50th anniversary of Iran's 1971 celebrations
Dr Alvandi gave an interview to Switzerland’s Neue Zürcher Zeitung newspaper on the 50th anniversary of the Shah of Iran’s 1971 Persepolis Celebrations. He explained to NZZ why the 1971 Celebrations revealed a central contradiction within the ideology of the Pahlavi state. "On the one hand, it viewed the West as the epitome of civilization and progress. At the same time, it strived for the cultural authenticity that it sought in pre-Islamic history. This led to tensions that were difficult to resolve". Keep reading
The BBC and the Coup
Dr Alvandi appeared in a new BBC Persian documentary, examining the role of the BBC in the Anglo-American-backed coup in Iran in 1953. Watch it on YouTube (in Persian).
Iran International documentary
Togerther with Professor Vladislav Zubok, Dr Alvandi was featured in a documentary film produced by Iran International, a London-based Persian-language TV station. “Red Boots: Soviets in Iran” discusses the Soviet occupation of Iran during and after the Second World War. Watch it here (in Persian).
Wall Street Journal
"This election makes explicit what most Iranians have already known implicitly: that the Islamic Republic will not countenance any peaceful reform. That erodes what little popular legitimacy the current political system has left". Read the full WSJ article (19 June) in which Dr Alvandi was quoted.
On Professor Gasiorowski's lifetime work
Dr Alvandi participated in an event honouring Professor Mark Gasiorowski’s lifetime work on 10 March. Organised by the National Security Archive at the George Washington University, the panelists discussed some highlights of his academic career on the CIA and the covert history of US-Iran relations. Read more about the event. Watch the recording.
Are our parents really who we think they are? Dr Roham Alvandi’s contributes to Audible podcast "My Dad the Spy". It discusses Stewart Copeland, drummer with The Police whose father, Miles Copeland Jr, was a CIA officer involved with the 1953 coup in Iran. Read more and listen to the podcast.
Manoto TV documentary
To mark the 40th anniversary of the beginning of the Iran-Iraq War, the Persian-language Manoto TV have launched a landmark multi-part documentary on the history of Iran-Iraq relations. Dr Alvandi appears in the first and second episodes to discuss Iran’s relations with the United States during the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations and Iran’s covert role in the war in Iraqi Kurdistan. Check it out here.
Dr Alvandi spoke with Miriam Berger about the past, present, and future of the Pahlavi family. They talked about history, memory, and Iranian nostalgia for the Pahlavi era. Read more.
On revisionism and US culpability for the 1953 coup in Iran
Dr Roham Alvandi co-authored an article with Professor Mark Gasiorowski (Tulane University) for Foreign Policy. “The United States Overthrew Iran’s Last Democratic Leader” (30 October) argues that the U.S. government was the key actor in the 1953 coup that ousted Mohammad Mosaddeq—not the Iranian clergy.
Quoted in The Telegraph
Dr Alvandi was quoted in The Telegrah in an article from 7 September on Iran's latest breach of the nuclear deal. He commented that Iran's step to speed up its uranium enrichment programme “does not bring them much closer to developing nuclear weapons” because “they are still subject to inspections by the IAEA who are monitoring their stockpiles”. Find out what else he had to say here.
Nixon Foundation podcast
On the 50th anniversary of the Nixon Doctrine, Dr Alvandi joined several distinguished historians to discuss the Nixon Doctrine’s evolution, the context of the Vietnam War as well as its global application. Drawing on research from his book, Nixon, Kissinger, and the Shah (2014), Dr Alvandi shed light on what the Nixon Doctrine can teach us about the power dynamics of US relations with its regional allies. Listen to the Nixon Now podcast here.
On occation of the announcement of new US sanction against Iran, Dr Alvandi spoke to CNN's Richard Quest on 24 June. He argued that the current sanctions are a counterproductive policy that has manufactured an unecessary crisis. Additionally, new sanctions give the impression the US do not want to leave any room for a de-escalation on the part of Iran. Watch the full interview here.
The New York Times
Dr Alvandi was quoted in The New York Times on 27 February in an article about the “resignation” of Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif. Dr Alvandi comments that the role of the Foreign Ministry “has been sidelined to such an extent when it comes to Syria and Iraq and all the regional security issues that it’s really embarrassing”. In the Trump era, the Foreign Ministry’s remit has grown even smaller, as their function “has essentially been cut down to managing Iran’s relations with Europe”. Read the full article.
