My quote in The Independent: “Bolton is gone now. But Pompeo is still Secretary of State and he still wants war and regime change, not diplomacy and negotiation. Pompeo pushed Trump to approve the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, which brought the two countries to the brink of war. And if Trump wants to negotiate with Iran, he needs a top diplomat who is onboard.
‘Pompeo is a major obstacle. He doesn’t want talks, doesn’t want a new agreement, and was a main force behind the assassination of Soleimani, but he’s not the only obstacle to talks — just a big one,’ said Pouya Alimagham, a historian of the modern Middle East at MIT.”
Review by Daniel Larison at The American Conservative.
Excerpt: “Alimagham has done a fine job of understanding and explaining the ideas and motivations of Green movement activists largely on their own terms and using their own words. It is an important work of scholarship, and anyone that wants to understand modern Iran better would benefit from reading it. This study deepened and improved my own understanding of the modern political scene in Iran, and I think it will be a valuable reference work for a long time to come.”
Read here (in-person interview at the end).
Excerpt: “An important contribution to the study of Islam, Shiism, contemporary Iranian history and the genealogy of contentious politics in Iran, Alimagham’s book is beneficial to the scholar and the novice in understanding the country beyond the limited framework presenting in the U.S. media. In the precarious political moment in which we find ourselves, the book is especially useful to an American audience that hears of Iran a great deal, but with little substance. As Alimagham explains, the events of 2009 represent a “tectonic shift,” understanding it may help us shed light on our current political affairs.”