Hooshang Amirahmadi is a professor and director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) at Rutgers’s University. Amirahmadi is the Founder and President of the American Iranian Council, a research and policy think-tank devoted to improving dialogue and understanding between Iran and the United States.
Amirahmadi is also the President of Caspian Associates, an international strategic consulting firm and founded the Center for Iranian Research and Analysis where he served as its Director. He was a candidate for President in the Nine Presidential Elections in Iran in June 2005, but became disqualified due to his American citizenship and democratic platform.
He received his education from Tabriz University (BA), University of Dallas (MA), and Cornell University (PhD). His publications include nine written and edited works, six policy monographs, numerous journal articles, and myriad media interviews. Selected publications include: Amirahmadi 1392: For real Change in Iran, (Princeton: Amirahmadi 1392, 2012); The Political Economy of Iran under the Qajar, 1800-1920 (2012).
“You may like it to call it feudalism, although that wasn’t really the kind of feudalism that was in Europe, but basically controlled by landlords and largely absentee the landlords. The peasants were working in the pieces of land, you know, controlled and provided for in terms of inputs by the landlords. That economy got dismantled after the land reform in 1963 to a larger extent and in its place gradually an industrial economy began developing.”
“You cannot have an economy when you as a private owner don’t know if tomorrow you still own that little company or factor because someone is going to come and take it away from you.”
“That’s the story for the real economy in the country. One is war, second is revolution, and the third is dictatorship. World War I, World War II and then 1979. Always, this economy has been entangled with this war issues.”
“In Iran, all you need is one call from America, you are dependent. The story is over. It’s subjective because of that past colonial history. Anyway, so, with that mindset, the Iranians started dismantling the economy. The leader of the revolution, Khomeini said, ‘The economy is for donkey.’ So the economy was for donkey now has changed completely to an economy that is for mullahs.”