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  • The Persian Puzzle: The Conflict Between Iran and America by Kenneth M. Pollack.
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  • The Persian Puzzle by Kenneth M. Pollack - Commentary.

As Pollack himself admits, the strategic ambitions of the Iranian regime, and its relentless pursuit of a nuclear option, have become a "problem from hell. Where, then, does that leave the United States?

The Persian Puzzle : Kenneth M Pollack :

Here, Pollack does not have many good answers. His antidote for the Iranian problem is purely tactical. Ignoring the current of revolution that is now visible within the Islamic Republic, he settles for a convoluted "triple track" strategy designed to simultaneously dangle diplomatic carrots and sticks before Iran's leaders, pursue international cooperation for a new containment policy, and plan for failure. Ultimately, however, these prescriptions are entirely unconvincing.


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Perhaps that is because Pollack, through his meticulous review of the ebb and flow of U. Maybe it has to do with the fact that, having decisively shut the door on the possibility that a fundamental transformation of the regime could be in the offing, Pollack has to content himself with incremental steps built around ephemeral hopes of mollifying Iran's ayatollahs. Whatever the reason, The Persian Puzzle provides a commendable assessment of the evolution of Iranian politics, and of the unhappy state of affairs between Washington and Tehran.

But readers who are looking for more—for instance, a coherent plan for confronting Iran's international menace, and for promoting a peaceful, democratic Iranian future—are likely to be sorely disappointed.


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The Persian puzzle : the conflict between Iran and America

Subscribe Login Sign up. In his highly influential book The Threatening Storm , bestselling author Kenneth Pollack both informed and defined the national debate about Iraq.

Understanding the U.S. and Iran

Now, in The Persian Puzzle , published to coincide with the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Iran hostage crisis, he examines the behind-the-scenes story of the tumultuous relationship between Iran and the United States, and weighs options for the future. Here Pollack, a former CIA analyst and National Security Council official, brings his keen analysis and insider perspective to the long and ongoing clash between the United States and Iran, beginning with the fall of the shah and the seizure of the American embassy in Tehran in Pollack examines all the major events in U.