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The John Batchelor Show

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

The John Batchelor Show

Reza Kahlili, author, A Time to Betray, in re: The Daily Caller, Iranian naval admiral: ‘If needed, we can move to within three miles of New York’KAHLILI: Iranian missiles could soon reach U.S. shores. No Parchin access. Iran agreed to seven “practical steps” in talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency that sought to further safeguards and transparency in the Iranian nuclear program, an Iranian nuclear official said Feb. 9, AFP reported. The steps do not include granting the IAEA access to Iran’s Parchin military site, where the agency believes experiments relating to the development of nuclear weapons took place.

February 10, 2014

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Iranian commander: We have targets within America

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

The Daily Caller

FEB 01, 2014

By: Reza Kahlili

A top commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards boasted Saturday that his forces have plans in place to attack the United States from within, should the U.S. attack the Islamic Republic.

“America, with its strategic ignorance, does not have a full understanding of the power of the Islamic Republic,” Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami said in a televised interview. “We have recognized America’s military strategy, and have arranged our abilities, and have identified centers in America [for attack] that will create a shock.”

Reports indicate that terrorist Hezbollah forces — allies of Iran — have infiltrated the U.S. and have mapped out targets.

“We will conduct such a blow in which they [America] will be destroyed from within,” Salami said.

This is the second warning by a high-ranking officer of the Guards in two weeks. The chief commander of the Guards, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Jafari, addressing Secretary of State John Kerry, said on Jan. 24 that a direct conflict with America is the “strongest dream of the faithful and revolutionary men around the world.”

Kerry had previously said that if Iran did not live up to the agreement reached in Geneva on its nuclear program, “all options are on the table.”

“Your threats to revolutionary Islam are the best opportunity,” Jafari had said. “Muslim leaders for years have been preparing us for a decisive battle.… Do you know how many thousands of revolutionary Muslims at the heart of the Islamic revolutionary groups around the world are awaiting for you to take this [military] option from the table into action?”

Gen. Salami went further, saying the Revolutionary Guards have taken into consideration America’s military ability and different scenarios under which the U.S. could attack Iran via a limited missile or air strike, or even a ground attack.

“All operational bases of the enemy in the region in whatever capacity and location are within our firepower,” Salami warned. “The American military option does not make a difference for us, and they can use this option, but they will have to accept the responsibility of devastating consequences.”

Salami asked whether America could control the spread of any war with the Islamic Republic: “Can they preserve their vital interest in the region in the face of endless attacks by Iran? Can they keep their naval assets and the Zionist regime [Israel] secure?”

Salami said that with the U.S. economy and debt, America is in no position to engage Iran militarily.

The general then taunted Washington, citing Iran’s political and cultural influence in Iraq. “The current has changed for the Americans so much so that they invest [by invading Iraq] and others [Iran] benefit.”

Regarding Syria, Salami said the United States does not have the ability to interfere in a country that has been engaged in a civil war for several years.

“The Americans cannot even conduct a military operation there,” Salami said. “[T]he conditions and the factors that facilitate the exercise of military power for them have for years been destroyed and today they (the Americans) are in an erosion of political, cultural and military power.”

The general said there are thousands of brigades ready to confront America both within the Islamic Republic and outside the country. He then warned Iran’s politicians to remain strong during the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program and — based on the might of the country — not give in to U.S. demands.

Iran and the 5+1 world powers (the five permanent U.N. Security Council members plus Germany) reached an interim agreement in Geneva in November over the regime’s illicit nuclear program. Under the six-month agreement, Iran, in return for billions of dollars in sanctions relief, will keep much of its nuclear infrastructure, is limited to enriching uranium at the 5 percent level for six months, will convert its highly enriched uranium of 20 percent to harmless oxide, and will allow more intrusive inspections of its nuclear plants by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which will be limited to searching only agreed-on facilities.

Iran, which has started to implement the first phase of the Geneva agreement, acknowledged receipt of the first installment of released funds and that over $500 million has been deposited into the country’s bank account in Switzerland.

