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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Iran’s New President

by Abbas Milanivia Hoover Digest
Sunday, October 30, 2005

How can we deal with the nuclear threat from Iran? By encouraging democracy in Iran. By Abbas Milani.

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The Passive Revolution

by Jared A. Cohen, Abbas Milanivia Hoover Digest
Saturday, July 30, 2005

Hard-liners may have gained a near stranglehold over the political and judicial sectors in Iran, but there is one critical sector they do not control—the people. By Jared A. Cohen and Abbas Milani.

Give Diplomacy a Chance

by Abbas Milani, Michael McFaulvia Hoover Digest
Sunday, January 30, 2005

In dealing with Tehran, diplomacy is a lot more likely to work than military action. By Michael McFaul and Abbas Milani.

Beyond Incrementalism: A New Strategy for Dealing with Iran

by Abbas Milani, Michael McFaul, Larry Diamond
Saturday, January 1, 2005

In the coming years, few if any countries will more preoccupy the foreign policy attention of the United States than Iran. The United States has long lacked a viable and coherent policy toward Iran. Perhaps for the first time since the fall of the Shah’s regime in 1979, the United States seems determined to try to forge one.

RIAL POLITIK: Defusing the Iranian Nuclear Crisis

with Larry Diamond, Abbas Milanivia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, December 13, 2004

Iran—the same country that took American diplomats hostage twenty-five years ago and whose leaders often refer to the United States as the "Great Satan"—may be on the verge of developing nuclear weapons. How worried should we be? What can the United States do, if anything, to defuse the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran? Is a military response feasible? Or should the United States focus on strengthening the movement for democratic reform within Iran? Peter Robinson speaks with Larry Diamond and Abbas Milani.

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Solidarity with Iran

by Abbas Milani, Michael McFaulvia Hoover Digest
Friday, April 30, 2004

Iran’s hard-liners recently strengthened their hold on power by making huge wins in a rigged parliamentary election. In light of this electoral coup, are the prospects for democratic reform in Iran doomed? By Hoover fellows Michael McFaul and Abbas Milani.

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A Revolution Betrayed

by Abbas Milanivia Hoover Digest
Thursday, October 30, 2003

In the aftermath of pro-democracy protests in Iran this summer, some 4,000 people were arrested. Political reformers and religious hard-liners are now at a standoff. Who will prevail? By Abbas Milani.

General Patrick Hurley.

Hurley’s Dream

by Abbas Milanivia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, July 30, 2003

How FDR almost brought democracy to Iran. By Abbas Milani.

Can Iran Become a Democracy?

by Abbas Milanivia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, April 30, 2003

The last, best hope for democracy in Iran? Its burgeoning middle class. By Hoover fellow Abbas Milani.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS: Democracy in Iran

with Michael McFaul, Abbas Milani, Guity Nashatvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, April 28, 2003

It's been nearly twenty-five years since the shah of Iran was overthrown in a popular revolution. The ensuing American hostage crisis marked the beginning of an era of mutual hostility between Iran and the United States—Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini often called the United States "the Great Satan"; more recently President Bush placed Iran on the so-called axis of evil. But an increasingly visible democratic reform movement supported by young Iranians born after the revolution suggests that Iran may be entering a new era of change. Just how powerful is the reform movement in Iran? And what should the United States do, if anything, to help bring about a new Iran?

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