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Going to Tehran: Why the United States Must Come to Terms with the Islamic Republic of Iranby Flynt Leverett
Synopses & Reviews
An eye-opening argument for a new approach to Iran, from two of America's most informed and influential Middle East experts
Less than a decade after Washington endorsed a fraudulent case for invading Iraq, similarly misinformed and politically motivated claims are pushing America toward war with Iran. Today the stakes are even higher: such a war could break the back of America's strained superpower status. Challenging the daily clamor of U.S. saber rattling, Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett argue that America should renounce thirty years of failed strategy and engage with Iran—just as Nixon revolutionized U.S. foreign policy by going to Beijing and realigning relations with China.
Former analysts in both the Bush and Clinton administrations, the Leveretts offer a uniquely informed account of Iran as it actually is today, not as many have caricatured it or wished it to be. They show that Iran's political order is not on the verge of collapse, that most Iranians still support the Islamic Republic, and that Iran's regional influence makes it critical to progress in the Middle East. Drawing on years of research and access to high-level officials, Going to Tehran explains how Iran sees the world and why its approach to foreign policy is hardly the irrational behavior of a rogue nation.
A bold call for new thinking, the Leveretts' indispensable work makes it clear that America must "go to Tehran" if it is to avert strategic catastrophe.
"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.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett are two of America's most renowned Middle East analysts. They have served in senior positions at the National Security Council and the State Department, and currently teach international relations at Yale University. Flynt Leverett also directs the New America Foundation's Iran Initiative. Their writing has appeared in the New York Times, Politico, Foreign Policy, and Washington Monthly, among other publications. They live in northern Virginia.
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