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Countdown to Crisis: Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran [Hardcover]

Kenneth R. Timmerman
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.99
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Book Description

21 Sep 2005
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.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Forum (21 Sep 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400053684
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400053681
  • Product Dimensions: 24.8 x 16.3 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,050,738 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

2.0 out of 5 stars
2.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is very well written fiction which is based on the most threadbare and dubious versions of the facts.

The main theory of this book is that Iran and Hezbollah are actively aiding Al Qa'ida. The "evidence" provided to back this claim up is incredibly weak. For instance testimony by Bin Laden's former bodyguard is given as evidence. Yet even Timmerman admits this bodyguard was facing a possible death sentence by lethal injection on charges of being involved in Al Qaeda's US embassy bombings in Africa. So the bodyguard had every motive to tell his captors anything they wanted to hear. That's assuming he wasn't also tortured into doing so, which given Human Rights Watch's reports that the Bush administration had a tacit policy of torture, would be a very big assumption.

To be fair Timmerman does admit facts like these (well that the man was facing a death sentence, not that the Bush administration was overseeing torture) while failing to draw the obvious conclusions from them.

From this book you would think that Al Qaeda on the one hand and the Iranian government and Hezbollah on the other are great friends and allies, when in fact they're bitter enemies - hardline Sunni extremists who think Shia are "false Muslims" who should be killed (Al Qa'ida) versus Shia fundamentalists.

From this book you would think that the Iranian regime were just itching to commit national suicide by getting nuclear weapons and using them on nuclear armed Israel and then facing nuclear or conventional obliteration from the US and its allies.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nuclear showdown with Iran 20 July 2009
Format:Hardcover
This book is a little dated - it came out in 2006, but it is still definitely worth a read. Mr Timmerman has produced a highly readable book on Iran`s secret (and none too secret) development of nuclear weapons and their missile programme.
He very much believes that even in 2006 the programme was more advanced than observers believe and he has attempted to substantiate that with defectors tales, documents and other sources. I suspect the major psychological obstacle to digesting the allegations is everyone`s concerns, after the nonappearance of WMD in Iraq, that the sources may not appear to be all they say they are - some of the allegations come from a longterm Iranian terrorist group and there is some caution over defectors given the "Curveball" fiasco ie the source behind the mobile WMD production facility "that never was" in Iraq, and whether there are now options available to the authorities to force Iran from pulling back from its onward march towards this capability.
Mr Timmerman states the case that there were and are ongoing close links between Al Qaeda and the Iranian intelligence sources. The 9/11 Commission looked at possible Iranian involvement and stated that there were "unusual coincidences" of (Iranian backed) Hezbollah individuals travelling with some of the hijackers and urged the US government to investigate further. Mr Timmerman suggests that the US government has done very little to follow up on this for reasons unknown.
There is little in the book to suggest that any of the other presidential contenders in the recent Iranian elections would significantly change direction re nuclear capability from that pursued by Ahmadinejad.
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14 of 71 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Kenneth Timmerman is a worrying man. 3 Feb 2006
Format:Hardcover
Timmerman provides a pythonic insight of himself in this book, and that essentially could be a good reason for reading it. It's an astonishing achievement in revealing his hypocrisy and baffling ignorance. Certainly made clear on the States he's prepared to accuse of being linked to sponsoring terrorist activities and those he's not.
The book itself is written in a novel-like tone. He writes of Irans part in 9-11, which is fundamentally based on the testimony of his "reputable source", the highly dubious character Hamid Reza Zakeri. Zakeri is the alleged Iranian Intelligence operative who was brought out as a witness in the the Hamburg trial of moroccan, Abdelghani Mzoudi (accused of helping the 9-11 hijackers). Zakeri supposedly revealed that Iran, along with bin-Laden, was responsible for the 9-11 attacks. Time-Europe magazine reported that, Germany's Federal Intelligence Service (BND) told the courts that Zakeri tended "to weave statements that could be substantiated with those that cannot." The BND concluded that the value of Zakeri's information was "fairly limited." A feeling that was even shared by the Prosecution. Not to Timmerman, of course.
Timmerman also endeavors to exonerate the incumbent U.S. Administration and the higher concentrated sectors of the Intelligence Agency of the possible failings that could well of prevented the 9-11 events (the lower levels of the Agency are, of course, more expendible..."CIA George," seemingly being the sole culprit, according to Timmerman for failing to act on Zakeri's warnings. Nevertheless, the message is clear; if it's any groups fault, then it's all the CIA's.)
As part of a television interview with Timmerman about his book, he states, "the Iranian people are pro-American.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  34 reviews
72 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Multiple sources 24 Jun 2005
By J Michael Waller - Published on Amazon.com
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.
99 of 126 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Persian Carpet Of Lies 19 Jun 2005
By John G. Hilliard - Published on Amazon.com
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.
25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every allegation is founded in documentation, every revelation is backed by evidence 13 Nov 2005
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
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.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite Scholarly Despite Its Rush to Stores 29 April 2006
By jklseattle - Published on Amazon.com
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.
28 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Mullahs Are Comming! 7 Jan 2006
By P. Smyth - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Kenneth Timmerman, an author known for his right leaning books and connections to the neo-conservative right wing truley surprised me with this book. After the "election" of a new radical President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (a former Iranian Revolutionary Guard) in Tehran and the restarting of Iranian efforts to become a nuclear power, this book becomes much more relevant.

Timmerman outlines how the Islamic Republic of Iran has been openly and secretly skirting IAEA, International groups, American and European efforts to create an atomic bomb and aquire advanced weapons. Timmerman also shows how Iran and al-Qaeda are working hand in hand against their "Western infedel" enemies.

The author utilizes his numerous connections to government intelligence figures and most spectacularly a high ranking Iranian official. He paints an excedingly scarier picture of what the Iranian regime will be capable of in the comming years.

The exploration in the arms dealing connection with a fellow "Axis of Evil" member North Korea was incredibly intriguing and scary. At some point Iran may have a very advanced ICBM. I think one of the most interesting portions of the book was how the author connects al-Qaeda to the Iranian regime, he shows through documents from his informant Mr. Motamer that "Bin Laden is one of the very few people who can pick up the phone and talk directly with Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, in Tehran." (pg.174) In addition he describes Iran's external operations against the United States, Israel, and the West.

Quite possibly the most unnerving portion of the book had nothing to do with Iran having "the bomb" or conducting terrorist operations against Americans. It was that American leaders have tried to cover up the facts and have had numerous major intelligence lapses that have only increased Iranian resolve to attack us.

The current quagmire in Iraq is only exsaserbated by Iranian influence. With new tactics in terrorism and newly aquired super weapons, one must wonder why the US didn't pass over Iraq and strike at Iran. Because our armed forces are spread thinly across the world one wonders what can we do to resist increasing Iranian power.
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