Trita Parsi

Trita Parsi

Founder and president, National Iranian American Council; author.
Trita Parsi is founder and president of the National Iranian American Council and an expert on US-Iranian relations, Iranian politics, and the balance of power in the Middle East. He is the author of Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Iran, Israel and the United States (Yale University Press 2007), for which he conducted more than 130 interviews with senior Israeli, Iranian and American decision-makers. Treacherous Alliance is the silver medal winner of the 2008 Arthur Ross Book Award from the Council on Foreign Relations.

Parsi was born in Iran but moved with his family at the age of four to Sweden in order to escape political repression in Iran. His father was an outspoken academic and non-Muslim who was jailed by the Shah and then by the Ayatollah. He moved to the United States as an adult and studied foreign policy at Johns Hopkins’ School for Advanced International Studies where he received his Ph.D. He founded NIAC to provide a non-partisan, non-profit organization through which Iranian-Americans could participate in American civic life. NIAC is a vocal proponent of dialogue and engagement between the US and Iran, which Parsi consistently has argued would enhance our national security by helping to stabilize the Middle East and bolster the moderates in Iran.

Parsi has followed Middle East politics through work in the field and extensive experience on Capitol Hill and at the United Nations. He is frequently consulted by Western and Asian governments on foreign policy matters. Parsi has worked for the Swedish Permanent Mission to the UN, where he served in the Security Council, handling the affairs of Afghanistan, Iraq, Tajikistan and Western Sahara, and in the General Assembly's Third Committee, addressing human rights in Iran, Afghanistan, Myanmar and Iraq.

Parsi studied for his Doctoral thesis on Israeli-Iranian relations under Professor Francis Fukuyama at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. In addition to his PhD, he holds a Master's Degree in International Relations from Uppsala University and a Master's Degree in Economics from the Stockholm School of Economics. He has served as an adjunct professor of International Relations at Johns Hopkins University SAIS. He is currently an adjunct scholar at the Middle East Institute.

He is fluent in Persian/Farsi, English, and Swedish. Parsi's articles on Middle East affairs have been published in the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Jane's Intelligence Review, the Nation, The American Conservative, the Jerusalem Post, The Forward, and others. He is a frequent guest on CNN, PBS’s Newshour with Jim Lehrer, NPR, the BBC, and Al Jazeera.
Latest contributions by Trita Parsi

Halting the March to War

Founder and president of the National Iranian American Council Trita Parsi fears we’re headed for war over Iran’s nuclear program, but says it’s not too late to turn back.

Are Israel’s Threats Just Sabre-Rattling?

The Israeli government might have indicated that they want to take out Iran’s nuclear program, but their bark could be worse than their bite.

Iran’s Power Struggle Lacks a Good Guy

The infighting among Iran’s leaders is purely about power, but could still yield democratic fruits.