The Islamic Republic spends billions of dollars supporting the terrorist group Hezbollah, its network of terror cells around the world and the Assad regime in Syria solidifying his grip on the country.

Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and author of the award-winning book “A Time to Betray” (Simon & Schuster, 2010). He serves on the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and the advisory board of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI).

The John Batchelor Show

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

The John Batchelor Show

Iranian official confirms country sought to build nuclear weapons, the nuclear negotiations and the clerical establishment’s strategy in removing sanctions.

January 27, 2014

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The John Batchelor Show

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

The John Batchelor Show

Reza Kahlili, author, A Time to Betray, in re: In the agreement that the White House won’t allow Senators to see, there’s language that allows Iran to use high-speed centrifuges and thus speed up its advance to being a nuclear power with both weapons and delivery system. “Dismantling eqpt” is a joke: they disconnect something that takes one day to reconnect. Nothing ended.  Meanwhile they continue with “research facilities” in 10,000 centrifuge in Natanz; will agree to nothing that eliminates their progress.  Fars News Agency: “Tall white people from alien places [not Earth] have taken over US foreign policy.”  “Secret US government; the FSB cooperated in compiling this report.”

January 13,2014

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Iranian Democratic Activist: I am going back to the prison tomorrow

Monday, January 6th, 2014

I am going back to the prison tomorrow By Heshmat Tabarzadi</p><br />
<p>I am going back to the prison tomorrow. A year has passed since my prison recess. Based on my calculations, of the eight years prison verdict, still 4 years are remaining. I have already been 7 years of my life in prison and Every year since 1999, I have spent some time in prison. Today, the prosecutor office called and ordered me to report back to the Rajai-Shahr prison. As I have repeatedly mentioned, because of my mother’s situation, I had agreed to be freed with the condition of remaining silent, and I maintained my silence until a few days ago.</p><br />
<p>However, the situation of the people and my country is such that I could no longer keep quiet and therefore I broke my silence. During the one year that I was out of jail, I acquired a more accurate understanding of the conditions of the Iranian society. Unfortunately, the regime has brought the nation and the country to regression as the power struggle (within the regime) continues, and the regime is responsible for the current situation.</p><br />
<p>Some of the Iranian opposition has become attached to the president Rouhani’s government, claiming that they are worried about Iran and want to avoid Iran falling in the same paths as Syria and Libya. By doing so, they have tied their own fate to the fate of the Islamic Republic. The western powers hope to bring the regime to the international community and to force it to adhere to the international principals, including human rights. The economic situation of the regime is such that it has no choice but to enter in such direction. I do not consider it impossible for the regime to be forced to follow this path. Although the ruling oligarchy shows tenacity and will not easily give up, but with the Geneva talks, it has already taken the first step. A government that does not give in to the demands of its own people has no other option but to oblige to the will of foreign powers. That is why the ruling regime subscribes to no logic but force and oppression.</p><br />
<p>Meanwhile the primary task of us Iranians is to free ourselves from the current situation and to establish human rights and secular democracy in our country. However, the ruling oligarchy with all its power is trying to avoid this path, yet it has no choice but to consent to the internationally recognized rules of law.</p><br />
<p>I also have noticed that the secular democracy movement in Iran is rapidly growing. Despite the enforced limitations on me, many secular democrat organization and individuals have contacted me, which is a sign of the growth of this movement and their kind attention to this small soldier of freedom. I believe recalling me to the prison in because of the regime’s understanding of this growth, attention and perseverance.</p><br />
<p>I am deeply committed to this cause and ask the movement to step in the direction of the staged demands such as “No to Executions and Freedom of the political prisoners”. Naturally, avoiding conflicts with one another and agreeing on common demands are necessary pre-requisites for the staged and final victories. In order to rid ourselves…, this is a serious alternative for the Iranians. Join this movement.</p><br />
<p>I understand my presence outside the prison is to the advantage of the democracy seeking movement and also would have liked to be with my family, especially next to my elderly mother, a kind and courageous lioness, but being detained along with my comrades, in another trench of struggle is also comforting. Especially that after this new imprisonment, some hypocrites can no longer claim to the international community that after the emergence of President Hassan Rouhani, Iran's human rights situation has improved. Obviously, this is my wish and I know that the present pressures has forced the regime to a step-by-step retreat, But that time is yet to come.</p><br />
<p>Presently I am in perfect health, and as long as certain conditions are not imposed on me, I am not intending to resort to hunger strike. However, if anything happens to me, be aware that its responsibility directly lies with Khamenei himself and the rulers. Once again, I ask the respected lawyers to seriously consider and follow up with the complaint against Seyed Ali Khamenei that I filed in 2011 while in prison.</p><br />
<p>I understand that with the situation facing us, and the role that this soldier of freedom has assumed, I may face serious dangers and that my well-being will depend on the efforts of all the human rights defenders.</p><br />
<p>May the chains of tyranny break , Long Live Freedom and democracy</p><br />
<p>Heshmat Tabarzadi</p><br />
<p>Chairperson of the Iranian Democratic Front</p><br />
<p>Spokesperson for the Solidarity Movement for Democracy and Human Rights in Iran</p><br />
<p>January 5, 2014 http://iroon.com/irtn/blog/3439/

