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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you are interested in Iran this is a must read book.,
Interesting and readable attention to detail makes this book the best in class. Hopefully the politicians (and lots of other people) will read it and act to help create a better and safer world. Many thanks writing this book.
27 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Western Hypocrisy,
Recently this country had a Prime Minister who was a serial liar. His lies to and in Parliament led to the deaths of over 100000 civilians plus hundreds of soldiers.
This same country has elected MP's who have deliberately defrauded the nation of thousands of pounds in an expenses scandal. These MP's are listed number two in the latest veracity table. Recently, senior members of the government have been shown to have lied leading to their resignation. Many have been found guilty of adultery.
Do I refer to Iran? No, the UK.
Another country has in recent year had a succession of presidents who have been economical with the truth. At least two have been adulters. It has invaded a sovereign nation on the back of fabricated evidence and outright lies. Many of its elected politicians have dubious business connections and even more dubious relations with the opposite sex. All these failings have been revealed and well documented in many books whose authors are renowned for their honesty and objectivity. Is this country Iran?. No. It is the USA.
In this long overdue account of what motivates Iran's leaders by Michael Axworthy many of the myths about Iran, deliberately fostered by the West, are revealed and destroyed. He explains why Iran's rulers are intent on stopping the country adopting western values and behaviour. Can one, should one, blame them?
The constant reference by America to what it calls Iran's threatening nuclear policy has always been hypocritical. Apparently, it is alright for the US, UK, Israel, Pakistan, India and France to have deliverable nuclear weapons but not Iran or North Korea because it is argued they might use them. Only one nation has ever done so, and I believe justifiably, America in 1945. As someone who has studied nuclear matters for over 40 years I do not believe that Iran or North Korea would ever use these in an aggressive fashion for the simple reason they know that a Western response would wipe them off the globe. As for the argument along the lines that a mad fanatic might fire them, such scenarios are best left to fiction writers. Evil leaders do exist, as in the past, but they are not stupid. Nuclear weapons are sought by states as deterrents. That is why Saddam fooled the US and UK into believing he had them. This is why Iran wants them and will develop them.
Dr Axworthy, is a former head of the Iran Section at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. A learned and intelligent man he is no apologist for Iran. Iran is a repressive dictatorial regime that uses torture to intimidate, terrorise and kill political opponents. He demonstrates however that the poor relationship with the West is as much the latter's fault as it is Iran's. The hypocrisy of the West is exposed as is its bad faith. In this connection it is worth noting that we do not treat Saudi Arabia like a pariah despite its human rights record being shamefully deplorable.
Dr Axworthy reminds the reader that Iran gave Israel vital intelligence to enable it to to destroy Iraq's nuclear reactor in 1981, and that the West supported Saddam and gave him weaopns to fight Iran in the savage Iraq-Iran war despite Saddam's use of chemical weapons. Furthermore, it was the West that supported the last Shah despite his attack on Iranian traditions and culture, and his crushing of all opponents by brutal means. Of course, oil played a major role here, yet again.
The West has humiliated Iran on more than one occasion. Great Britain, cynically used Iran to act as a buffer to protect India from Russia. It was also GB that supported the 1921 coup that brought to power the Pahlavis. Oil again was at the forefront of Wesminster's mind.
Is it any wonder that today Iran is determined never again to be at the mercy of others. Her rulers make constant reference to the bullying and threatening behaviour of the West (particularly the US and UK) that has been all too common in the past. Constant critical rhetoric from the White House only serves to convince Iran that the West cannot be trusted.
The author also reminds us of something America never mentions, namely that Iran condemned the 9/11 outrage, no Arab nation did. It even permitted US planes to fly over Iran when America was invading Afghanistan. Despite this Iran was lumped together with North Korea in Bush's ludicrous Axis of Evil speech of 2002. The result was, understandably, a hardening of Iran's suspicion of the West.
This is an excellent and very readable book which should be read by all those with an objective approach to international relations. It is particularly recommended for those who bask in the belief that their country can do no wrong. Alas, there are still many.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thesis material,
I am writing my thesis and this book have given me a thorough understanding of the complicated history of Iran.
4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very reasonable history,
Unbaised account of what has actually happened. A good read for people who are interested to history of the country.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book,
This book is very well written and very accessible for a general reader who wants to get a good insight in to Iran. The writing style was simple but not trite. Would definitely recommend
1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read,
This review is from: Revolutionary Iran: A History of the Islamic Republic (Kindle Edition)
A very detailed and knowledgeable account. Only one view of course. One that is not kind to Iranians or foreigners.
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Revolutionary Iran: A History of the Islamic Republic by Michael Axworthy