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Ambassador Ardeshir Zahedi Archive

Ambassador Ardeshir Zahedi seated in his home

The archive includes several hundred boxes of diplomatic correspondence, government documents, personal letters, and never-before-seen photos, donated to the Hoover Institution Library and Archives by Ardeshir Zahedi—the former Foreign Minister under Mohammad Reza Shah and Iran’s ambassador to the U.S. from 1971-1979. The archive also includes the papers of his father, Fazlollah Zahedi, a general who held the post of prime minister in the 1950s.


A Window into Modern Iran: The Ardeshir Zahedi Papers at the Hoover Institution Library and Archives

Edited and with Introduction by Abbas Milani, Forward by Ardeshir Zahedi, Forward by Eric Wakin

A Window into Modern Iran: The Ardeshir Zahedi Papers at the Hoover Institution Library & Archives

Ardeshir Zahedi, Iran’s preeminent statesman throughout the 1960s and 1970s, meticulously preserved thousands of records, letters, documents, and photographs. The son of general Fazlollah Zahedi—prime minister of Iran for the two years following the 1953 coup—Ardeshir was the nation’s ambassador to the United States and the United Kingdom and minister of foreign affairs. He was serving as US ambassador when the Iranian Revolution toppled the nation’s leadership in 1979 and was instrumental in arranging the shah’s exile. During his own forty years of exile, Zahedi devoted considerable time to organizing his archives, which he transferred to the Hoover Institution in 2009.

This volume draws on the invaluable resources preserved by both Zahedi and his father to offer fresh revelations outlining a century of Iranian history, providing insight into politics, foreign relations, and the inner workings of the shah’s government. It also illuminates the life of a remarkable personality who exerted considerable influence as an ambassador and trusted advisor to the shah, to whom Zahedi remained devoted and with whom he communicated on an almost daily basis.

Published for the very first time, the papers and photos included here are connected with many of the twentieth century’s most eminent public figures, from heads of state such as King Faisal and Ronald Reagan to cultural emissaries including Katherine Graham and Kirk Douglas. They are indispensable primary sources for scholarship on modern Iranian history and are critical for understanding society, politics, and international relations both in Iran and abroad.

Published by the Hoover Institution Library and Archives

Persian handwritten text document from Zahedi archive

Zahedi Family Fellowship

The Zahedi Family Fellowship is a twelve-week residential fellowship focusing on the new Zahedi Archive (which includes both diplomatic correspondence and collected photos) at Stanford University’s Hamid and Christina Moghadam Program in Iranian Studies.

During the fellowship period, the Zahedi Fellow is expected to pursue their independent research in residency and to hold a lecture, seminar or workshop on their research, organized by the Iranian Studies Program. The Zahedi fellow will have access to Stanford University Libraries and the Hoover Institution Library and Archives as well as a community of scholars at Stanford.