Iran has been hard hit by the coronavirus outbreak, and the United States has faced pressure to ease sanctions to help the nation manage the pandemic. Penn Today spoke with Ciruce Movahedi-Lankarani, a doctoral candidate in Penn’s History Department, to get his take on the matter. Movahedi-Lankarani’s dissertation, “The Domain of Gas: Energy Technology and the Environment in Modern Iran,” focuses on the history of technology and natural gas in Iran.
“Given that the world remains fixated on Iran’s nuclear capabilities,” says historian Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet, who is Movahedi-Lankarani’s adviser, “this timely project shares new insights on the history of Iran’s technological developments in the 20th century, but does so within a humanistic framework. Ciruce’s dissertation offers a groundbreaking investigation of Iran’s use of energy resources and explains their indelible impact on the cultural landscape and natural environment of the country.”
After graduating this summer, Movahedi-Lankarani will take a position at the University of Southern California as holder of the Farhang Foundation Junior Chair in Iranian Studies.
In this Q&A, Movahedi-Lankarani discusses his research, how U.S. sanctions have played into Iran’s energy development, and how sanctions complicate the nation’s management of the viral outbreak.