Ali Akbar Alikhani is an associate professor at the University of Tehran in Iran, and currently is a visiting scholar at Harvard University's Center for Middle Eastern Studies.
He's involved in a project "centered on 'peace and peaceful coexistence in Islam.'"
Despite the title of said project, Alikhani's work "has been critical of Israel and Zionism," which includes praise for the book The Jewish Threat-Danger to Christianity and Islam ("strong and good").
According to The Washington Free Beacon, Alikhani said the work "show[s] the quality and the method of the Jewish threat."
In one of his own academic offerings, Alikhani says that "criticism of Israel was justified because it is 'a country that from its inception was based on force, coercion, and oppression of others.'"
Alikhani is a member of Tehran University's Faculty of World Studies, which is closely tied to the Iranian ruling regime and has supported scholars who espouse the regime's hardline ideology.
The school's decision to align itself with an ally of the Iranian regime has elicited criticism from some academics, who accuse the Ivy League school of betraying moderate Iranian voices who seek greater ties with the Western world.
Alikhani argued that "the Jewish dissidents of Zionism" were in fact "propagandistic exploitations" created by the "Jewish government" to "pretend that Israel is a free country."
His paper cited several controversial academics, including Roger Garaudy, a French scholar known for denying the Holocaust. Garaudy's death in 2012 was commemorated by the Iranian regime.
Alikhani's other works have touted Rachid Ghannouchi, a Tunisian Islamist figure who has promoted violence against Jewish people and heads a group that is accused of having ties to Hamas.
The academic also has close ties with other Iranian regime-backed academics and political leaders.
Sam Westrop, research director of the advocacy group Americans for Peace and Tolerance, was critical of Harvard:
"By legitimizing a die-hard regime supporter like Alikhani as a voice of Shia Islam, Harvard is betraying the thousands of authentically moderate Iranian Muslims working to free their faith from the tyranny of the violent Iranian theocracy."
Alikhani told the Free Beacon that "I have never work on Judaism or leadership [sic]."