On the 40th anniversary of the Shah's departure from Iran in 1979, Gareth Smyth reviewed Dr Roham Alvandi’s recent edited book, The Age of Aryamehr: Late Pahlavi Iran and the its Global Entanglements for LobeLog. Gareth Smyth was the Financial Times’ chief correspondent in Tehran from 2003-2007. Read the review.
New book by Dr Roham Alvandi
The Age of Aryamehr: Late Pahlavi Iran and the its Global Entanglements (Gingko Library) writes Iran into the global history of the 1960s and 1970s, so as to understand the transnational connections that in many ways formed modern Iran. The book is the product of a workshop hosted at the LSE Middle East Centre in May 2016, sponsored by the LSE Kuwait Programme and the British Institute of Persian Studies.
The Aspen Institute event
Dr Alvandi moderated a 3-day symposium (30 July - 2 August) hosted by The Aspen Institute on Iran: Past, Present, and Future with Dr Suzanne Maloney (Brookings Institution). The expert-moderated seminar examined the emergence of modern Iran against the backdrop of Iran’s political, social and diplomatic history. From the discovery and politics of oil, to the transition from secular society to the Islamic Republic, to the rise and fall of Iranian-American nuclear diplomacy. Dr Alvandi was also joined by former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on the last day of the symposium.
Dr Alvandi was quoted in a new article published by the Independent on 12 June on the Trump-Kim summit from the view of Iran. In the article, “Iran warns North Korea not to trust the US over historic summit: ‘Trump might cancel deal before returning home'”, Dr Alvandi claims Iranians will see the summit as little more than a publicity stunt that legitimises both Mr Trump and Mr Kim. Why is the United States willing to negotiate with North Korea, a nation with a nuclear arsenal, while refusing to pursue detente with Iran, a country that has no nuclear weapons and has agreed to strict international safeguards on its civilian nuclear programme, Iranians will be asking.
Media contributions to the The Spectator Podcast, the Independent and Australia's ABC Radio National
Dr Alvandi commented on the latest events in the Middle East in the British media. Joined by Christopher de Bellaigue he participated in an episode of the The Spectator Podcast on 10 May. They talked about the recent US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement. "I think it’s unambiguous that the policy of the Trump administration", Dr Alvandi said, "very much driven by John Bolton but also by Pompeo and others is one of regime change." Listen to the podcast. On 11 May, he was quoted by the Independent newspaper on the Israeli-Iranian confrontation in Syria, which came just days after US President Donald Trump announced his country would withdraw from the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers. Read the full article, "Did Iran attack Israel from Syria and why would they?" in the Independent website. On 14 May, Dr Alvandi appeared in Australia’s ABC Radio National. He joined presenter Phillip Adams in his show “Late Night Live” to discuss the US exit from the 2015 nuclear agreement, Iran and regime change. Listen to the podcast.
International Graduate Student Conference on the Cold War
In his capacity as the Director of the IDEAS Cold War Studies Project, Dr Alvandi convened this year's International Graduate Student Conference on the Cold War, co-sponsored by the Department of International History and hosted this year at LSE from 3-5 May. The annual conference is jointly organised by the IDEAS Cold War Studies Project at LSE, the Centre for Cold War Studies and International History at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the Cold War Group at George Washington University.
Lecture at Stanford University
On 17 April, Dr Roham Alvandi gave a lecture for the Iranian Studies Program at Stanford University on “Amnesty International and the Origins of the Iranian Revolution”. Dr Alvandi explored the role of the "human rights revolution" of the 1970s and the origins of the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Watch the lecture on YouTube.
LSE Student Union History Society and South London Cares event with Dr Roham Alvandi
On 24 January, the LSE Student Union History Society co-hosted an event with a charity called South London Cares, inviting Dr Roham Alvandi to speak over a pizza lunch. Dr Alvandi was joined by LSE students and some of our older neighbours from south London. He spoke with them about LSE and why we study history, as well as about his own research on Iran. The neighbours (one of whom was an LSE alumnus from the 1950s) got a chance to chat with the students over lunch and were then taken on a tour of the campus by the students. “The idea was to bring our neighbours out of isolation and encourage them to come on to our campus to participate in the events that go on here,” Dr Alvandi told us. Dr Alvandi thanks the History Society and Georgina Connah, who made a huge effort in helping organising the event. He was very pleased with the student turnout, mentioning, "it was one of those days when I really love my job!"
