Breakfast Forum

US vs. Iran - what now?

14 jan 2020 08:30 09:30 ENG

Knut Vikør (UiB) and Gilda Seddighi (Vestlandsforskning) in conversation with Åse G. Østensen (Norwegian Defence University College).

Recent events have altered the already intricate relationship between the US and Iran. In 2018 the US pulled out of the nuclear deal and reinforced sanctions toward Iran, which increased tensions between the two countries. Trump has since then expressed his perception of an increasing threat from Iran. 

Three days into the new year, Iranian general Qasem Soleimani was killed in an American drone attack. Soleimani was considered one of the most powerful persons in Iran, and an important man for the future of the country. Iran countered with a missile strike targeting US troops in Iraq, the most direct assault by Iran on the US since 1979. In addition Iran is calling for an end to the American presence in the region.

This breakfast seminar will try to make sense of this situation. What historical factors make recent events so dangerous? Will they change the balance of power in the Middle East? Is this the start of a new world war?


Knut Vikør is a professor of History at UiB. He has been focusing on, among other topics, history of Islam and Islamic law.

Gilda Seddighi is a researcher at Western Norway Research Institute (Vestlandsforskning). She wrote her PhD on “Politicization of grievable lives in Iranian Facebook pages”.

Åse Gilje Østensen is a project coordinator at The Norwegian Defence University College and is specialized in military companies as well as challenges regarding the intersection of civil and military work.