This year’s tensions between Iran and the US made global headlines, and the line between negotiations and war felt precarious for some time. What is life like for those in Iran in these tumultuous times? And how does conflict and media attention affect Iranians living in the West? Critically acclaimed Iranian author Amir Ahmadi Arian (Then the Fish Swallowed Him), Iranian-born New Zealand refugee and politician Golriz Ghahraman (Know Your Place) and The Atlantic war and terrorism reporter Mike Giglio (Shatter the Nations: ISIS and the War for the Caliphate) shed light on the topic, speaking with Guardian Australia’s Ben Doherty.

Mike Giglio (International)

Mike Giglio

Mike Giglio is a staff writer at The Atlantic in Washington, DC. He was previously based in Istanbul and reported extensively from the wars and conflicts that defined the last decade. His first book, Shatter the Nations: ISIS and the War for the Caliphate, is based on five years of immersive reporting from Iraq, Syria and southern Turkey, and includes voices from all sides of the conflict. He is a two-time finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and a winner of the Arthur F. Burns Prize.

Amir Ahmadi Arian (International)

Amir Ahmadi Arian

Amir Ahmadi Arian is a critically acclaimed Iranian author. His English language literary debut is Then the Fish Swallowed Him. Starting out as a journalist in Iran in 2000, Amir left his home country in 2011 to complete a PhD in comparative literature at the University of Queensland. He has since published a collection of stories, a non-fiction book and two novels in Persian. His English short stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Guardian UK and other publications. Amir has also translated novels by E. L. Doctorow, Paul Auster, P. D. James and Cormac McCarthy from English to Farsi. He earned a Master of Fine Arts in the NYU Creative Writing Program as The Axinn Foundation/E. L. Doctorow Fellowship recipient. Amir teaches literature and creative writing at CUNY City College and currently lives in New York.

Golriz Ghahraman (International)

Golriz Ghahraman

Golriz Ghahraman made history as the first refugee to be sworn in as a member of New Zealand’s parliament in 2017. Iranian-born, Golriz arrived in New Zealand with her parents seeking asylum as a nine-year-old. She studied human rights law at Oxford and has practised as a lawyer in New Zealand and for United Nations tribunals in Africa, The Hague and Cambodia. Her work has included trials of leaders for genocide and war crimes, restoring communities after war and human rights atrocities, particularly empowering women engaged in peace and justice initiatives. Golriz is a member of New Zealand’s Green Party.

Ben Doherty (Australian)

Ben Doherty

Ben Doherty is a foreign affairs correspondent for The Guardian, and has spent a decade reporting across the Asia-Pacific, including postings in South-East Asia and South Asia. A three-time winner of a Walkey Award, Australia’s highest journalism honour, he has also won three United Nations Association Media Peace Prizes. He holds master's degrees in international law and international relations from the University of Oxford and from UNSW. He is the author of a novel, Nagaland, a love story for modern India.