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Born in Tehran, Takeyh obtained his doctorate from Oxford University in 1997. Prior to joining the Council, he was a fellow in international security studies at Yale University, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a professor at the National War College, and a professor and director of studies at the Near East and South Asia center at the National Defense University.
Takeyh has written extensively on Iran and on U.S. policy toward the Middle East. He has testified several times before various committees of the US Senate and has appeared as an Iran expert on a variety of television programs, including the PBS Newshour.
In his writings and public appearances, Takeyh has tended to be skeptical about the efficacy of current U.S. efforts to deal with Iran and its nuclear program. He has characterized the regime in Tehran as an opportunistic power that is seeking to expand its influence in the region rather than as an apocalyptic threat to the world.
- Ray Takeyh, Guardians of the Revolution: Iran and the World in the Age of the Ayatollahs (Oxford University Press, 2009). ISBN 978-0-19-532784-7
- Ray Takeyh, Hidden Iran: Paradox and Power in the Islamic Republic (Times Books/Henry Holt, 2006). ISBN 0-8050-7976-9
- Ray Takeyh, Nikolas Gvosdev, The Receding Shadow of the Prophet: The Rise and Fall of Radical Political Islam (Praeger Publishers, 2004). ISBN 0-275-97628-9
- Ray Takeyh, The Origins of the Eisenhower Doctrine: The United States, Britain and Nasser's Egypt, 1953–1957 (Macmillan Press, 2000)
- Ray Takeyh's Council on Foreign Relations web page
- Senate testimony – September 19, 2006.