Dr Roham Alvandi on BBC Radio 4
Dr Alvandi was on BBC Radio 4’s Briefing Room programme on 4 January, speaking about the historical context for the protests in Iran. Who are the protesters in Iran and what do they want? Listen to his contribution on BBCiPlayer.
BBC/NPR Marketplace programme
On 12 October, Dr Roham Alvandi was on BBC World Service/NPR’s Marketplace Morning Report talking about Trump’s impending decision on the Iran nuclear agreement. As the deadline for President Donald Trump to recertify the Iran nuclear deal looms, Dr Alvandi examined the implications for Europe, Asia and the rest of the global business community if sanctions are to be reimposed. Catch up with his interview in Marketplace's website.
Head of LSE IDEAS Cold War Studies Project
In September, Dr Roham Alvandi succeeded Professor Piers Ludlow, now Deputy Head of Department and Director of Teaching Programmes, as head of Cold War Studies Project. LSE IDEAS has been the home of Cold War Studies since 2004. “Now in its second decade”, Dr Alvandi told LSE IDEAS, “the Cold War Studies Project is the legacy of the groundbreaking research on the global Cold War that the LSE is known for throughout the world. Building on the work of Mick Cox, Arne Westad, Piers Ludlow, and many other colleagues at LSE and our partner institutions, we hope in the years ahead to continue our global approach to the study of the Cold War".
Quoted in USA Today
Dr Roham Alvandi contributed to an article on US President Donald Trump’s Middle East visit, published by USA Today on 22 May. In the article, he shares his opinion on lessons learned from Nixon’s “impeachment diplomacy” in Trump's first foreign trip. Read "The pitfalls of 'impeachment diplomacy:' Lessons from Nixon in Trump's foreign trip".
Dr Roham Alvandi appeared on BBC World on 12 May to discuss the upcoming Iranian presidential election.
Watch the full interview
Contribution to upcoming archival series about Iran “The Third Path"
Dr Roham Alvandi is a contributor in the upcoming 12-part series The Third Path, covering the recent history of Iran. The series, produced by Archival, blends intense scholarship, visual effects and sound design to recount the history and complexities of one of the most mysterious countries in the modern world. “More often then not", says Dr Alvandi referring to the project, "the discussion about Iran is so superficial, and lacks any kind of substance or context, so I wanted to join this project because it was an opportunity to take the time to really think about Iran, think about its history, think about its culture, and give people the context within which to understand what’s going on today.”
Watch a teaser
Quoted in Gulf News article
On 20 September, in an article by Gulf News, titled “Lifting Sanctions Doesn’t Land Iran Trade Boom”, Dr Roham Alvandi was quoted on the frustration that many Iranians feel with the lack of progress on lifting sanctions on Iran. Read his views.
Piece in the Guardian
On 1 July, the Guardian published a piece co-authored by Dr Roham Alvandi (LSE) and Dr Christian Emery (University of Plymouth) for the Tehran Bureau. The article, titled “The lure of conspiracy theories in Iranian politics”, addresses conspiracy theories and BBC Persian’s reporting on Ayatollah Khomeini’s contacts with the United States at the time of the Iranian Revolution. Read their full article.
Times Higher Education
Dr Roham Alvandi was quoted in an article in the Times Higher Education called “End of Iran Sanctions will not Lead to ‘Sea Change' in Region for HE” (28 January 2016). Read his views on the lifting of sanctions on Iran and Higher Education.
Book event at the Nixon Presidential Library
Dr Roham Alvandi was at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library on 17 September, talking about his book, Nixon, Kissinger, and the Shah. His book was selected by the Financial Times as one of the best history books of 2014. It offers a new account of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi's relationship with the United States by examining the partnership he forged with President Nixon and Henry Kissinger in the 1970s. Watch the event.
BBC World News
Dr Roham Alvandi, the department's expert on Iran, Modern Middle East, and the Cold War, was interviewed by BBC World News on 24 August 2015 about the opening of the British and Iranian embassies in Tehran and London.
Watch the interview
Nixon, Kissinger, and the Shah one of the best books of 2014 according to FT
Financial Times selects Dr Roham Alvandi's book, Nixon, Kissinger, and the Shah, as one of its best books of 2014. The book made it on to their summer list a few months ago and is now selected for their annual list. Read more about it.
Dr Roham Alvandi on Ireland's Newstalk Radio
Dr Roham Alvandi spoke on a panel discussion on "Nixon and Détente" for Ireland’s Newstalk Radio on 5 October 2014 night, alongside historians Daniel Geary, Margaret Macmillan, and Jeremi Suri. The panel was hosted by Patrick Geoghegan on his ‘Talking History’ radio show. Listen to the podcast.