Iroon.Com

Published: January 05, 2014 – 12:39 PST
Last Edited: January 05, 2014 – 12:39 PST

By Heshmat Tabarzadi
I am going back to the prison tomorrow. A year has passed since my prison recess. Based on my calculations, of the eight years prison verdict, still 4 years are remaining. I have already been 7 years of my life in prison and Every year since 1999, I have spent some time in prison. Today, the prosecutor office called and ordered me to report back to the Rajai-Shahr prison. As I have repeatedly mentioned, because of my mother’s situation, I had agreed to be freed with the condition of remaining silent, and I maintained my silence until a few days ago.However, the situation of the people and my country is such that I could no longer keep quiet and therefore I broke my silence. During the one year that I was out of jail, I acquired a more accurate understanding of the conditions of the Iranian society. Unfortunately, the regime has brought the nation and the country to regression as the power struggle (within the regime) continues, and the regime is responsible for the current situation.

Some of the Iranian opposition has become attached to the president Rouhani’s government, claiming that they are worried about Iran and want to avoid Iran falling in the same paths as Syria and Libya. By doing so, they have tied their own fate to the fate of the Islamic Republic. The western powers hope to bring the regime to the international community and to force it to adhere to the international principals, including human rights. The economic situation of the regime is such that it has no choice but to enter in such direction. I do not consider it impossible for the regime to be forced to follow this path. Although the ruling oligarchy shows tenacity and will not easily give up, but with the Geneva talks, it has already taken the first step. A government that does not give in to the demands of its own people has no other option but to oblige to the will of foreign powers. That is why the ruling regime subscribes to no logic but force and oppression.

Meanwhile the primary task of us Iranians is to free ourselves from the current situation and to establish human rights and secular democracy in our country. However, the ruling oligarchy with all its power is trying to avoid this path, yet it has no choice but to consent to the internationally recognized rules of law.

I also have noticed that the secular democracy movement in Iran is rapidly growing. Despite the enforced limitations on me, many secular democrat organization and individuals have contacted me, which is a sign of the growth of this movement and their kind attention to this small soldier of freedom. I believe recalling me to the prison in because of the regime’s understanding of this growth, attention and perseverance.

I am deeply committed to this cause and ask the movement to step in the direction of the staged demands such as “No to Executions and Freedom of the political prisoners”. Naturally, avoiding conflicts with one another and agreeing on common demands are necessary pre-requisites for the staged and final victories. In order to rid ourselves…, this is a serious alternative for the Iranians. Join this movement.

I understand my presence outside the prison is to the advantage of the democracy seeking movement and also would have liked to be with my family, especially next to my elderly mother, a kind and courageous lioness, but being detained along with my comrades, in another trench of struggle is also comforting. Especially that after this new imprisonment, some hypocrites can no longer claim to the international community that after the emergence of President Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s human rights situation has improved. Obviously, this is my wish and I know that the present pressures has forced the regime to a step-by-step retreat, But that time is yet to come.

