Abstract

The Kroenig and Pollack books are poised on opposite sides of a critical policy dilemma. Both admit to the failure of negotiations—at the time of their respective writing—to get Iran to back down from the military nuclear ambitions that they both believe, with varying degrees of certainty, Iran harbors. Both express their skepticism regarding the ability to achieve this goal when continuing with the diplomatic approach, and this leads both authors to seriously consider what they at the time both viewed as the final fork in the road in this long and drawn-out process: namely, the decision whether to “bomb Iran” or “live with the bomb.” Mousavian's book offers a uniquely Iranian perspective on the negotiations. While these books are essential reading for those interested in the history of the Iranian nuclear crisis, and the international efforts to curb Iran's military nuclear ambitions, they offer no reassurance that negotiations—as a nonproliferation strategy—can stop a determined proliferator.

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