With the US Congress just a week away from voting on the Iran nuclear deal – a historic deal that has already improved relations between Iran and the West – LSE Associate Professor of International History, Dr Roham Alvandi, spoke to BBC News about UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond’s visit to Iran. The Foreign Secretary was in Iran to re-open Britain’s embassy, which was shut in 2011 when it was stormed by violent protesters.
Dr Alvandi is the author of Nixon, Kissinger, and the Shah: The United States and Iran in the Cold War (Oxford University Press, 2014), which was selected by the Financial Times as one of the best history books of 2014. He has written extensively on the history of Iran’s foreign relations and his current research focuses on global human rights activism and the origins of the 1979 Iranian Revolution. He recently gave a talk at the LSE and discussed how the Shah shaped US policy in the Persian Gulf under Nixon and Kissinger, including the CIA’s covert support for the Kurdish revolt in northern Iraq, and the US role in the origins of Iran’s nuclear program. Dr Alvandi also drew on the history of Iran’s Cold War partnership with the United States to examine the potential for Iranian-American cooperation in the Middle East today.