Presently I am in perfect health, and as long as certain conditions are not imposed on me, I am not intending to resort to hunger strike. However, if anything happens to me, be aware that its responsibility directly lies with Khamenei himself and the rulers. Once again, I ask the respected lawyers to seriously consider and follow up with the complaint against Seyed Ali Khamenei that I filed in 2011 while in prison.

I understand that with the situation facing us, and the role that this soldier of freedom has assumed, I may face serious dangers and that my well-being will depend on the efforts of all the human rights defenders.

May the chains of tyranny break , Long Live Freedom and democracy

Heshmat Tabarzadi

Chairperson of the Iranian Democratic Front

Spokesperson for the Solidarity Movement for Democracy and Human Rights in Iran

Iran Steps Up Its Campaign Against Christians

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

Iran christians

Iranian Christians at a worship service. The authorities have been cracking down on Farsi-language believers, many of whom are converts from Islam. (Photo: Barnabas Fund)

January 2, 2014 – 5:35 AM

By Patrick Goodenough

(CNSNews.com) – One of the few Iranian churches still serving Christians who are not from minority ethnic groups – and are therefore more likely to be converts from Islam –reportedly has told these Farsi-speaking believers that they are no longer welcome.

The announcement at St. Peter Church in Tehran, reported by the independent Iranian Christian news agency Mohabat News, is the latest in a stepped-up campaign by the regime aimed at curbing the growth of Christianity in Iran, especially among former Muslims.

Mohabat News said churches in Iran are coming under pressure to stop all activities in Farsi, including sermons.

Critics say that despite the election of a president last year viewed as reform-minded, the situation has, if anything, gotten worse.

“Conditions are at levels not seen since the early years of the [1979] revolution,” U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom chair Katrina Lantos Swett wrote in an op-ed last weekend.

Iran claims to uphold religious freedom in line with a constitutional recognition of five faiths – Shia Islam, Sunni Islam, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, and Christianity – whose adherents, “within the limits of the law, are free to perform their religious rites and ceremonies, and to act according to their own canon in matters of personal affairs and religious education.”

The Christian minority has traditionally comprised mostly ethnic minorities which have their own language, Armenians and Assyrians, who attend various Catholic and Protestant denominations.

But the growth in the number of non ethnic-minority Christians, converts from Islam, is viewed by authorities as a worrying phenomenon, hence the attempt to prevent churches from using Farsi. (Most Iranians do not understand the minority languages.)

Mohabat News said that the Farsi-speakers who have been told they may no longer attend St. Peter Church include elders and Sunday school teachers, and that some have been going there for more than 20 years.

“Since 2011, pressure and restrictions on Iranian churches have increased dramatically,” it said. “Many Christians, especially newly converted Christians, have faced imprisonment, pressure and harassment in the past few years. Iranian intelligence and security forces have recently focused their efforts to close down more churches around the country.”

Among those closed was the largest Farsi-speaking church in the country, the Central Assemblies of God Church in Tehran, which was shut down during the presidential election campaign early last year. Assemblies of God U.S. general superintendent George Wood said at the time that closing all Farsi-language churches in Iran “would essentially remove all open witness of the gospel of Christ in the country.”

President Hasan Rouhani, who won that election, pledged while campaigning to improve human rights in Iran, including the conditions faced by religious minorities. Last week, he sent Christmas greeting messages to Pope Francis and to Christians in Iran and around the world.

But the harassment of Christian converts has not stopped. On Christmas Eve, five converts were arrested during a police raid on a house in Tehran where they were meeting to celebrate Christmas.

The Committee of Human Rights Reporters, an Iranian group, reported that security officers had seized Christian books and CDs found in the house, as well as laptops and a satellite TV receiver.

‘An increasing number of Muslims’

In its annual report on people imprisoned for their faith around the world, released this week, the Brussels-based organization Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF) named Iran as one of five countries with the largest number of “freedom of religion or belief prisoners.”

“Evangelical and Pentecostal churches are attracting an increasing number of Muslims, and converts develop missionary activities among their former co-religionists despite the harsh repression and the threat of imprisonment,” says the report, which also recorded Baha’i adherents among those in Iranian prisons.

