There I was, gathering up my handful of library books and slowly making my way to the automated check out station when I saw it. “Holy cow, Dore Gold has a new book-and it’s on IRAN !” After reading a number of books dealing with Iran over the last year I just wasn’t in the mood to read another. But since I enjoyed the author’s previous book I quickly yielded to temptation, added it to my handful of library loot and took it home. While I might not have enjoyed it as much as his book on Saudi Arabia, Hatred’s Kingdom, I still found The Rise of Nuclear Iran: How Tehran Defies the West to be a powerful and timely book.
Gold, author of several books, is also Israel’s former ambassador to the United Nations. His latest book in some ways is actually two books. One part describes Iran’s decade-long mission to build a sophisticated nuclear weapons program. The other book is a stinging indictment of Iran’s foreign and domestic policies which, ultimately, are responsible for fueling this quest for such weapons.
While not as combative as Amir Taheri, Gold definitely takes the “glass half empty” approach when describing Iran. Much like fellow Israeli Ronen Bergman, Gold’s book feels incredibly well-researched, incorporating both diplomatic and intelligence related material. Lastly, while maybe not as good a writer as Robert Baer, thankfully Gold’s book is not dry and boring. Troubling, but not boring.
In the end, for good, bad or otherwise Gold’s alarmist claims are only as good as the sources he uses. Perhaps, in the end, only time will tell if he was right.