Dr Roham Alvandi on the Deutsche Welle
Dr Roham Alvandi gave an interview to the German international broadcaster, Deutsche Welle, about US-Iran relations and the situation in Iraq. "Islamic State." Dr Alvandi argues that politics prevent Tehran and Washington from cooperating publicly against the Islamic State. The interview was published on 25 September 2014. Read the interview.
Dr Roham Alvandi in a panel discussion at the Cargenie Endowment
Dr Roham Alvandi was at the Carnegie Endowment, Washington DC, to discuss the Persian Gulf on 10 September 2014. He was part of a panel titled, “Unlikely Allies: U.S.-Iranian-Saudi Cooperation in the Persian Gulf”. Dr Alvandi " reflected on the last period of U.S.-Iranian-Saudi collaboration—during the Cold War—when the three countries were united against communism. He shared insights from his new book, Nixon, Kissinger, and the Shah: The United States and Iran in the Cold War, highlighting how the Nixon-Shah relationship can illuminate the future path of U.S.-Iranian relations". For more information about this event and to listen to the podcast visit the Carnegie Endowment website.
Dr Roham Alvandi contributes an op-ed to the International New York Times
On 10 July 2014, Dr Roham Alvandi wrote an op-ed contribution to the International New York Times, called "Open the Files on the Iran Coup". He argues that Britain and the United States need to release their files on the 1953 coup in Iran. Read the contribution.
Dr Roham Alvandi’s Nixon, Kissinger, and the Shah chosen as one of the Financial Times’s summer books 2014
In the newspaper's section entitled FT’s Summer Books 2014, Tony Barber, Europe Editor and Associate Editor of the Financial Times, writes about Dr Roham Alvandi’s latest book: "Knowledge of the 1970s, when Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was one of Washington’s closest global allies, is essential for anyone wishing to understand why it is so difficult for the US and Iran to overcome their differences. Alvandi throws new light on the period by showing that Iran’s last shah was more than just President Richard Nixon’s cat’s paw in the Middle East."
Dr Roham Alvandi interviewed on BBC World News
Dr Roham Alvandi was interviewed on BBC World News television on 17 June regarding US-Iran relations and the unfolding crisis in Iraq. Speaking with the BBC’s David Eades, he discussed the potential for Iranian-American military cooperation in Iraq and the importance of opening a dialogue between Iran and Saudi Arabia to stem the rising tide of Sunni-Shi’a conflict in the region. Watch the video clip here. Dr Alvandi is the author of the recent book, Nixon, Kissinger, and the Shah: The United States and Iran in the Cold War, published by Oxford University Press.
Dr Roham Alvandi partipates in roundtable discussion at the Hague Institute for Global Justice
Dr Roham Alvandi participated in a roundtable discussion on US-Iran relations at the Hague Institute for Global Justice in the Netherlands on 21 May. His presentation was on the role of history in US-Iran détente and the importance of releasing British and US government documents on the Anglo-American coup in Iran in 1953. The discussion was part of The Hague Roundtable Series which brought together policymakers, academics and civil society representatives with key international expertise on Iran.
New Book by Dr Roham Alvandi, Nixon, Kissinger, and the Shah
Dr Roham Alvandi has just published a new book by the Oxford University Press called Nixon, Kissinger, and the Shah: The United States and Iran in the Cold War. The book challenges the conventional view of the shah as a mere instrument of American power during the Cold War by extending the study of US-Iran relations into the 1970s when the shah emerged as a major international figure. Dr Alvandi’s research draws on Persian-language sources and extensive multi-archival research, making use of recently declassified U.S. documents. The book examines the origins of Iran's nuclear program in the 1970s under the shah. The manuscript can be purchased on Amazon.
Alvandi Thesis - "Best dissertation of the year on a topic of Iranian studies"
Dr Roham Alvandi's thesis "Nixon, Kissinger and the Shah: US-Iran Relations and the Cold War, 1969-1976" has been awarded the "Best Dissertation of the Year on a Topic of Iranian Studies" by the Foundation for Iranian Studies
for the academic year 2010-11. The Committee praised the dissertation for "shedding new light on the political and geostrategic context that provided the framework for close cooperation between the Shah and President Nixon, including the Shah's agency in the initiation and evolution of the Nixon Doctrine" and "identifying openings to further refinement of the study of Cold War politics".