Dr. George Bournoutian, senior professor of Middle Eastern and East European history at Iona College of New York, will discuss “Iran’s Mission of Apology to Russia” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, in the Alice Peters Auditorium (Room 191 of the Peters Business Building) at Fresno State.

The free, public lecture is co-sponsored by Fresno State’s Armenian Studies Program and the Armenian General Benevolent Union of Fresno.

Bournoutian received the first doctorate of philosophy degree in Armenian history from University of California, Los Angeles, in 1976 and held Fresno State’s Henry S. Khanzadian Kazan Visiting Professorship in Armenian Studies in spring 2009.

He is considered the foremost authority on Eastern Armenia from the 16th to 19th centuries and is the author of 30 books and numerous articles, said Dr. Barlow Der Mugrdechian, coordinator of the Armenian Studies Program at Fresno State.

Bournoutian’s book, “From Tabriz to St. Petersburg: Iran’s Mission of Apology to Russia in 1829,” published in 2014, is his English translation of a diary written during a 10-month mission dispatched by the government of Iran. He was dispatched to present an official apology from the Shah to Tsar Nicholas I following the murder of Griboedov, the envoy and minister plenipotentiary of Russia, and the massacre of the entire Russian Legation, save one, by an angry mob on Feb. 11, 1829 in Tehran.

The mission, headed by Khosrow Mirza, the 16-year-old, seventh son of Crown Prince Abbas Mirza, left Iran in early May and returned on Feb. 27, 1830, after successfully accomplishing its task.

Bournoutian will discuss the activities of the mission and its travels from Tabriz to Yerevan, Tiflis, Moscow and St. Petersburg. He will also discuss the importance of these archival materials and how this period in history led to the formation of the first Armenian Republic in 1918.

His book, “The Concise History of the Armenian People,” currently in its sixth edition, has sold over 20,000 copies and has been translated into Spanish, Arabic, Turkish, Russian and Armenian. A Japanese version is due soon and a Persian translation is due in late 2016.

Free parking will be available in lots P5 and P6 with parking code 273601. For more information, contact the Armenian Studies Program at 559.278.2669 or see www.fresnostate.edu/armenianstudies.