy Planning Staff, and directed the 2004 Council on Foreign Relations Task Force on US Policy toward Iran.
She is the author of Iran's Long Reach: Iran as a Pivotal State in the Muslim World.
The interview is part of Dialogue's ongoing "Conversations from the Sun Valley Writers' Conference" and was taped at the 2011 conference. Since 1995, the conference has been bringing together authors to discuss literature and life. Marcia Franklin has interviewed speakers there since 2005. This year's, and previous years', conversations can be found at the Dialogue Sun Valley Writers site.