We encourage you to come see, "All the Shah's Men," a play by Matthew Spangler. This original work based on Stephen Kinzer's award-winning book by the same name will be on stage in San Francisco's Mission District, May 3-20.
2901 Mariposa Street
San Francisco, CA (map)
Directed by Vickie Rozell, the play tells the story of the 1953 CIA led coup in Iran which ousted the country’s elected prime minister, ushered in a quarter-century of brutal rule under the Shah, and contributed to the rise of animosity towards the United States in Iran.
These events led directly to Iran’s 1979 revolution – as depicted in the 2012 Academy Award-winning film Argo. Farshad Farahat, who co-stared in Argo will be playing several roles in “All the Shah’s Men” at the Royce Gallery. Incidentally, it just so happens that Farshad is a member of Ploughshares Fund’s board of directors.
“All the Shah’s Men” provides what we believe is essential background for understanding the complexities of the US-Iran relationship, including the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, or JCPOA, which currently blocks Iran’s pathway for building a nuclear weapon. The well-known animosity between Iran and the US as well as the accompanying political tensions have a history that, in part, goes back to the events of this play.
What many people in the US do not realize is that in the 1950s Iran began its quest for nuclear energy with assistance from a US government program called “Atoms for Peace”. The Shah had plans to build an estimated 20 nuclear reactors. Although Iran is a signatory to the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), we now know that in the 1970's, under the Shah, Iran began secretly seeking to build a nuclear bomb – work that was continued by Iran’s Revolutionary Government that came to power in 1979, declaring itself as an adversary of the West and particularly the United States.
The 2015 Iran nuclear agreement was negotiated because of security concerns over Iran having a nuclear energy program, which many in the United States, and elsewhere, feared was cover for a nuclear weapons production program.
The 2015 Iran nuclear agreement effectively constrains Iran’s nuclear program and blocks Iran’s pathways to a nuclear bomb. The agreement is also critical in preventing a new war in the Middle East and promoting constructive economic engagement with Iran’s civil society. The Iran Deal was celebrated internationally as the most comprehensive nonproliferation agreement in a generation. America civil society played a crucial role in this historic victory, and Ploughshares Fund is proud to have played an important role in these efforts.
However, the fight isn’t over. The fate of the agreement now lies in the hands of President Trump and the requirement that he reissue sanctions waivers every 90-120 days. The next deadline is May 12.
Video: Matthew Spangler discusses ASF's World Premier adaptation of Stephen Kinzer's "All the Shah's Men". Published on YouTube December 29, 2017
Thumbnail photo on ploughshares.org and on social media: Shah of Iran and Richard Nixon, state visit to US, 24 July 1973. Public domain