Of the more than 40 Iranian Christians listed in the report as having been arrested or convicted during 2013, some faced charges including “conversion from Islam to Christianity, encouraging the conversion to Christianity of other Muslims, and propaganda against the regime by promoting Christianity as missionaries.”

Other charges included launching a Christian website, distributing Bibles, attending a house church, and “being in contact with foreign organizations.”

Prison terms handed down ranged from several months to eight years – the sentence given last January to Saeed Abedini, the Iranian-American pastor and convert from Islam convicted of “crimes against national security,” and incarcerated in one of Iran’s most dangerous prisons.

HRWF also cited cases in which Christians were beaten during interrogations and put under pressure to recant their new faith and return to Islam.

“While conversion to or from a faith is an internationally guaranteed right, Iran’s leaders deem conversion from Islam an act of apostasy against Islam and Iran’s character as an Islamic state, punishable by death,” USCIRF chair Lantos Swett wrote in the op-ed for Real Clear World.

“Revolutionary courts also charge converts with political crimes such as harming national security or contact with a foreign enemy,” she said. “These courts apply such unfounded charges to innocent religious activities such as meetings with foreign Christians, associations with overseas Christian organizations or attending Christian seminars outside of Iran.”

In keeping with his campaign pledges to improve rights, Rouhani in November launched a draft “charter of citizens’ rights,” inviting responses and submissions over a one-month period before a revised and final version is released.

Some human rights advocates who studied the Farsi-language draft called it seriously deficient in the area of religious freedom.

The document refers to Iranians enjoying “rights and guarantees” irrespective of race, culture, language, ethnicity, social status, gender or Islamic doctrine – but is silent on minority faith groups.

“A large group of our society follows other religions and beliefs,” Iranian rights activist Narges Mohammadi told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. “The main question is whether other than Shia and Sunni, other religious minorities should be deprived of their citizenship rights.”

The John Batchelor Show

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

The John Batchelor Show

Reza Kahlili, author, A Time to Betray, in re: Iran: Move Puts Nuclear Deal at Risk  The deputy foreign minister says the country is fashioning its response after the U.S. extended a blacklist for evading sanctions, but European officials say they don’t see the landmark deal in danger. Also revelation on news on Robert Levinson’s association with CIA on a mission in Iran…flash back to 2011 “An Iranian defector now living in the United States, Reza Kahlili, told the AP that Levinson was picked up by the Quds Force, a unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard… Kahlili said Levinson was taken to a safe house in Tehran. A former FBI official said the U.S. was aware of that account and, though he described Kahlili as credible, the U.S. could never confirm his story.

December 14,2013

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Senator’s memo shows Iran links in Homeland Security’s troubled immigration program

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

By Shaun Waterman

The Washington Times

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A program that gives coveted immigrant green cards to wealthy foreign investors was so susceptible to fraud and abuse that it was used by an Iranian network that sought to send banned high technology home and spread terrorism abroad, federal investigators said.

The EB-5 program was used by “a network involved in a series of international assassinations and terrorism operations” that also was “procuring a variety of goods for Iranian entities,” states an unsigned memo from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement made public Thursday. The memo was written in response to questions asked by Janet A. Napolitano as homeland security secretary.

The memo called the EB-5 program a weak point in the nation’s immigration security because visa holders can become green card holders and eventually citizens — without going through the background checks that most prospective immigrants face. The program is designed to attract foreigners who pledge to invest in the U.S. economy.

The memo was made public by Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, in a letter to ICE acting Director John Sandweg asking a series of questions about the case.

Angry law enforcement officials accused Mr. Grassley of potentially jeopardizing ongoing investigations, but the version his office released was heavily redacted, with all names removed…

Read Fully Story: Senator’s memo shows Iran links in Homeland Security’s troubled immigration program

Iran arrests man on charges of spying for Britain

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

The British man the man was arrested in the town of Kerman in southeastern Iran after authorities spent months tracking him down. (Shutterstock)

The Associated Press, Tehran
Saturday, 14 December 2013

Iran’s media says authorities have arrested a man on charges of spying for Britain.

