Sadegh Zibakalam

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Sadegh Zibakalam
Sadegh Zibakalam 2013.jpg
Zibakalam at Zanjan University, 2013
Sadegh Zibakalam Mofrad

(1948-06-12) 12 June 1948 (age 73)
Alma materHuddersfield Polytechnic
University of Bradford
RelativesSaeid Zibakalam (brother)
Scientific career
FieldsChemical engineering
Political Science
InstitutionsUniversity of Tehran
Islamic Azad University
ThesisThe Historical Genesis of the Islamic Revolution (1989)
Doctoral advisorThomas Gerard Gallagher
Notable studentsSaeed Hajjarian[1]
Fatemeh Hashemi Rafsanjani[1]

Sadegh Zibakalam Mofrad (Persian: صادق زیباکلام, lit.'honest eloquent-speaker';[3] born 12 June 1948) is an Iranian academic, author and pundit[4] described as reformist[5] and neo-liberal.[6]

A graduate of the University of Bradford,[7] he is a professor at University of Tehran[8] and appears frequently on international news outlets[9] including the BBC News and Al Jazeera.

His books "How Did We Become What We Are? " and "An Introduction to Islamic Revolution" are among bestsellers and prominent books on Iranian contemporary politics.[1]

Zibakalam has become a familiar face in Iran for his passionate and daring debates with hardliners in which he publicly challenges the state line on many sensitive topics.[3]

2000 Parliament election disqualification[edit]

While teaching at Islamic Azad University of Zanjan, Zibakalam registered as a candidate for the 2000 Iranian legislative election from Zanjan, but he was disqualified by the Guardian council.[1]


In January 2014, he wrote an open letter to Hassan Rouhani and criticized him for not focusing on his campaign promises including freeing political prisoners and ending house arrest of the 2009 presidential candidates (Mir-Hossein Mousavi, Zahra Rahnavard, and Mehdi Karroubi). This was in reaction to a recent Rouhani's speech in praise of pro-government protests against Green Movement protests on Ashura of 2009.[10]

Zibakalam has questioned the achievements of the nuclear program of Iran and for this he has been charged with "weakening the system".[11][12] In February 2014, Zibakalam publicly stated that he recognized the State of Israel because the United Nations recognises it as a state.[3]


  • 'How Did We Become What We Are?
  • Hashemi without Retouch[13]
  • Souvenir Photographs with Civil Society
  • An Introduction to Islamic Revolution
  • How The West Became The West


  • Deutsche Welle Freedom of Speech Award (2018)[14]


  1. ^ a b c d مردی که زیاد می داند (in Persian),, retrieved 24 April 2015
  2. ^ مناظره خواندنی زیباکلام و خسروپناه در باره نقش دین و عقل در زندگی انسان (in Persian), Khabar Online, 7 November 2012, retrieved 24 March 2015
  3. ^ a b c "The Iranian professor who dares to differ on nuclear matters and Israel". The Guardian. 8 April 2015. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  4. ^ Hanif Zarrabi-Kashani (19 December 2014). "Iranian Press Week in Review". The Brookings Institution. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  5. ^ Mehrun Etebari (10 May 2013). "Iran Press Report: Waiting for Rafsanjani". The Brookings Institution. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  6. ^ Stephanie Cronin (2013). Reformers and Revolutionaries in Modern Iran: New Perspectives on the Iranian Left. Routledge/BIPS Persian Studies Series. Routledge. p. 43. ISBN 978-1134328901.
  7. ^ Bradford link stirred PM to press Shah to free academic detainee | General | Times Higher Education
  8. ^ Iran's regional aspirations face realities at non-aligned nations summit | The Times of Israel
  9. ^ This House believes that Iran poses the greatest threat to security in the region | Series 2 | The Doha Debates
  10. ^ Karami, Arash (3 January 2014). "Rouhani criticized by supporter for statement on 2009 elections". AL-MONITOR. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  11. ^ "Dismantling the wall - Hassan Rohani has changed the mood in Iran. But he faces opposition". The Economist Newspaper. 22 February 2014. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
  12. ^ Ghazi, Fereshteh (6 February 2014). "Is it a Crime to Not Defend the Nuclear Program?". Rooz online. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
  13. ^ "Ayatollah Hashemi: Man of politics, man of letters". 10 January 2017.
  14. ^ Rahel Klein, Shahram Ahadi, Jamshid Barzegar (3 March 2018), "DW Freedom of Speech Award 2018 goes to Sadegh Zibakalam", Deutsche Welle, retrieved 15 March 2018{{citation}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

External links[edit]