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Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States Hardcover – October 1, 2007
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About the Author
Trita Parsi is president, National Iranian American Council, and adjunct professor of International Relations at Johns Hopkins University SAIS (School of Advanced International Studies). He writes frequently about the Middle East and has appeared on BBC World News, PBS News Hour, CNN, and other news programs.
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Indeed, one wonders how the region might be different in the US had taken Iran up on its attempts in the 1990s and again in 2003 to forge better relations. It is true that some of the blame for the failure to accept Iranian entreaties can be laid at the feet of the pro-Israel lobby in the US which was able convince members of Congress to stifle any discussions before they got started. This power was recently demonstrated again when President Obama suggests Israeli-Palestinian negotiations use the 1967 borders of Israel as a basis for peace talks and a majority of Congress appeared to side with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's position of intransigence.
Insightful as Parsi's analysis is, I think the vision of rapprochement that he lays out at the end of the book (which was published in 2007) was probably unrealistic. If the current Iranian government was primarily concerned with having its regional importance recognized and respected, it probably could have achieved an understanding with the new Obama Administration in 2009. While it is true that Iran's Islamist governments after 1979 have shown occasional streaks of pragmatism, the current government under President Ahmadinejad has shown little. Even if rhetoric suggesting Iran seeks Israel's discussion is often taken out of context or exaggerated, Israel is right to fear nuclear armed Iran. One hopes Parsi's assertion that the Iranian leadership is ultimately rational is accurate but when one hears the leader of a potentially nuclear nation talking about wiping another nation off the map, it should give the second nation pause. As for US-Iranian relations, a possible American détente with Iran should not be held hostage by Israel's fears, but is it really possible at the present time?
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This book is an account of dealings between Israel, Iran, and the US from the accession of the Shah in 1954 up to 2007.Read more