The semiofficial ISNA news agency said Saturday the man was arrested in the town of Kerman in southeastern Iran after authorities spent months tracking him down.

A Kerman judiciary official, who was not named by ISNA, said the man had exchanged information with four British intelligence operatives. The man has not been identified but the report says he is currently standing trial and has confessed.

Iran periodically announces the arrest of alleged foreign agents. Often few further details are released.

The arrest comes as Iran and Britain are patching up ties following the election of moderate President Hassan Rowhani in June. The British Embassy in Tehran was closed in late 2011 after hardliners overran the building.

The John Batchelor Show

Friday, December 13th, 2013

The John Batchelor Show

Reza Khalili: Iran foreign minister alludes to deceiving Obama administration during nuclear negotiations [VIDEO]

December 09,2013

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Spying from the belly of the beast!

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

      

A touching review on my book ‘A Time to Betray‘:

By: Helen E. Faria

www.haciendapub.com

This is one of the most heartrending, and at the same time, enthralling accounts I have ever read of courage, dissimulation and personal suffering in the genre of espionage memoirs. This is the story of a courageous man, who justly betrays and risks his life (and that of his family) to fight surreptitiously against the cruelties and injustices of the ruling government of his native country — Iran. This book struck a personal cord with me because it reminded me of painful and regretful similarities that beset my own family in my native country, Cuba, just before and after of the Revolution that brought to power the dictator Fidel Castro and his brother Raul in 1959.

As a very young child, I remember various members of my family arguing passionately but amicably for and against the dictatorial government of Cuban President, Fulgencio Batista, his coup and dictatorship, his trampling on the legendary Constitution of 1940, the lack of political rights, the cruel imprisonment and even systematic torture of rebels captured while fighting against his regime (an opposition in which my own parents played a clandestine part), etc. I remember one my great uncles arguing and warning us about the malevolent changes the triumph of the revolutionary “barbudos” could bring about — but my parents did not listen, and came to regret it! After the triumph of the Revolution in 1959 and the establishment of communism in Cuba, there was indeed drastic “change,” but this militated change was for the worse — the inception of a culture of deception, oppression, and horror, and there would no longer be friendly political discussions among families, but only mistrust, dissimulation, and fear.

Eerily, the same thing happened in far away Iran in 1979 with the fall of the Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the takeover of Iran by the mullahs and Ayatollah Khomeini, and the inception of a brutal Islamic Republic. Our hero, young Reza Kahlili (a pseudonym) was brought up in a close, prosperous family in Teheran. He remembers the “good old days” of traditional festivities, gatherings, his loving grandfather patriarch defending the ruling Shah of Iran, his ruling dynasty, and the old Persian mores in amicable and engaging conversations among family members. Living in such a warm and jovial atmosphere, Reza, could not have imagine the horrific changes that would be brought about so rapidly in Iranian society with the advent of the “Islamic Republic,” which he joined with excitement after returning to Iran from studying abroad in California.

Nor could he have ventured to guess that most of his family and closest childhood friends would so soon be devoured by the Revolution and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, in which he compliantly served the tyranny. The proverb says “be careful what you wish for; you might just get it.” Alas, that is what happened for those who wanted change in Cuba and Iran, deriding and helping to overthrow Batista in Cuba and the Shah in Iran by revolution. Many of those citizens would end up crushed by Castro and the Ayatollah — who were significantly worse tyrannical figures than their predecessors. And the tragic concatenations that followed in both countries in their wake have not yet ended!

But let us now part from the comparison and focus on Iran and our hero, the subjects of this book. This is an excellent tome, expertly written, personal, passionate, and although it reads fast, like a suspense thriller, it also has interspersed background material recounting brief episodes in the history of Iran that are necessary to the narrative. For example, we learn the Iranians had mixed feelings about (and many resented) the British and Americans, among other reasons, because of interference in their nation’s affair. For example, in 1953 those governments, using the CIA as a vehicle, helped overthrow the democratically elected president of Iran, a (militant) nationalist, Muhammad Mussadegh, who had nationalized the oil industry, and had forced the Shah (a friend of the West) to flee the country.

