Tehran Rising: Iran's Challenge to the United States by Ilan Berman
Besides tracing Iran's export of radical Islam and its connections to al-Qaeda, Ilan Berman's new book shows that Iran is expanding its support for anti-American forces around the globe. The central question raised by Berman, a professor of International Law and Global Security at the National Defense University, is what, given all this, America's policy on Iran should be. Preemptive attack to destroy the facilities scattered over the country may not be the best option. Russia's pending sale of air defense systems, as well as Iran's recent promise to use its 2000-kilometer-range missiles in retaliation for such an attack, make the results uncertain.
Instead, he advises sustained public diplomacy, e.g., beaming information to the Iranian people via satellite. Of course, in 2003, the Ayatollah ("the product of the Kremlin's premier finishing school for third world radicals," Berman reports) had his friend Castro use Cuba's electronic warfare facility to jam both official and private broadcasts from the U.S. to Iran. In any event, the success of public diplomacy would depend on whether the Iranian people are inclined to adopt a different form of government. On this count, the author thinks "the Islamic republic today resembles nothing quite so much as the Soviet Union in the final, dismal days of the Cold War."
The Claremont Institute
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This article appeared in the Summer 2006 issue of the Claremont Review of Books