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Countdown to Crisis: The Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran Paperback – February 16, 2006

4.0 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“I have spent my life tracking down the murderers of yesterday. Mr. Timmerman is tracking down the murderers of tomorrow.” —Simon Wiesenthal, 1992

“Ken Timmerman delivers another blockbuster, this time on Iran and its clandestine nuclear program. Few things are more relevant to today’s world than what happens in the Middle East—especially in Iran, a major player in the ‘axis of evil.’ Read this book, be warned, and then equip yourself for battle.” —Cal Thomas, nationally syndicated columnist

“With so many amateur intelligence experts clouding the public dialogue, it is a pleasure to read the work of an author of real professionalism. Timmerman adds texture and clarity to the gross failures of our intelligence establishment and new visibility to the role of Iran in the Islamist war against America.” —John f. Lehman, 9/11 Commission member and former Secretary of the Navy

"Writer drops bombshells about Iran's shell game. Investigative reporter Kenneth Timmerman has been mulling over Iranian mullahs for more than two decades while covering the Byzantine world of Middle Eastern politics, terrorism and weapons proliferation. In Countdown to Crisis: The Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran,he produces the first-ever inside account of Iran's clandestine nuclear program.

Utilizing contacts with dozens of Iranian defectors and officials, previously classified documents, and high-level sources throughout the government and intelligence community, the New York Times best-selling author pulls the Persian rug out from the Iranian clerics who have been mobilizing to kill during four U.S. presidential administrations. Readers alarmed by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's recent call for the annihilation of Israel will take no comfort in Timmerman's electrifying book." —Indianapolis Star

"Ken Timmerman’s book, Countdown to Crisis, should be required reading for all the neo Neville Chamberlains at the State Department, National Security Council, or elsewhere in the Bush Administration for those wishing to give appeasement one more chance. Timmerman makes clear that the U.S. is facing the specter of Iran, the oldest and most active state sponsor of terror, armed now with nuclear weapons. With remarkable prescience, the author scoops every news agency that is investigating the recent London bombings.

The book contains many new revelations, investigative bombshells for those who are still in denial of the dangers we face. Its essential message is two-part. With vivid corroborating detail, the author convincingly makes the case that, for more than 18 years, the International Atomic Energy Agency (the UN’s nuclear weapons “watchdog agency) and the CIA actually aided Iran in acquiring nuclear weapons, doing so through differing degrees of duplicity and ineptitude. But secondly and perhaps more ominously, Timmerman demonstrates that the Iranian Mullahs have forged very strong ties with al Qaeda and have been co conspirators with bin Laden from the beginning of his attacks on America." —Human Events

"Kenneth Timmerman has a nose for trouble. A veteran reporter, he has made a name for himself investigating political controversies for over two decades, penning high-profile exposés of the Rev. Jesse Jackson's influence-peddling and intimidation politics and the mercenary motivations behind France's opposition to war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

With Countdown to Crisis, however, Timmerman may have hit the mother lode. Iran's concerted quest for a nuclear capability is taking center stage on the strategic agenda of the United States, and policymakers in Washington are in desperate need of a primer on Iran's strategic capabilities, and its political intentions. Timmerman is well-positioned to provide both.

Having reported on the Iranian regime's troubling international behavior for such publications as The New Republic and the Washington Times since the late 1980s, he is no stranger to its inner workings. Indeed, the biographical sketches of key regime figures and opposition activists interspersed throughout the book convey a feeling of deep familiarity with the convoluted power politics of the Islamic Republic.

None of this makes Countdown to Crisis any less frightening."—New York Post

"A new book alleges that the CIA was warned of a plot to attack New York and Washington by a walk-in Iranian defector a month and a half before September 11, 2001, but the potentially valuable informant was turned away. Information culled from a former security specialist for Iran's supreme leader named Hamid Reza Zakeri provide the grist for the most explosive allegation in Kenneth Timmerman's newly published Countdown to Crisis. —The New York Sun

"If current news reporting out of Iran isn't disturbing enough, author Ken Timmerman's latest book is a stark warning that worse is to come, and soon. Boiled down to its essence, Mr. Timmerman's conclusion is that the Islamist regime may be no more than six months away from perfecting the technology for nuclear weapons and could already have enough nuclear material for 20 to 25 bombs. It also is probable that the rocket delivery systems for striking at Israel and American military installations in the region are also in plentiful supply. In Countdown to Crisis,this complicated, multi-front story is so compellingly documented that the author's cautionary words serve to heighten the sense that while we can't tell when the mullahs of Tehran will go adventuring with their bombs, we can no longer pretend that they don't intend to do something violent in the region and do it any time now." —Washington Times

From the Inside Flap

In his chilling new book, New York Times bestselling author Kenneth R. Timmerman blows the lid off the greatest threat America faces: the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Using his exclusive access to previously classified documents, Iranian defectors and officials, and high-level sources in the U.S. government and intelligence community, Timmerman blows the lid off previously unreported threats and our intelligence community’s failure to deal with these dangers.