It is also of historic interest that, as I remember a few years back in 2007, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, defending his country’s right to a nuclear program, stated, “the country of Iran was heir to a great empire and home to a 2,500-year civilization.” I was surprised at the statement, as I always thought the conquests of Mohammed and the religious and cultural revolution of the 7th century, imposed by the victorious Arabs on the conquered Sassanid Persians, had resulted in a new and distinct Islamic nation. Moreover, with the fall of the Pahlavi Dynasty, the last Persian monarchy, the drastic changes brought about by the revolution of 1979, and the inception of an Islamic Republic (a virtual theocracy), had brought about yet another distinct nation. Iranians have a long history as Persians and speak Farsi. Arabs have a more recent civilization, attaining historical distinction with the conquests of Mohammed and speak Arabic. I was gratified that Reza’s loving grandfather and many other more secular Iranians, cognizant of their heritage, agree with my cultural interpretation. These Iranian nationalist and traditionalists think of themselves heir to a distinct but vanishing Persian civilization that had been suppressed culturally by Arab Islamism, and more recently politically with the tyranny of the mullahs and the ayatollahs.

I will not reveal the heartrending stories of cruelty and betrayal, as well as dissimulation and courage, that revolve precariously around our hero Reza, who, as a member of the feared Iranian Revolutionary Guard, courageously spied against the cruel regime he ostensibly served. Suffice to say, the brutality of the regime against his friends and the Iranian people changed him into leading a double life, spying for the CIA for over a decade. Among the information Reza provided to the CIA was vital intelligence that probably prevented the collapse of the Saudi government. The Iranians had planned to use the hajj, the religious pilgrimage that Moslems must make to Mecca, to stage a coup d’etat. Armaments were sent for the hajj, but most of these were intercepted and many of the militants arrested beforehand, foiling the insurrection. Other information was communicated to the U.S. at great peril, but not necessarily used properly by the American government, which was bent on placating the mullahs through various administrations.

The double life took its toll, but Reza persisted in his clandestine espionage with the thought of bringing about genuinely real change for the betterment, the attainment of freedom, and improving the life of his countrymen. How he did his self-appointed mission, and how he survived spying at great personal risk from within the belly of the infernal beast are the enthralling subjects of this book.

Without reservations, this heartrending thriller is highly recommended for those who enjoy non-fiction thrillers, recent history, and passionate espionage accounts. Be ready to stay anxiously at the edge of your seat and hold back irrepressible tears of commiseration, sorrow and outrage! I assign it a 5-star rating.

Miguel A. Faria Jr., M.D. is the author of Cuba in Revolution — Escape from a Lost Paradise (2002) and of other books and numerous articles on politics, espionage, and history, including “Stalin’s Mysterious Death” (2011), “The Political Spectrum — From the Extreme Right and Anarchism to the Extreme Left and Communism” (2011); “America, Guns and Freedom” (2012);”Violence, Mental Illness, and the Brain — A Brief History of Psychosurgery” (2013), etc., all posted at his website haciendapublishingdotcom

***

Also Read:

CIA
The Intelligence Officer’s Bookshelf
Compiled and Reviewed by Hayden B. Peake

Los Angeles Times
Former CIA spy advocates overthrow of Iranian regime
By: David Zucchino / July 6, 2012

CNN
Ex-soldier in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard writes of life as CIA spy
By: Elise Labott, CNN Senior State Department Producer
July 10, 2010

Forbes
Q&A With Reza Kahlili, Iranian Double Agent.
By: Hannah Elliott / May 20, 2010

Washington Post
David Ignatius reviews ‘A Time to Betray,’ the memoir of an Iranian double agent
By: David Ignatius / April 11, 2010

For all reviews on A Time to Betray, please visit: Praise & reviews

The John Batchelor Show

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

The John Batchelor Show

Reza Kahlili, author, A Time to Betray,  in re:Top Iran General: Nuclear deal can be annulled Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari: head of Iranian Revolutionary Guards warns US, Israel and the regime’s politicians on the nuclear negotiations.

December 03,2013

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