Abbas Milani is Co-Director of the Iran Democracy Project and author of The Shah. He will reveal the complex and sweeping road that has brought the U.S. and Iran to where they are today.
The life of Mohammad-Reza Shah Pahlevi, the last Shah of Iran, continues to resonate today. Milani looks at the monarch who shaped Iran’s modern age and with it the contemporary politics of the Middle East.
Dr. Jaleh Daie has extensive executive experience in private and public institutions and academia. She is managing partner at Aurora Equity, a Palo Alto-based investment company financing technology start ups.
She is also Treasurer of the U.S. Space Foundation and a member of the Band of Angels. Most recently, she was director of science and senior advisor to the president at the Packard Foundation where she provided executive and technical direction for a $120 million annual budget and managed a diversified portfolio of science and technology.
Daie has been both faculty and administrator at two major universities. While at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Daie took on special assignments in Washington D.C. and served as science liaison to the President.
Abbas Milani is a research fellow and co-director of the Iran Democracy Project at the Hoover Institution. In addition, Dr. Milani is Director of the Iranian Studies Program at Stanford University and a visiting professor in the department of political science.
His expertise is U.S.-Iran relations, Iranian cultural, political, and security issues. Milani was a professor of history and political science and chair of the department at Notre Dame de Namur University and a research fellow at the Institute of International Studies at the University of California at Berkeley.
Milani was an assistant professor in the faculty of law and political science at Tehran University and a member of the board of directors of Tehran University's Center for International Studies from 1979 to 1987.
He was a research fellow at the Iranian Center for Social Research from 1977 to 1978 and an assistant professor at the National University of Iran from 1975 to 1977.
Scholar Abbas Milani believes Iran is on its way to nuclear proliferation, which he fears will mark the end of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the beginning of an arms race in the Middle East. "Many of the radicals are very influential in these countries," says Milani. "If one of these radical groups get its hands on one of these weapons, they will detonate it."
Middle East scholar Abbas Milani discusses a computer virus in Iran's nuclear system that was allegedly created by Israeli and American engineers. "Iran denies that it has been hit," says Milani. The virus may have set Iran's nuclear program back until 2015, creating more time for diplomacy and sanctions to influence its behavior.
Country, Middle East, southwestern Asia. Area: 636,374 sq mi (1,648,200 sq km). Population (2009 est.): 74,196,000. Capital: Tehran. Persians constitute the largest ethnic group; other ethnic groups include Azerbaijanians, Kurds, Lurs, Bakhtyari, and Baloch. Languages: Persian (Farsi; official), numerous others. Religions: Islam (official; predominantly Shi'ite); also Zoroastrianism. Currency: rial. Iran occupies a high plateau, rising higher than 1,500 feet (460 metres) above sea level, and is surrounded largely by mountains. More than half of its surface area consists of salt deserts and other wasteland. About one-tenth of its land is arable, and another one-fourth is suitable for grazing. Iran's rich petroleum reserves account for about one-tenth of world reserves and are the basis of its economy. It is a unitary Islamic republic with one legislative house and several oversight bodies dominated by clergy. The head of state and government is the president, but supreme authority rests with the rahbar (leader), a ranking cleric. Human habitation in Iran dates to some 100,000 years ago, but recorded history began with the Elamites c. 3000 BCE. The Medes flourished from c. 728 but were overthrown in 550 by the Persians, who were in turn conquered by Alexander the Great in the 4th century BCE. The Parthians (seeParthia) created an empire that lasted from 247 BCE to 226 CE, when control passed to the Sasanian dynasty. Various Muslim dynasties ruled from the 7th century. In 1501 the Safavid dynasty was established and lasted until 1736. The Qajar dynasty ruled from 1796, but in the 19th century the country was economically controlled by the Russian and British empires. Reza Khan (seeReza Shah Pahlavi) seized power in a coup (1921). His son Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi alienated religious leaders with a program of modernization and Westernization and was overthrown in 1979; Shi'ite cleric Ruhollah Khomeini then set up an Islamic republic, and Western influence was suppressed. The destructive Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s ended in a stalemate. Since the 1990s the government has gradually moved to a more liberal conduct of state affairs.
(born Oct. 26, 1919, Tehran, Irandied July 27, 1980, Cairo, Egypt) Shah of Iran (194179), noted for his pro-Western orientation and autocratic rule. After an education in Switzerland, he replaced his father, Reza Shah Pahlavi, as ruler when the latter was forced into exile by the British. His rule was marked by a power struggle with his premier, Mohammad Mosaddeq, who briefly succeeded in deposing him in 1953; covert intervention by British and U.S. intelligence services returned him to the throne the next year. His program of rapid modernization and oil-field development initially brought him popular support, but his autocratic style and suppression of dissent, along with corruption and the unequal distribution of Iran's new oil wealth, increased opposition led by exiled cleric Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. In 1979 Pahlavi was forced into exile.
