Pooneh Ghoddoosi explores the long history of Iranian suspicion of the outside world.
As Washington pulls out of the nuclear deal with Tehran, why are Iranians so often suspicious of the motives of the outside world? Pooneh Ghoddoosi, who has presented numerous programmes on the BBC Persian Service, explores a long and tortuous history. It dates back to the Western desire for Iran's rich oil reserves in the early 20th century, and continues through the CIA-backed coup in 1953, which strengthened the Shah's grip on the throne. The Western powers supported Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War, while the US is believed to have unleashed a highly effective cyber-weapon against the Iranian nuclear programme. Iran has reasons to be equally suspicious of Moscow - with the Russian Empire seizing large parts of historical Persia in the 19th century.