While the U.S. drone strike that killed an Iranian military leader earlier this year caught the attention of many Americans and almost sparked a war between Iran and the U.S., more than that singular event brought both nations to that point.    
On Thursday, Feb. 6, Cal State San Bernardino’s Center for Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies (CIMES) will explore that when it presents, “The United States & Iran: From Manufactured Crisis to the Brink of War,” featuring author and journalist Dr. Gareth Porter. The free talk, open to the public and moderated by CSUSB professor of history, David Yaghoubian, will take place at 6 p.m. in the College of Education building, room CE-105.
The program is co-sponsored by the Department of Communication Studies, the Department of History, the College of Extended & Global Education, and the Center for International Studies & Programs. 
The Jan. 3 drone attack that killed Iran’s Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani in Baghdad, Iraq, and Iran’s subsequent rocket strike on Iraqi bases where U.S. troops were stationed, was the latest in a series of events between the two countries that have had a complicated relationship dating to the early 1950s, if not before.
The recent tensions stem from U.S. President Donald Trump pulling out of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the multi-national agreement to regulate Iran’s nuclear development program. The Trump administration pulled the U.S. out of the agreement in May 2018, saying it wanted a stronger deal and imposed economic sanctions on Iran to get it to the negotiation table. In the context of a CIA and British-backed coup in 1953 through the 1979 Iranian Revolution (which included the U.S. Embassy hostage crisis), the so-called “maximum pressure campaign” has arguably led to the current escalation of tension between the U.S. and Iran.
Porter is an independent investigative journalist and historian who has focused for the past two decades on the U.S. national security state during and after the Cold War. He is the author of four books, including “Perils of Dominance Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam (2005),” and “Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare (2015).” He has completed a new book with John Kiriakou, “Iran Crisis: From CIA Coup to the Brink of War,” to be published by Skyhorse Books in February.
Porter was Saigon bureau chief for Dispatch News Service in 1971 while carrying out research for his doctoral dissertation at Cornell University, where he earned his Ph.D. in Southeast Asian Studies. He was also co-director of the anti-war research and education group, Indochina Resource Center in Washington, D.C., from 1974 through 1976. He wrote regularly for Inter Press Service on U.S. wars and interventions in the greater Middle East from 2004 through 2014 and has written dozens of in-depth investigatory stories on Middle East-related issues for a number of on-line news outlets, including The Nation, Foreign Policy, Truthout, Truthdig, Le Monde Diplomatic and The American Conservative.
In 2012 Porter was the winner of the U.K.-based Gellhorn Prize for Journalism, awarded for the best journalistic writing that exposes government lies and deception (named for U.S. foreign correspondent Martha Gellhorn).