About six months ago, I stood alongside a handful of Washington-based analysts who focus on Iran at the main building of the U.S. State Department. We were there to brief, and be briefed by, a senior U.S. State Department official on the state of play in Iran and the diplomatic efforts to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions. As we waited in the security line, a conversation emerged about a blockbuster book that had been published in Iran a year earlier, photocopies of which had just begun to be passed around American academics. The hefty (1000-page) volume entitled National Security and Nuclear Diplomacy doesn’t look like the stuff of great beach reading, but by the standards of Iranian political writing, it was a page-turner, chock full of new revelations about the nuclear program and peppered with the sort of candid commentary that the ritualistic politeness— as well as the instinct for self-preservation— usually .
The author was Hassan Rouhani, who is scheduled to be inaugurated as Iran’s next president in less than three weeks time.
Patrick Clawson of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy,
Ray Takeyh, of the Council on Foreign Relations,