Professor Ali Ansari is Professor in Modern History with reference to the Middle East at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, where he was also the founding director of the Institute for Iranian Studies. His research interests include the development of the State in Iran in the modern era, with a particular focus on nationalism, mythology and the use (and abuse) of history.
Ali also studies the politics and history of the Islamic Republic and the broader relations of Britain and the United States with Iran; ideology, myth and nation building; and social and intellectual history. He was educated at University College London (BA), King's College London (MA), and obtained his PhD from the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).
Ali is currently AHRC-ESRC Knowledge Exchange Fellow at the FCO. He is also a Senior Associate Fellow at Royal United Services Institute and is a Hon Vice-President of the British Institute of Persian Studies. He is a regular speaker at conferences and events regarding Iran. In 2016 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland's National Academy for science and letters.
He has spoken on a number of occasions at Keele World Affairs.