Self-sufficiency deeply rooted in Iran’s national culture, historian saysHistorians in the News
Iran’s quest for self-sufficiency has deep historical roots that are as much economic and cultural as political, an Iranian studies expert said as the USC Dornsife-Farhang Foundation Iranian Studies Initiative kicked off its annual distinguished lecture series.
“Well before the advent of abundant oil wealth, Iranians have tended to see their country as a unique nation amply endowed with natural resources that could take care of itself without outside assistance,” said Rudi Matthee, distinguished professor of history at the University of Delaware. “If only meddling outside forces and foreign powers would allow it to do so.”
A presiding sentiment in Iran is that “the world needs Iran more than Iran needs the world,” said Matthee, former president of the Association for the Study of Persianate Societies. While Iran has historically participated in foreign trade, the nation’s leaders have become more concerned about upholding a sense of pride about the country’s cultural greatness than the issue of trade, he said...
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