Seyed Hossein Mousavian, the lead author of Iran and the United States: An Insider’s View on the Failed Past and the Road to Peace, has two objectives: to help American readers understand the Iranian perspective on the fraught US-Iranian relationship, and to advocate a sustained attempt to break the cycle of hostility that was triggered by the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Such is the suspicion on both sides of this relationship that some readers may wonder about the extent to which Mousavian’s descriptions of the Iranian perspective in this book, which was co-authored by Shahir Shahidsaless, can be trusted. This reviewer’s opinion is that Mousavian—a former Iranian ambassador who has been living in the US since 2009—whom the reviewer has known since 2004, is not trying to pull wool over anyone’s eyes. There is corroborating evidence for much of the information he advances. If in places the reader senses that he or she is not getting the full story, a respectable explanation is to hand: those who have worked at the heart of a government, as Mousavian has done, are bound to be “economical” with certain truths, as a British cabinet secretary once put it.
“Iran and the United States: An Insider’s View,” Peter Jenkins, BBC Farsi, October 13, 2014.