Abbas Milani
Expertise: 

Abbas Milani

Research Fellow
Biography: 

Abbas Milani is a research fellow and codirector of the Iran Democracy Project at the Hoover Institution. In addition, Milani is the Hamid and Christina Moghadam Director of Iranian Studies at Stanford University. His expertise is US/Iran relations and Iranian cultural, political, and security issues.

Before coming to Hoover, 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, in addition to being 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. Milani was also 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.

His most recent publication is The Shah (2012). He is the author of The Myth of the Great Satan: A New Look at America's Relations with Iran (Hoover Institution Press, 2010); Eminent Persians: Men and Women Who Made Modern Iran, 1941–1979, 2 vols.( Syracuse University Press, November 2008); King of Shadows: Essays on Iran’s Encounter with Modernity, Persian text published in the United States (Ketab Corp., spring 2005); Lost Wisdom: Rethinking Persian Modernity in Iran (Mage, 2004); The Persian Sphinx: Amir Abbas Hoveyda and the Riddle of the Iranian Revolution (Mage, 2000); Modernity and Its Foes in Iran (Gardon Press, 1998); Modernity and Its Foes in Iran (Gardon Press, 1998); Tales of Two Cities: A Persian Memoir (Mage 1996); On Democracy and Socialism, a collection of articles coauthored with Faramarz Tabrizi Pars Press, 1987); and Malraux and the Tragic Vision (Agah Press, 1982). Milani has also translated numerous books and articles into Persian and English.

Milani's articles have been published in journals, magazines, and newspapers. He has been interviewed for national and international radio and television programs.

He is a member of the American Association of Political Science, the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and the Association of Iranian Studies.

Milani received his BA in political science and economics from the University of California at Berkeley and his PhD in political science from the University of Hawaii.

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Recent Commentary

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Riyadh’s Double Bind

by Abbas Milanivia Hoover Digest
Monday, July 11, 2016

Saudi Arabia both nurtures Wahhabi activism and struggles to tame it. 

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A Perfect Storm In Saudi Arabia

by Abbas Milanivia The Caravan
Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A perfect storm is brewing for Saudi Arabia. Ominous clouds are gathering on the country’s domestic, regional and global horizons. Virtually every once-reliable pillar of the kingdom’s stability is facing daunting challenges.

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Abbas Milani: ISIS, Iran, Saudi Arabia And The Future

by Abbas Milanivia Hoover Institution
Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Abbas Milani, a research fellow and codirector of the Iran Democracy Project at the Hoover Institution, discusses ISIS, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the future of the Middle East. Successive US administrations have declared Iran to be one of America’s most serious national security threats. Yet the last four wars the US has fought in the region — in Afghanistan, in the two wars in Iraq and in the current war with ISIS—have resulted in either removing or containing Iran’s powerful adversaries. 

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A Chance for Iranian Reform

by Abbas Milani, Michael McFaulvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Obama administration’s nuclear deal, many Iranians believe, could encourage changes in Iran itself.

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Forces Of Change Are Coming to Iran

by Abbas Milanivia The New York Times
Thursday, January 21, 2016

Successive U.S. administrations have declared Iran to be one of America’s most serious national security threats. Yet the last four wars the U.S. has fought in the region — in Afghanistan, in the two wars in Iraq and in the current war with ISIS—have resulted in either removing or containing Iran’s powerful adversaries.

Analysis and Commentary

What The Iran-Deal Debate Is Like In Iran

by Abbas Milani, Michael McFaulvia The Atlantic
Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The agreement has divided Iranians into camps that could shape the future of the country.

Digital Defiance

by Abbas Milanivia Hoover Digest
Friday, June 19, 2015

The Iranian people are challenging the theocracy that governs them with a quiet revolution of their own, much of it online.

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Hoover fellow Abbas Milani on ISIS, Iran, and the future of the Middle East

by Abbas Milanivia Fellow Talks
Friday, May 8, 2015

ISIS, Iran, and the future of the Middle East.

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Analysis and Commentary

Iran's Incremental Revolution

by Abbas Milanivia Atlantic
Friday, April 10, 2015

Amid heated discussion concerning the intentions of Iran’s leaders—Are they capable of real compromise over the country’s nuclear program? Can they be trusted to honor any eventual deal?

Will Iran and Israel Meet in the Middle?

by Abbas Milani, Israel Waismel-Manorvia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

In Iran, hints of a secular thaw. In Israel, the increasing prominence of religious parties. Two nations, antagonistic—and unsettled.

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