Juan Cole

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Juan R. I. Cole is Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan, where he has been on the faculty since he received his doctorate in 1984. He has been active, for many years, in the Middle East Studies Association and was its president in 2006, and has been a longtime member of the editorial board of the journal Iranian Studies, published by the International Society for Iranian Studies. [1] He is also President of the Global Americana Institute, which translates classic American writings, starting with Thomas Jefferson, into Arabic to make them accessible to the Middle East. His blog, Informed Comment, is frequently quoted, often favorably by liberals and with scorn by conservatives.

Cole has been a consistent critic of U.S. policy in the Iraq War. [2]

In Salon.com, he said: "President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did quote Ayatollah Khomeini to the effect that "this Occupation regime over Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time" (in rezhim-e eshghalgar-i Qods bayad as safheh-e ruzgar mahv shavad). This was not a pledge to roll tanks and invade or to launch missiles, however. It is the expression of a hope that the regime will collapse, just as the Soviet Union did. It is not a threat to kill anyone at all.[3] To a New York Times interviewer, he said "Ahmadinejad did not say he was going to wipe Israel off the map because no such idiom exists in Persian...He did say he hoped its regime, i.e., a Jewish-Zionist state occupying Jerusalem, would collapse."[4]


  • 1975 B.A. History and Literature of Religions, Northwestern University
  • 1978 M.A. Arabic Studies/History, American University in Cairo
  • 1984 Ph.D. Islamic Studies, University of California Los Angeles