Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett’s “Going to Tehran: Why the United States Must Come to Terms With the Islamic Republic of Iran” is a long and elaborate promotional brochure designed to sell Americans on the mullahs and their nuclear program. The husband-and-wife authors both served in government, including stints on the National Security Council staff, before emerging as two of Washington’s most outspoken defenders of the Tehran regime. Their basic premise is that America’s foremost concern today must be energy security, and thus, given that Iran is one of the world’s biggest suppliers of oil, the U.S. must normalize relations. President Barack Obama, they argue, should take a page from Richard Nixon’s book and go to Tehran.
The authors dismiss as lies or misunderstandings everything that would get in the way of such a trip: the mullahs’ congenital hostility toward the U.S., their eliminationist rhetoric toward Israel, their illicit nuclear ambitions and terrorist activities, their brutality toward Iran’s women, minorities and dissidents—it’s all America’s fault, anyway.
March 1, 2013