Coughlin writes: "From Khomeini through to Ahmadinejad, Iran has maintained its uncompromising devotion to its unique expression of revolutionary Islam, no matter how much hostility from the outside world. And so long as the heirs to Khomeini's revolution maintained their iron grip on power, the Islamic Republic of Iran would continue to uphold the banner of radical Islam and proclaim its defiance of the rest of the world."
The only way to appease the regime is to surrender to it. Even then, it is almost certain that the more radical elements in Tehran, such as Ahmadinejad, who dream of world conquest in the name of Islam, would demand more.
While the historical background of the regime takes up more than two-thirds of the book, it is the part dealing with current issues that deserves special attention. (In fact, Coughlin gets many details of Khomeini's biography wrong. For example, Khomeini was not "a poor student from a remote area of southern Iran" but instead came from a reasonably well-to-do family in Khomein, a small town in north-central Iran, about 120 miles from Tehran.)
Coughlin refutes some popular misconceptions about the regime. For example, apologists for the Islamic Republic claim that it never had a strategy to develop nuclear weapons or that, even if it did, the whole programme started after Khomeini's death. Coughlin, however, shows that Khomeini personally ordered the launch of the programme after some of his commanders, backed by Hashemi Rafsanjani, a businessman-cum-mullah who acted as the ayatollah's adviser at the time, argued that they needed the bomb to win the war against Iraq as the first phase of a grand plan to conquer the Middle East.
Coughlin writes: "In 1983, a special unit devoted to nuclear research and technology was set up by the Guards and located in a suburb of north Tehran...Mohsen Rezai, who had assumed overall command of the Revolutionary Guards in 1981, revealed that the regime had allocated a budget of $800 million for the bomb programme." Around the same time, Rezai told an Iranian nuclear scientist who later defected to the West that Iran needed to "arm itself with anything needed for victory, and we need to have all technical requirements in our possession to even build a nuclear bomb, if and when needed."
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