And now it could be too late.

To get the complete story on Iran’s radical Islamic regime, Timmerman crisscrosses the globe, taking the reader into secret terrorist gatherings in Tehran, into tense meetings in the White House, to debriefings at an obscure CIA outpost in Azerbaijan, to diplomatic face-offs in the Kremlin, and to many other spots along the way. His extensive investigative reporting allows him to lay bare the true nature of the Iranian threat.

For Americans interested in the truth about Iran, Countdown to Crisis may amount to a call for action—or even a case for war.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press (February 16, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400053692
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400053698
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,146,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is the most compelling book on Iran to date. Author Kenneth Timmerman was watching Iran's nuclear program before most journalists and policymakers believed it was a problem. Nobody has matched the methodology of the author, an investigative journalist whose tradecraft is every bit as thorough as an old-school intelligence officer. That methodology is what makes Countdown to Crisis so important. Timmerman didn't build his powerful story on electronic searches, a data dump from a government agency, leaks from disgruntled officials or the testimony of a defector or two. He didn't write it in response to the crisis du jour. This book is the product of years of careful and patient work with multiple sources, including an array of defectors whom the author debriefed repeatedly in face-to-face encountered. Timmerman risked his life in forsaken corners of the world to draw out unmatched facts and insights about Iran's nuclear weapons program. He saw the danger before it arrived. Now it's here. And he has the story.
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Format: Hardcover
Countdown To Crisis: The Coming Nuclear Showdown With Iran by investigative reporter and Middle East expert Ken Timmerman documents how the American intelligence community's arrogance, incompetence, and willful blindness have repeatedly kept us from dealing effectively or successfully with the Iranian nuclear threat. Countdown To Crisis reveals that the Iranian mullahs could already have enough nuclear material for 20 to 25 bombs; secret locations where Iran had been sheltering Osma bin Laden and Al-Qaeda forces who are collaborating with the Iranians to plain attacks against American and our allies; Iran's involvement in the 9/11 plot (including documents the CIA tried to withhold from the 9/11 Commission); an insider's account of how top Iranian leaders negotiated directly with North Korea's "Supreme Leader" to secure nuclear weapons assistance, and so much more. Every allegation is founded in documentation, every revelation is backed by evidence. Countdown To Crisis needs the widest possible readership it can achieve in order to end the political mismanagement that has so characterized the Bush administration's handling (and chronic mishandling) of the Iranian nuclear threat, the Iranian participation in global terrorism, and the brutality of the Iranian mullahs.
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Format: Hardcover
It seems that the current non fiction environment lends its self to high drama works that, regardless of subject manner, all lead in the direction that the issue covered in the book is the most import of issue to be dealt with over the next so many years. This author also has a history of putting out books that seem to have a rather close relationship to the conservative issue of the day. So given this was my bias coming into this book you would think I would have nothing but negative comments, I assumed the same. The fact is the book is an enjoyable and interesting read. The author details out the growing issue that another Middle Eastern country is working to gain a nuclear weapon and what it might mean to us.

As much as it might pain me to say this, I agree with many of the authors claims. There is no other country today that has so openly and brazenly supported terror in the Middle East. Iran is a country that is working to gain more influence in the Middle East with hopes of becoming the leader of a Soviet Union style dictatorship over the Middle East to bring back the glory of the great Persian empire of the past. The leaders of the country are pursing a goal of the total destruction of Israel and a subjugation of the rest of us. The book talks abut the many missed opportunities and missteps that have lead us to this point and gives the reasons why we are going to be dealing with them in an adversarial relationship for many years to come.

Overall I really enjoyed the book. All over hype and drama aside, the author details out a threat to us as Americans if for no other reason then Iran is a country focused on objectives that a detrimental to our own and they happen to be in the most sensitive location on the planet today. I had to put aside my bias toward the author and in doing so I came away the better.
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Format: Hardcover
Thanks to the Washington Post, I now know how to review books without actually reading them, and furthermore, how to take nine paragraphs to say the simple, oft-repeated talking point, "Conservatives are nuts." The aforementioned media outlet would do well to consult the author's footnotes before accusing him of viewing Iran asthmatically, or any other way. Also, to take a shot at someone for giving their book a catchy title is asinine. I suppose the Post would prefer that Michael Moore change the name of his blockbuster documentary (so-called) "Fahrenheit 9/11" to "A Negative Critique of the Bush Administration's Handling of Terrorism Before and After September 11th, 2001."

That said, I myself am somewhat skeptical of substantially sized books on VERY current events when they come out. I ask myself the question, "How well could the author have authenticated himself in so short a time?" However, my skepticism does not determine reality, as the Washington Post's apparently does. Timmerman's book is exhaustively annotated for anyone who would dedicate the time to do the research. His bibliography provides as fine a path to verification as any. Whether or not the Washington Post's book reviewers are disposed to think critically about world affairs fortunately has no bearing on the course of history (or of the future). Read this book. Borrow it, if you must.
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