Going to Tehran: Why the United States Must Come to Terms with the Islamic Republic of Iran

Flynt Leverett, Author, Hillary Mann Leverett, Author
Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett. Metropolitan, $28 (320p) ISBN 978-0-8050-9419-0
Reviewed on: 01/07/2013
Release date: 01/08/2013
As the war of words over Iran's nuclear ambitions threatens to spiral into violent conflict, objective analysis of the Islamic Republic's policies, intentions, and capabilities has never been more necessary—or more difficult to find. The Leveretts, who since leaving government service have become increasingly enthusiastic proselytizers on behalf of Tehran, offer an analysis, but not one easily classified as objective. Fashioning their latest polemic as a shot across the bow of the prevailing orthodoxy regarding "the most critical country in the world's most critical region," they call for a reset in relations and substantial engagement rather than saber-rattling and sanctions. Although some of their points are well-taken, they cast every assertion by an Iranian official in glowing terms—Ahmedinejad, they say, could not possibly be seeking nuclear weapons, since, in his view, they violate Islamic morality. They accuse the American government of "shameless duplicity" but their celebration of Iran's "significant progress toward the integration of Islamic governance and participatory politics" obfuscates the difficulties standing in the way of rapprochement. Illus. Agent: Andrew Stuart, The Stuart Agency. (Jan.)