on 8 January 2007
This slightly convoluted book provides tremendous background to help advanced readers understand the complex motives and machinations that shape U.S.-Iranian relations. Unfortunately, professor Ali Ansari has a definite point of view that affects his presentation about Iran's stated nuclear threats and terrorist financing, even as he chides the "trigger-happy Americans" in Iraq. He may be right that the U.S. missed several opportunities to reduce tensions with Iran, but he admits that Iran's overtures were oblique and unpopular. His baroque interpretations of Iran's motives and the relationships among its factions is dizzying, and open to question - ultimately adding to Iran's mystery. Despite its biases, we consider this important for those seeking a comprehensive overview of Iran and its complex U.S. relations. The book goes well beyond any discussion available in the mass media.