True spy story inside Iran

True spy story inside Iran

Book review by Tom Ryerson
March 28, 2012

A Time to Betray: The Astonishing Double Life of a CIA Agent Inside the Revolutionary Guards of Iran by Reza Kahlili. Threshold Editions / Simon & Schuster, 2010. 340 pp.

Many Americans have heard that the Islamic Republic of Iran is really bad. Reza Kahlili brings us a true first-person account of how bad it is. Reza Kahlili is the pseudonym of a man who participated in the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and was a member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards during the 1980s. As the revolution progressed, Reza was sickened by the violence and hypocrisy. Having been educated in the United States in the late 1970s, Reza arranged to return to the U.S. for a visit and contacted the U.S. government to provide information. He ended up becoming a spy for the CIA, a status he maintained for several years.

A Time to Betray takes the reader inside the Iran of the Islamic Revolution, giving an up close and personal account of the violence, treachery, and persecution instigated by the Islamic religious leaders. Reza includes much about his family and friends, allowing us to see the very real world consequences of the tyrannical regime, and he describes the culture of fear that developed as people began spying on each other. The reader will receive a valuable review of some Iranian history, including a greater awareness that Iranians value their Persian heritage as distinct from Arab and other ethnicities. A Time to Betray is highly recommended for its personal story of the Islamic Republic of Iran. More information including on the current Iranian threat is available at the author’s website

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