37 Following


Currently reading

A Feast for Crows
George R.R. Martin
Japan at War: An Oral History
Haruko Taya Cook, Theodore F. Cook
Armageddon: A Novel of Berlin
Leon Uris
Falling Free (Vorkosigan Saga, #4)
Lois McMaster Bujold
Century Rain
Alastair Reynolds
The Bounty: The True Story of the Mutiny on the Bounty
Caroline Alexander
Rite of Passage
Alexei Panshin
Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe
Laurence Bergreen
The 900 Days: The Siege of Leningrad
Harrison E. Salisbury
The Forsaken: From The Great Depression To The Gulags: Hope And Betrayal In Stalin's Russia
Tim Tzouliadis
A Time to Betray: The Astonishing Double Life of a CIA Agent Inside the Revolutionary Guards of Iran - Reza Kahlili Reza Kahlili (not his real name) of the Revolutionary Guards became a spy for the CIA when Iran came under the thumb of Ayatollah Khomeini. This is his story.

I read this book primarily because I wanted to know more about the events that occurred before and under Ayatollah Khomeini. As far as that was concerned, the book didn't disappoint.

Kahlili writes very clearly about the events that eventually toppled the Shah and thus made Khomeini the unchallenged leader of Iran. And while people were not totally happy under the Shah, they were at least content as they had some little liberties in their private lives which they cherished. Ayatollah Khomeini changed all that. As USSR became a totalitarian state under the guise of Communism, Iran became a police state under the pretense of religious fanaticism. Iran's rulers interpreted their religion as per their convenience.

After his childhood friend was tortured and shot by the fanatical regime, Kahlili became disillusioned by the Iran government’s promise to build a proper state for its citizens. As a result, he became a CIA spy operating in Iran. I think he took this step more out of obligation to his dead friend, although he states in his book that by being a spy he wanted to let the US know what was happening in Iran which would eventually convince the USA to pressurize the Khomeini regime to mend its ways which would bring peace to his country. If he truly believed that, he was being naïve. And he actually admits that himself in the concluding chapters of the book. International politics has never worked that way. Never has, never will.

His spying didn’t improve the conditions in Iran which he hoped might happen due to the intervention of outside world (Nobody intervened, as anybody might have guessed right from the start even without the benefit of hindsight), but at least Kahlili could have the personal satisfaction that he hurt the repressive regime in some indirect ways which took away his friend and everybody else’s personal freedom in Iran.