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Jahanbegloo was born in Tehran, Iran. He has a doctorate in philosophy from Sorbonne University in Paris, France where he lived for twenty years. He was a post-doctorate fellow in Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. He is married to Azin Moalej, the cousin of renowned Persian philosopher and scholar, Seyyed Hossein Nasr.
Academic and intellectual career
Jahanbegloo's intellectual activity focuses on fostering constructive dialogue between divergent cultures. He has written numerous books and articles in Persian, English and French on the subject of Western philosophy and modernity.
In 1997-2001, he was an adjunct professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto in Canada. During this period, he published his book for the first time in English, Conversations with Isaiah Berlin (which had previously been translated into French. The book records a series of interviews with the famous philosopher Isaiah Berlin, which cover intellectual questions ranging from the moral philosophy of Tolstoy to the meaning of liberalism.
Upon returning to Tehran, he was appointed head of the Contemporary Philosophy Department of the Cultural Research Center. In his efforts to promote dialogue, he has interviewed scholars and intellectuals from all over the world, among them George Steiner, Noam Chomsky, Ashis Nandy and the Dalai Lama. In recent years, he invited Richard Rorty, Timothy Garton Ash, Antonio Negri, and Michael Ignatieff and other Western intellectuals to Iran.
On May 3, Iran judiciary branch officials confirmed that he was arrested and sent to Evin Prison. According to some sources, he was accused of spying.  The following day, a friend told CBC News that Jahanbegloo had been moved to a hospital. Human Rights Watch expressed concern over Jahanbegloo being detained without charges and called for his immediate release.  
According to Canadian newspaper reports on May 6, Jahanbegloo's friends suspected that he was being tortured. Their fears increased in the wake of reports that Jahanbegloo had been examined twice at the medical clinic of Evin Prison, a detention facility for political prisoners. 
An Iranian newspaper, Jomhuri Eslami, accused Jahanbegloo of links to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and the Mossad. "He is considered as one of the key elements in the American plan for the smooth toppling" of the Islamic regime", the newspaper stated, further charging that he was being paid by the United States to conduct "cultural activities against Iran."
On May 13, the Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC), an Iranian human rights group headed by Iran's Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, voiced concern over the arrest and jailing of the prominent intellectual.  
On May 15, the Council of the European Union, following a meeting in Brussels, issued a press release expressing concerns about the detention of Jahanbegloo, including its underlying message that Iranians ought not to communicate or associate with Europeans:
On May 19, more than 400 prominent international figures, including Nobel laureates, scholars and human rights activists, in an open letter demanded Jahanbegloo's immediate release. Among the undersigned are Noam Chomsky, J.M. Coetzee, Shirin Ebadi, Umberto Eco, Jürgen Habermas, Timothy Garton Ash, Leszek Kołakowski, Antonio Negri, Richard Rorty, Krzysztof Zanussi, and Howard Zinn.  
On July 10, the Council of the European Union issued another press release reiterating its concerns about the detention of Jahanbegloo:
On August 30, 2006, Jahanbegloo was released from prison after four months of confinement.  His 2014 book Time Will Say Nothing: A Philosopher Survives an Iranian Prison included a narrative of his imprisonment and interrogation.
On June 29, 2009, commenting on post-election chaos, Iranian minister of intelligence said, "there is no practical possibility of a velvet revolution in Iran" though he accused United States and Britain of trying to orchestrate one. He disclosed that people such as Ramin Jahanbaglou and Haleh Esfandiari had been arrested in connection with such foreign assisted plots to instigate the Iranian intelligentia but due to legal complications, no prosecution could take place.
Career after imprisonment
In 2006 and 2007 he was Rajni Kothari Professor of Democracy at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in New Delhi, India. In January, 2008 he returned to the University of Toronto as a professor of Political Science, Massey College Scholar-at-Risk, and Research Fellow at the Centre for Ethics at Trinity College. In 2009, he wrote a book, Talking Architecture: Raj Rewal In Conversation With Ramin Jahanbegloo. The book was inaugurated on 19th December, 2009 in New Delhi, India. He also taught a series of nine online Persian-language lectures on nonviolence and nonviolent resistance for Tavaana: E-Learning Institute for Iranian Civil Society.
In October 2009 Jahanbegloo became the winner of the Peace Prize from the United Nations Association in Spain for his extensive academic works in promoting dialogue between cultures and his advocacy for non-violence.
- Talking Architecture: Raj Rewal In Conversation With Ramin Jahanbegloo (2009)
- The Clash of Intolerances (2007)
- Talking India: Conversations with Ashis Nandy (2006)
- Iran: Between Tradition and Modernity (Global Encounters) (2004)
- Gandhi: Aux sources de la non-violence: Thoreau, Ruskin, Tolstoi (Le temps et les mots)
- Conversations with Isaiah Berlin (2000)
- Iranian philosophy
- Intellectual Movements in Iran
- History of fundamentalist Islam in Iran
- Daryoush Ashouri
- Zahra Kazemi
- Haleh Esfandiari
- Isaiah Berlin
- List of Iranian Intellectuals
- Sengupta, Somini (December 27, 2007). "An Iranian in India, Encouraging Dialogue". The New York Times. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
- Iranian Political Prisoners - Template
- Fellowship Programs - Past Fellows
- "Iranian author arrested in Tehran". BBC News. May 3, 2006. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
- Ramin Jahanbegloo: a repressive release | openDemocracy
- DANNY POSTEL - CONVERSATION WITH RAMIN JAHANBEGLOO - LOGOS 5.2 SPRING/SUMMER 2006
- "Nonviolence over the course of History". Tavaana. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
- Ramin Jahanbegloo Official Website
- Dr. Jahanbegloo's profile on openDemocracy.net
- An Interview with Ramin Jahanbegloo
- An Iranian in India, Encouraging Dialogue, New York Times
- Gozaar Interviews Ramin Jahanbegloo