Rating

9

Qualities

  • Innovative

Recommendation

This is an exceptional look inside a diplomatic house of mirrors: the ongoing evolution of relationships among Iran, Israel and the U.S., and where their motives, rhetoric, realpolitik and military power converge. Trita Parsi’s sophisticated analysis of this complex, high-stakes, long-standing triad presents many surprises, perhaps even to those who think they know the inner workings of the Middle East and U.S. diplomacy. Parsi offers an advanced understanding of complicated modern diplomacy and insights about the future. His real expertise emerges in both history and analysis, though it is hard to know if his role as president of the National Iranian American Council may be a factor in his opinions. getAbstract advocates his book to anyone who wants to comprehend the doctrines and strategies behind Iran’s relations with the U.S. and Israel.

Summary

Rhetoric and Realpolitik

The tension between Israel and Iran began after the Cold War and has become increasingly complex. Both parties frame the conflict as an ideological clash. Israel sees Iran as a radical, Islamic fundamentalist state that cannot responsibly manage nuclear materials. The Islamic Republic of Iran rejects Israel’s right to exist. Both are driven by a desire for regional superiority.

Israel has pitted its democracy against the world’s most radical, anti-West theocracy. It has claimed that the “mad mullahs” who govern Iran plan to use radical Islam to bridge the divisions among Arabs, and then eradicate Israel. Iran has ratcheted up its anti-Israel rhetoric, and it thwarts Arab governments that counter its influence. To create dissent against Arab governments that supported Israeli peace efforts, Iran supported the Palestinians. Iran accuses Israel of grabbing land, disregarding U.N. resolutions and disrespecting Islam. These arguments underlie Iran’s anti-Israel public position, making it harder for moderate Arab nations, like Jordan and Egypt, to contradict Iran’s motives.

Iran, like Israel, is independent and self-reliant. It does not see...

About the Author

Trita Parsi is president of the National Iranian American Council and adjunct professor of International Relations at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. He writes frequently about the Middle East and appears often on television as a news analyst.


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