Supplemental Materials

Iran Through the Looking Glass: History, Reform, and Revolution

Iran Through the Looking Glass: History, Reform, and Revolution traces the history of Iran from its early dynasties to the present. Readings and activities help students understand the political and cultural conditions that led to the 1979 Revolution and its aftermath.

Teaching Aids

Graphic Organizers

Iran Maps
Achaemenian Empire at its Height, Iran Today and British and Russian Spheres of Influence in Iran

Government Chart
This outlines major government institutions, their roles, and relationship to each other.

Videos featuring experts—professors, policy makers, journalists, activists, and artists—answering questions that complement the readings and lessons.

Online Lessons from the Choices Program

The United States and the Iranian Nuclear Program
In this lesson students explore, debate, and evaluate multiple perspectives on U.S. policy towards Iran.

Reporting the Revolution
Students generate and print a front page story reflecting their option and then present to the class.

Looking at Iran
Students analyze photos to formulate hypotheses about contemporary Iran and identify the challenges of using images as a source of information.

Timeline of Iranian History
Students explore Iranian History through videos, maps and Images.

Women in Iran
Students explore their perceptions of women in Iran, gather information from scholarly online videos and consider the possible effects of perceptions on international relations.

Additional Online Resources

Recently Released Documents on the CIA role in the 1953 coup, in their original format, are used in the Day Two Lesson.

1998 Official CIA History
A highly redacted history written by the CIA in 1998.

1954 Summary
The summary of 1953 coup written in 1954 by a CIA historian.

CIA Initial Operation Plan for 1953 Coup
This document is transcribed in the Teacher Resource Book. It is available here in its original form.

"United States Policy regarding the Present Situation in Iran"
Top Secret Report, November 20, 1952, is excerpted in the Teacher Resource Book. It is available here in full unedited form.


VIDEO - Iran, Winter 1979 [2:15]
This video of a news broadcast from YouTube is a good introduction to the roleplay. It illustrates the scope of protests and conveys the feeling of uncertainty about the future of Iran.

VIDEO - The Shah on Torture [1:20]
This video of the shah can be used in conjunction with the Day Five lesson "Human Rights in Iran."

Web Links

Iran Chamber Society
Extensive Information on Iranian history, art, and culture.

The Secret CIA History of the Iran Coup, 1953
Primary sources about the coup.

Secrets of History: The CIA in Iran
The New York Times published secret CIA documents on the history of the 1953 coup.


Cleveland, William. A History of the Modern Middle East (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2000). 585 Pages.

Bill, James A. The Eagle and the Lion: The Tragedy of American-Iranian Relations (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988). 520 pages.

Keddie, Nicki R. Modern Iran: Roots and Results of a Revolution (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006). 408 pages.

Kinzer, Stephen. All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror (Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, 2003). 258 pages.

Gheissari, Ali and Vali Nasr. Democracy in Iran: History and the Quest for Liberty (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006) 214 pages.

Mottahedeh, Roy, The Mantle of the Prophet: Religion and Politics in Iran (New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 1985). 416 pages.