Full episode - July 08, 2019
When we left off with our second season, there were... a few things happening with Iran… And Amb. William Burns has a unique perspective -- he's been down this road with Iran before, as one of the architects of the 2015 nuclear deal. We ask Burns for a gut check on the current situation, from Iran's threats to ramp up uranium enrichment, to the fallout from President Trump's 'exchange of love letters' with North Korea. He also shares some of the lessons from "the most depressing brainstorming session" of his career. William Burns served five presidents and retired as the State Department's No. 2 official. Today he’s the head of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, in Washington, DC. His book is “The Back Channel: A Memoir of American Diplomacy and the Case for Its Renewal.”
Full episode - June 24, 2019
The first clue something was wrong came in the form of an alert on Yegi Rezaian’s phone. Where I grew up,” she says, “these things don’t happen by accident.” Within hours, Yegi and her husband, Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, found themselves in Iran’s notorious Evin prison. And interrogations quickly turned surreal. Jason’s captors seemed convinced his Kickstarter campaign to bring avocados to Iran was some kind of spycraft. So… it took some time before they came to realize that, one of the reasons they were arrested… and, one of the reasons that Jason would spend the next 544 days in prison… Was the Iran deal. In our final episode of the season, we look at collateral damage. Because when the US entered the Iran deal, and when President Trump pulled out, it kicked off a whole series of international events with consequences we’re still feeling today.
Full episode - June 17, 2019
If you want to know how sanctions are playing out in Iran — look no further than the classified ads. You’ll find folks selling unused cosmetics, pets, and… something even more unusual. But you might also come across people like Alireza Jahromi, an entrepreneur with a chain of trendy burger joints. He says sanctions are like a tsunami— destructive. But if you know how to surf, you grab your board and paddle out. And he says Iran, metaphorically speaking, is a country of surfers. On this episode, we ask if US policymakers may have underestimated Iranian resiliency and whether President Trump’s suffocating sanctions are likely to lead to new nuclear negotiations, or just reinforce a bitter feud.
Full episode - June 10, 2019
money illustration
Is our foreign policy for sale?
Full episode - June 03, 2019
missle
Before they were enemies, the US and Iran used to have a thing. In fact, we started their nuclear program.
Full episode - May 29, 2019
slog image
Diplomacy isn't glamorous, it’s grueling. But when it works, it can stop a war.
Full episode - May 23, 2019
Boom
Was Trump right to walk away from the Iran deal? Or was there something else -- something more political -- going on?
Full episode - May 13, 2019
 Things that Go Boom, season 2 episode 1
Are we headed for nuclear war?
Full episode - May 06, 2019
Things that Go Boom, season 2
It’s been called President Obama’s signature foreign policy achievement — so why does the Trump administration think it was the “worst deal ever” made?
Full episode - February 12, 2018
Betty Flak
We don’t always talk about the things that scare us most.

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