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Engaging Iran: The Rise of a Middle East Powerhouse and America's Strategic Choice


Nathan Gonzalez’s book “Engaging Iran” explores:


  • How Iran holds the key to an American withdrawal from Iraq
  • What Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad really wants
  • The implications of Iran’s nuclear program
  • How to deal with Iranian support of terrorist groups
  • Why it is time to engage in dialogue with the Islamic Republic of Iran, as the non-partisan Iraq Study Group recommends

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200 pages
Publisher: Praeger Security International General Interest-Cloth (August 30, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0275997421


Iran is poised to re-emerge as the powerhouse of the Middle East in the 21st century. Already taking on massive export and energy diversification projects and working to acquire a nuclear weapons arsenal, Iran is likely to attain the stature of regional power in the coming years, thanks in no small measure to the vacuum created by the chaos in Iraq, which for many years served as a counterweight to Iran in the region. But is a nuclear-armed Iran a direct strategic threat to the United States? While post-revolutionary politics have harnessed anti-Americanism as a matter of policy, Gonzalez argues that this is only a sign of a larger enterprise of democratization; a "trajectory of independence," as the author calls it. This trajectory has led Iran to release itself from the shackles of foreign power intervention and has put it closer to home-grown democracy than any other nation in the Muslim Middle East. This promise of democracy, set in the wider scope of Iranian Shi'i jurisprudence and practice, is set to elevate the largest segment of Iranian society--its educated and pro-American youth--to the forefront of Iranian politics.
The Middle East is in crisis, and within every crisis lies opportunity. America must not repeat the myopic mistakes of the past. A far-sighted and grand-strategic approach to engagement with Iran promises to open doors to regional stability and political development. Only then can America, as the global superpower, reap the benefits of a new Middle East, with the Islamic Republic of Iran at the helm.


Nathan GonzalezNathan Gonzalez
is an Iran specialist and founder of, an open-source foreign policy think tank. A veteran of several political campaigns, Nathan became disillusioned with the extreme partisanship employed by both parties in handling foreign policy, and founded as a vehicle for serious mature dialogue about American interests and security.

Nathan has published several academic papers on U.S.-Iranian relations. He is an analyst with Foreign Policy in Focus and a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post, along with other blogs and opinion publications. In 2002, Nathan received a prize from the University of California, Los Angeles, for his research on Iraq, through which he predicted that a U.S. invasion would bring about massive sectarian strife, pervasive anti-Americanism in Iraq, and a stronger Iran.

Nathan holds a master of international affairs from Columbia University, and a bachelor in political science from UCLA. He lives with his wife Tamara in Orange County, California.



Reviews of Engaging Iran:

"Nathan Gonzalez knows Iran. His grasp of the country's culture, religion, and complex political structure is unmatched among American analysts. Engaging Iran is a must read for anyone who wants a fuller, more complete picture of this powerful, problematic, and increasingly influential country. I cannot recommend this book enough." -- Reza Aslan, author of No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam

"A very thought provoking, well written analysis of Western misconceptions of Iran. The solution offered suggests that our relationship with Iran can be radically transformed to reduce the strain on our resources and reshape our understanding of other international commitments." -- David C. Rapoport, Founding Editor, Journal of Terrorism and Political Violence

"This book offers an important new perspective to the debate about U.S.-Iranian relations. Much like Nixon's strategy of detente during the 1970s, Gonzalez suggests that the time is ripe for a reduction in tension with the Islamic Republic. His arguments for replacing ideological confrontation with strategic engagement are detailed and thought-provoking and should inform foreign policy discussions for many years." -- James J. F. Forest, United States Military Academy


... Payvand News - 10/15/07 ... --

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