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The Iranian Time Bomb

The Mullah Zealots' Quest for Destruction


Michael A. Ledeen (View Bio)
Hardcover: Truman Talley Books/St. Martin's Press, 2007.

The Iranian Time Bomb

Serious thinking about Iran begins with the fact that fanatic mullahs have been waging war on us for twenty-seven years.

The first salvo was the attack on the American Embassy in Tehran in the fall of 1979, leading to the seizure of American hostages, a crisis that lasted 444 days. The war continued with the assassination of American diplomats and military personnel in Europe and North Africa. The latest fronts in that war are in Afghanistan, Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq. Iran arms, funds, trains, and directs a variety of terror groups.

Iranian mullah leaders are religious zealots. They openly welcome the end of the world under the sway of the long-vanished 12th Imam. They say they intend to precipitate the millennium by using atomic bombs on Israel. That is a vision that embraces the murder of millions of us.

There is no escape from this war. It cannot be negotiated away because the mullahs' hatred of us rests on ultimate issues.

Fortunately, we have every reason to expect to win, using the same methods - primarily support for democratic revolution - that brought down the Soviet Empire. Regime change in Iran can be accomplished without resort to bombing, strafing, or invading the country. We probably have eighty percent or more of Iranians in support of us, and young people openly defy their president, Ahmadinejad, call for his downfall, and demand freedom.

"Ledeen, a well-known conservative pundit on Iran, argues passionately for a bolder, better-reasoned American policy toward the Islamic republic. He presents compelling evidence that the Shiite regime has collaborated with al-Qaeda and other Sunni terrorist organizations, and that Iran's Supreme Leader has considered the goal of killing Westerners and Jews throughout the Middle East. In presenting his litany of Iranian perfidies, however, Ledeen can seem to overreach: he divines Persian influence in the siege of the Great Mosque in Mecca in 1979 and implies there's consensus that Tehran is harboring Ayman al-Zawahiri. Of 9/11 Ledeen writes, '[W]e have still not unraveled all the threads of the September 11 conspiracy. If we ever do, I suspect we will be amazed at the number of terrorist groups—and their national sponsors—that were involved in the conspiracy.' The last third of this short book is dedicated to improving American policy toward Iran. One of the cooler heads at AEI and the National Review, Ledeen presents discussions not on bombs and tactical strikes, but on the moral, logistical and material support for Iranian dissidents, who he claims make up a clear majority of the population. While he may overestimate the potential for regime change in the near future, Ledeen's suggestions merit further discussion." — Publishers Weekly