The authors of Going to Tehran: Why the United States Must Come to Terms with the Islamic Republic of Iran, Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett, support the Islamic Republic of Iran, a fundamentalist totalitarian regime. Their book (reviewed by Chase Madar in “Obama in Tehran,” March 2013) is full of hypocrisy and blatant misrepresentation. It contains distortions and innuendos. It’s like reading a transcript from PressTV, Iran’s stateowned English-language network.
It is well known that the authors take their talking points from Islamic Republic agents. Their website even features members of the Basiji and the Revolutionary Guard! They have repeatedly traveled to Iran as guests of Iran’s occupying regime. Bottom line: if you want to know what the Islamic Republic propagates, this book is for you. But no rational person takes them seriously. Read it only if you want to know what it’s like for Westerners to become the de facto agents of an evil regime. —Sasson K. Darian, New York City
Chase Madar responds: It’s a tribute to the Leveretts’ brave book just how much fury it has stirred up, whether icy-frosty as in The New York Times Book Review’s recent denunciation, or extra-spluttery, as in Mr. Darian’s case. Truth is, if we have diplomatic relations with China, Colombia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Bahrain, Egypt and a great many other nations with serious human rights abuses, we can resume diplomatic relations with Iran, end our crippling sanctions that only harm civilians, and ratchet down the tension in a region that badly needs it.