By Mark Pyruz
With their new book "Going to Tehran: Why the United States must come to terms with the Islamic Republic of Iran," Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett have managed in a single volume to wipe away the flagrantly false mythology we Americans have been force fed regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran.
I had high hopes for this book. Even so, after giving it a read I can truthfully say my expectations were greatly exceeded by the authors.
Arguably for the first time, we Americans now have a concise account that includes perspectives from both former U.S. government officials and those of their Iranian interlocutors, providing probably for the first time an accurate depiction of U.S.-Iran relations (including the nuclear issue), as well as an accurate depiction of the Islamic Republic in general. In addition, the Leverett's provide us with a list of those responsible and their agendas for presenting we Americans with the inaccurate depictions of events, politics and life in the Islamic Republic that until now was regarded as "common knowledge".
However, the greater value and the service the Leverett's have rendered we Americans is the identification of American interests in generating a peace and rapprochement towards Iran, and how without it we're likely set on a path for yet another self-destructive war in the Middle East.
Also included are the number of times post-revolutionary Iran has cooperated with the United States in the hopes of improving relations, only to be stiffed for such assistance, even penalized. Hillary Mann Leverett is in the unique position as a former U.S. government official charged with accepting Iranian cooperation, to recount such two-faced episodes in American history.
Regarding the Nixon-to-China moment persons like myself would like seen applied to the Islamic Republic of Iran, the book presents a well articulated presentation of the historical motives involved for Nixon and Kissinger's highly successful rapprochement effort towards the People's Republic of China, how they carried it off and how by example the same can be applied with regards to Iran.
As for persons here in the United States that maintain and perpetuate such myths as Iran's innate political need for maintaining the U.S. as an enemy, or that a majority of Iranians inside Iran are against their political system of government, or that fraud took place during the 2009 presidential election, there is now no excuse for such ignorance. The facts are now laid bare within the pages of the Leverett's new book.
This is a must read for those interested in Iran, U.S.-Iran relations, U.S. interests and peace.
Special thanks to the San Francisco Public Library System and the Peninsula Library System for ordering multiple copies at this writer's request.