I think the main point of the book wasn't about the Jews in Iran, it's about a king and a dictator with a sense of development. This does not make him a saint but far less dangerous than the pseudo-spiritual leaders of today.
As for the Muslims in Iran, Iranians did not, as the mullahs put it, openly accepted a foreign religion. There were heavy taxed and punished (killed). Some indeed openly accepted it, but I doubt they were the majority!!!!
You may want to read more about the history of your country. Being Iranian does not make you an expert. A lot of the knowledge and history of Iran was revealed by foreign scientists, historians and linguists. People with the sole agenda of learning the facts about the past.
You and I should also follow their footsteps and open our minds. This would surly lead to friendlier and more interesting blogging
Respond to Denboi:
In response to your BLISTERING and personal attack on me, I need to explain a couple of points. Maybe, you are able to understand, but I would NOT bet on it.
Unlike you, I am an Iranian and if we Iranians know anything it is our history. It is HUBRIS for you to think that you can teach me about my culture and history. AS an Iranian who has spent his whole life fighting against the oppressive and dictatorial regime of the Shah and its supporters( U.S./ Israel); I believe I have every right to take issue with some of the things that DR. Abbas Milani is saying.
For your information, we Iranians are one of the most patriotic people on earth; and we do not need a foreigner such as you to remind us of the Arab invasion of our country. We are also well aware of the U.S. Imperialist and Zionist Israel protocol of “ Divide and Conquer “. Moreover, regardless of how Islam was brought to Persia, the religion was adopted and accepted by the Persians after the invaders were forced to leave. Today Iranians are proud to be Shias Muslims; and Iran is to Shiaism what Vatican is to Catholicism. WE ARE THE MECCA OF WORLD SHIAS; and after 1400 years, Islam is in our blood. It is understandable for foreigners to insult our religion and to call it “an Arab Scheme “. Perhaps you people prefer to see all Iranians Christians or Jewish, well that’s your problem.
Let me correct you on something else; contrary to your statement, Mongols were NOT MUSLIMS prior to their invasion of Iran ( and other Muslim countries), they adopted the Superior Culture of Iran along with the Muslim religion. PERSIA is the first CRADLE of CIVILIZATION and with the help of God we will defeat our enemies and will be great again
Obviously Darveesh....as apposed to the COLONIAL Arab Scheme against your nation of Iran called Islam..haha.
Man You seriously need to get yourself checked by your local doctor for a severe case of Myopia...and
you have to admit...culturally and probably genetically, Zoroastrains would be more REAL Iranian than Iranian Muslims...philosopically and cosmologically they have a pure indigenous iranian perspective and understanding of the world,still speak a version of Parsi that is more closer to the persion of the sassanian era than Farsi....and only use iranian names rather than arab or turkish.
Modern Day Iranian Muslims are a Multicultural Mixed ethnic group refelecting conquest and migration of various muslim peoples (arab/turkish/mongol) onto the iranian plateau and their merging with Iranians descendant of those from the pre islamic era.
RESPOND to MIHAITA: you call me "an agent of Islamic terror regime"!! slandering people is a tactic that was used by SAVAK and still used by MOSSAD/CIA. The real TERRORIST regime of today is Israel Zionist regime. 180 nations agrees with that.
As for "Bahai religion" We real Iranians do not recognize a COLONIAL British Scheme against our Nation as a religion. Otherwise,ALL other religions are respected in Iran.
your view is completely distorted and twisted, well i am not surprised at all.
Also i am wondering why you left out the Bahai religion? conveniently or otherwise? You are an agent of the current islamist terror regime.
Dr.Abbas Milani,is one of one of those "radicals" of 60s who sold out when is in his 60s. I would not cry reading "about poor shah final days"; I would cry about hundreds of thousands of the best Iranians citizen whom he sent to their deaths. One more point,Milani said, Iranian Jews are more Iranian than Muslims!? First of all, Iranian is a nationality NOT RELIGION; and Iranians could be Zoroastrian,Christian,Jew,or Muslim . SO why should a Jew be more Iranian than a Muslim? Those Iranians who became Muslim after the Arab invasion,where Iranians before and after wards.ONLY a ZIONIST claims that their religion is their nationality. Ironically, the ONLY other time I heard this claim was from an Israeli Zionist Jew who works for Netanyahu trying to claim Iran as their "territory" . GOOD LUCK ON THAT.