Treacherous Alliance


You are viewing an older version of the Yalebooks website. Please visit out new website with more updated information and a better user experience:

The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States

Trita Parsi

View Inside Format: Cloth
Price: $40.00
Our shopping cart only supports Mozilla Firefox. Please ensure you're using that browser before attempting to purchase.

Also Available in:

Out of Print

The first book to untangle the complex and often duplicitous relations among Israel, Iran, and the United States

In this era of superheated rhetoric and vitriolic exchanges between the leaders of Iran and Israel, the threat of nuclear violence looms. But the real roots of the enmity between the two nations mystify Washington policymakers, and no promising pathways to peace have emerged. This book traces the shifting relations among Israel, Iran, and the United States from 1948 to the present, uncovering for the first time the details of secret alliances, treacherous acts, and unsavory political maneuverings that have undermined Middle Eastern stability and disrupted U.S. foreign policy initiatives in the region.

Trita Parsi, a U.S. foreign policy expert with more than a decade of experience, is the only writer who has had access to senior American, Iranian, and Israeli decision makers. He dissects the complicated triangular relations of their countries, arguing that America’s hope for stability in Iraq and for peace in Israel is futile without a correct understanding of the Israeli-Iranian rivalry. Parsi’s behind-the-scenes revelations about Middle East events will surprise even the most knowledgeable readers: Iran’s prime minister asks Israel to assassinate Khomeini, Israel reaches out to Saddam Hussein after the Gulf War, the United States foils Iran’s plan to withdraw support from Hamas and Hezbollah, and more. This book not only revises our understanding of the Middle East’s recent past, it also spells out a course for the future. In today’s belligerent world, few topics, if any, could be more important.

Trita Parsi is president, National Iranian American Council, and adjunct professor of International Relations at Johns Hopkins University SAIS (School of Advanced International Studies). He writes frequently about the Middle East and has appeared on BBC World News, PBS News Hour, CNN, and other news programs.

Visit Trita Parsi's webpage featuring appearances, press events and interviews with the author.

Click here for an extended question & answer discussion with the author.

Listen in on the author's recent appearance and interview on The Diane Rehm Show. Downloand this segment using Real Audio or Windows Media Player

Read The Economist, "Missed Chance? A Lost Opportunity Before Tehran's Neocons Took Over"

"This is an important piece of work. It is original and fills a much needed gap in the literature. For anyone working in this field it would be essential."—Gary Sick, Columbia University

"This book is outstanding and important."—Nikki Keddie, author of Modern Iran: Roots and Results of Revolution

“In Treacherous Alliance, Trita Parsi makes a persuasive case that since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran has consistently used ideology to achieve hardheaded national interest objectives, rather than sacrifice national interest on the altar of extremist ideological goals. This is an extremely important point to bear in mind as Iran's relations with US and Israel deteriorate and the prospect of yet another Persian Gulf conflict looms. This work, based on extensive interviews with decision makers in three countries, contributes both to our historical understanding and our current policy debate.”—Francis Fukuyama, author of America at the Crossroads

“A penetrating, provocative, and very timely study that deciphers how U.S. policy in the Middle East has been manipulated both by Iran and by Israel even as relations between these two oscillated between secret collusion and overt collision.”— The Honorable Zbigniew Brzezinski, former US National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter

“A brilliant interpretation of one of today’s most enigmatic conflicts. In a sober and original analysis, Dr. Parsi unearths the true nature of the tension in the triangle Iran-Israel-USA as a manipulation by all parties—especially the Israelis and the Iranians—of ideological differences to conceal what can be a solvable strategic dispute. This is a study about the manipulation of ideology and religion in the struggle for mastery in the Middle East.”—Shlomo Ben-Ami, Israel’s former foreign minister and author of Scars of War, Wounds of Peace: The Israeli-Arab Tragedy

“Trita Parsi has written an outstanding book, filled with fascinating detail and trenchant analysis. Treacherous Alliance discusses Iran and Israel in dispassionate and smart ways, which is rarely done in the United States.”—John Mearsheimer, University of Chicago

"[A] wonderfully informative account of the triangular relationship among the US, Iran, and Israel."—Peter Galbraith, New York Review of Books

"Parsi . . . suggests in his original and provocative analysis that despite the dramatic changes in ideological orientations in Tehran and Tel Aviv, the Iranians and the Israelis have continued to co-operate on military and strategic fronts."—Leon Hader, American Conservative

"Parsi’s admirable book is a welcome, timely addition to the debate on Iran-Israel relations and the role of the U.S. in this increasingly dangerous game. This is the first scholarly book in English that covers the entire spectrum of the Iranian-Israeli relationship from its inception to the present. In a highly readable yet sophisticated manner, Parsi explains why many of the strategic considerations that put Iran and Israel on the same side of the political divide in the Middle East disappeared after Iraq's defeat in the 1991 Gulf War. The author . . . has done a superb job of interviewing an impressive number of current and former Iranian, Israeli, and American policy makers to construct an evenhanded picture of strategic issues that have shaped Washington-Tehran-Tel Aviv triangular relations. Highly recommended."—Choice

"Treacherous Alliance is timely beyond words."—Thomas Suddes, Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Important. . . . Trita Parsi's Treacherous Alliance shatters the image of Iran put forward by the Bush administration.”—Gary Kamiya, Salon

“Ambitious. . . . Tackling the complex question of Israel's role in what has become a triangular relationship.” —Celestine Bohlen, Bloomberg News

"In this fascinating . . . book, Parsi . . . focuses largely on Israel and Iran, placing their marriage of convenience within the wider context of American interests in the Middle East."—Sheldon Kirshner, The Canadian Jewish News

"Meticulously researched."—Max Rodenbeck, New York Review of Books

"Parsi's precise, well-researched, and coherent analysis is without a doubt a useful tool. Indeed, if a new disaster in the Middle East is to be avoided, we can only hope that the book's convincing argument—that this is not an insolvable, ideological conflict, but one that can be settled by diplomacy and negotiation—will find a receptive ear in the White House sooner rather than later."—Hilde Henriksen Waage, The International History Review

"Parsi writes a timely, engaging narrative, capturing colorful detail. . . . By focusing on national interests, Parsi refreshingly and provocatively sees relations among the three nations as not necessarily at odds. . . . Parsi's valuable, informative study finally inspires a fundamental question about American prospects in the long sweep of history."—Donald W. White, The Historian

Silver medal winner of the 2008 Arthur Ross Book Award, given by the Council on Foreign Relations

Selected as a 2008 AAUP University Press Book for Public and Secondary School Libraries.

Selected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title from 2008.

Winner of the 2010 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order, given by the University of Louisville
ISBN: 9780300120578
Publication Date: October 1, 2007
384 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
A Single Roll of the Dice

Obama's Diplomacy with Iran

Trita Parsi

View details
Losing an Enemy

Obama, Iran, and the Triumph of Diplomacy

Trita Parsi

View details