The Persian Night: Iran Under the Khomeinist Revolution

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Encounter Books, 2010 - History - 417 pages
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Who really rules Iran today? Are the men in official positions merely puppets activated by hidden hands? How are decisions made in a system that appears so chaotic at first glance? Is the current political structure doomed to conflict? These are some of the questions that Amir Taheri addresses in this riveting and timely book.

An anatomy of one of the most secretive regimes in the contemporary world,The Persian Night traces the historical, religious, cultural, and political roots of the Khomeinist revolution and analyzes the way it has grown into a pseudo-religious ideology over the past three decades. Taheri dissects a regime that has hijacked a nation of seventy million people and mobilized its resources for global "holy war” against the United States and its allies. From Khomeini’s "divine mission” to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s messianic campaign in the name ofthe "Hidden Imam,” Iran is on a trajectory towards war.

The Persian Night looks into the actual links between the Islamic Republic and terrorist networks including al-Qaeda and Hezballah; the reality of the Iranian nuclear program; the Islamic Republic’s war-making capabilities and strategies; and the origins of the three Khomeinist phobias--women, Jews, and the United States.

But as Taheri demonstrates, Khomeinism is not Iran. Today there are two competing Irans: the one manifested in the negative Khomeinist energies that have dragged the nation into its dark night; the other drawing from the long and celebrated history of Persian culture while extending a friendly hand to the West.

Successive U.S. administrations, along with most European governments, have failed to understand the reality of the Khomeinist regime and at times have even aided its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, including a nuclear arsenal. Taheri provides a set of imaginative suggestions for more effective ways of dealing with Iran.
 

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Wonderful book! I highly recommend it to everyone who wishes to understand Iran, Persia, esp. for young Iranian like me. - Jake

Contents

Democracy as Enemy
40
Iran and AntiIran
54
unwelcome Faith
68
A Strange Beast
76
The Feeble ones
106
The Prophet and Women
125
19
224
Six Centers of Power
240
A Case of national Schizophrenia
298
Preemptive War or Preemptive Surrender?
307
Conditions for Regime Change
318
Repression and Resistance
331
The Ethnic Time Bomb
346
A Heaving Volcano
358
Afterword to the Paperback Edition
369
notes
373

Six Rival Centers of Power
253
40
257
Power Points in a noMans Land
262
The nail of the Imam
276
54
277
We Can
287
Index
393
68
394
130
400
171
407
204
414
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Amir Taheri was the executive editor in chief of the daily Kayhan, Iran's largest newspaper, for more than six years before the mullahs seized power. He has been a syndicated columnist since 1980 and has contributed to many leading newspapers and magazines in the Middle East and Europe. In the United States, his articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Commentary magazine, among other publications. He lives in Paris and London.

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