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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fair arguments about nuclear Iran but presented in a somewhat biased way, 28 April 2014
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This review is from: A Dangerous Delusion: Why the West Is Wrong About Nuclear Iran (Kindle Single) (Kindle Edition)
The book fills an important gap - namely a coverage of the Iranian nuclear program without the scaremongering component so prevalent in the conventional media coverage of the subject. So far so great - if the authors would choose a somewhat less combative / victimized stance and kept to the subject, rather than to overinterpretation.

The basic premise of the book is that - contrary to popular opinion - Iran has by and large demonstrably kept to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty and that there has been no indication of a nuclear weapons program since 2003 (something confirmed by US and UK military intelligence). The book discussed this point in exhaustive detail, introducing a raft of interviews of various stakeholders to confirm the premise. To aid credibility, the sources cited are uniformly Western, not Iranian or Russian.

The authors also focus quite strongly on the comparison between the treatment received by Iran, as compared to other countries with nuclear ambitions and (in the meantime) weapons, such as Israel or India, which the authors consider wholly unfair.

And this is where the book starts taking a turn for the worse. While the authors are generally right, that different countries receive differing tratment by the international community, dependent on power politics considerations, this is neither new nor surprising. It has been a facet of international politics since time immemorial and somewhat surprising that the authors feel such outrage over it. This would only be surprising from a Cold War rhetoric of 'free world' universally good, Soviet empire universally bad - which is somewhat past its sell-by date.

This leads the authors to portray Iran as a helpless victim, thereby lowering the book's appeal for a broader audience, and lessening the likelihood of the message actually getting across to where it matters. This victimized view is akin to preaching to the choir, and can be interpreted as propaganda, rather diminishing the credibility of the overall quite sound arguments.

So if you are willing to gloss over the relatively biased coverage on Iran's role in the late 20th / early 21st century non-nuclear geopolitical arena, the book brings lots of useful material on building a balanced picture of their nuclear ambitions and actions. This is laudable and deserves to be read. Hopefully the next addition will tone down the rhetoric somewhat, making the book appealing to a wider audience, too.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 24 May 2014 10:42:55 BDT
blofeld says:
A better review of this book than the rest here, which are little more than cheerleading a repressive theocracy. Iran's nuclear ambitions are unclear but what is not is that the regime is an intolerant one that should have no apologists in the West, even though it clearly does. In recent times they have executed a poet (by hanging) for expressing anti-government sentiments, and as I write this, elements in Iranian society are calling for the flogging of actress Leila Hatami , for "kissing" in greeting a man at the Cannes film festival.This is a cultural norm for us. For the revolutionary Islamists who run the country this is apparently worthy of flogging.Why do some western liberals make excuses for these people other than being driven by self loathing?
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