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CONFRONTING IRAN: The Failure of American Foreign Policy and the Next Great Crisis in the Middle East (Book by Ali M. Ansari)

is going nuclear, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly proclaimed that Israel should be “wiped off the map.” The U.S. and Iran are currently at a total impasse, and some have claimed that the White House is already drawing up war plans. How did we get here?


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In CONFRONTING IRAN: The Failure of American Foreign Policy and the Next Great Conflict in the Middle East (on sale July 3, 2006) by Ali M. Ansari provides a concise yet comprehensive analysis of the brewing crisis, its origins, and its potential consequences. Ansari places current developments within a historical and cultural context. He describes the myths and prejudices which have developed on both sides over the course of centuries and which have shaped policy and public opinion for decades.


“With war plans being rumored, there could be no better time for Ansari's smart, concise, jargon-free recounting of a century of American-Iranian relations. This should be on the must read list of anyone concerned with what comes next in the Middle East.”

—Richard W. Bulliet, Professor of History, Columbia University



Ansari demonstrates that ongoing prejudice has bred mutual suspicion and conflicting narratives about key events including the overthrow of Dr. Mohammad Mosaddeq in 1953, the Islamic Revolution and the Hostage Crisis, the Iran-Iraq War, the Iran-Contra Scandal and the shooting down of the Iran Air airbus by the USS Vincennes.  It will come as a surprise to most Americans that in the past this “Axis of Evil” nation admired America and held it up as the model of ‘religious democracy.’


America currently has neither diplomatic ties nor a coherent policy for dealing with Iran. And there is also no international consensus. Ansari deftly highlights the trilateral convergence of the U.S., Europe, and Iran which helps explain how Iran policy frequently falls victim to rivalry between Western allies, leading to our current state of muddled thinking, and even more muddled policy.


With twenty-six years of reactive, inconsistent or non-existent Western policy towards this oil rich nation, American readers will find CONFRONTING IRAN extremely timely and enlightening.



Fluent in Persian, Ali Ansari is a highly regarded specialist in the field of Iranian history and politics with a doctorate from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. He has written for periodicals including the Financial Times and the Independent (London) and has been a commentator on CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, Fox News, and NPR.




The Failure of American Foreign Policy and the Next Great Crisis in the Middle East

Ali Ansari

Published by Basic Books, A Member of the Perseus Books Group

Publication date; July 3, 2006

Price: $26.00 / Hardcover

280 pages

ISBN: 0-465-00350-8


... Payvand News - 6/27/06 ... --

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