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The Secret War with Iran: The 30-Year Clandestine Struggle Against the World's Most Dangerous Terrorist Power

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  132 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
For twenty-six years, Iran has waged an international terrorist war while the intelligence services of the West, led by Mossad and the CIA, have waged a relentless, mostly clandestine counter-jihad in return. Though Iran has become a quietly looming threat, little has been revealed about this intelligence-based war.

Now, Ronen Bergman, Israel’s leading reporter and analyst
ebook, 320 pages
Published September 9th 2008 by Simon & Schuster (first published 2007)
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Zohar -
This book could almost be subtitled "everything you ever wanted to know about Iran but were afraid to ask". Ronen Bergman, an Israeli journalist, uncovers secret documents, dirty deals and manipulations across decades which have gotten us to the point of where we are today.

Unlike other commentators who haven't read the book and are quick to judge about the "right wing slant", I have read the book completely and even though I don't agree with some of the analysis I think the history is fascinati
Josh Liller
Informative recap of events involving the United States, Israel, Iran, Hezbollah, Syria, and lesser involved factions and nations from the Iranian Revolution through the Second Lebanon War.

The author is Israeli but he doesn't seem biased and seems quite willing to be critical of his country's decisions.

Al Queda is touched on but there are no shockers within. Iran's support of them has been more than nothing but pretty minor and they basically cut ties after 9/11, although Iran's leaders remain s
Joe Chernicoff
Nov 14, 2011 Joe Chernicoff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Investigative journalism is usually worthwhile reading, and The Secret War with Iran is no exception. Ronen Bergman's book, published in 2009, is, or can be, a difficult one to read in that, as he writes, there was no intention to write only about failures in Israeli and American intelligence, but unfortunately there were many important ones about which there had to be exposure. And, I would hope, that exposure will have, or will, in the future, serve as a preemptive warning re: such future fail ...more
Umair Mir
Apr 30, 2015 Umair Mir rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Indeed a very good read , especially the description about the counterfeit currency and the clandestine Iranian Nuclear development and its wide spread ramifications... Ronen Bergman has been very objective in his analysis, sometimes even critical about the lack of coordination between the different Israelis intelligence agencies..His account on the emergence of Hizbullah is remarkable..All in all, a ripper...
Oct 01, 2014 Thomas rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are interesting aspects to this book, but too many of its anecdotes and "case studies" seem thinly documented. There might be some cases where its claims would be easier to investigate if I spoke Hebrew of Arabic, but I don't, so... bummer. As with some (but far from all) other books I've read about Israeli intelligence operations, it seems to over-emphasize the importance, intelligence and nobility of Israeli agents and bitch about those agents from other countries, particularly the U.S. ...more
Bought the book without really knowing what to expect. I was hoping for more insight into the Iranian regime, but the story really focuses on the role of intelligence services. When I saw it was written by an Israeli journalist, I was afraid it would be biased. Well I can't say it is, it is collection of facts, but there is definitely a point of view. For example, a Hezbollah attack on a military target is a "terrorist act", while a Mossad bombing is not qualified in the same way (though the aut ...more
Thomas Stevenson
May 24, 2016 Thomas Stevenson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an older, at the time of my reading, account of Iranian-Israeli relations but it also has implications for the US which is an untitled participant. With the Iran nuclear deal freshly signed, this backward look helps to explain why the pact is so contentious - even if those contending it probably aren't aware of the material in this fact filled book. Bergman knows the players and so how found them and convinced them to present their stories. What he presents is fascinating. What I would l ...more
Brock Rhodes
May 21, 2013 Brock Rhodes rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Propaganda. Funny, I don't recall ever stumbling onto the word "Haliburton." Interesting that the book is filled with anecdotes characterizing Arab or Persian agents as drug dealers, gamblers, whore mongers, or traitors which are noticeably absent in the characterizations of American and Israeli agents. I guess that helps make sense why so many "miracles" occur to save the most honorable but sometimes mistaken Israel. This book is garbage. It seems to be written from the perspective of an overgr ...more
Max Balestra
Mar 19, 2013 Max Balestra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, security
Ronen Bergman follows the never-ending secret war of the islamic republic against the West, as well as its internal opposition, since the Komehini's revolution of 1979.

All those who think Iran is an overblown menace, or worse, that think that the islamic republic is inherently peaceful, "misunderstood", and turning aggressive only when provoked, should read this book and get a dose of sane reality.

I'm rating it four stars only because I'm not compleately sure about some of the sources the author
May 13, 2009 Janet rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Generally I'm not drawn to reading a book like this, but, I'm glad I did. The author is an Israeli journalist. I remember most all of the 30-years-worth of news-reported events he's talking about, which tells me that I do follow our sad world affairs more than I realize. I'm not feeling a lot better informed for having read the book, but it's not the author's fault. He presented accessible information.
Jun 30, 2009 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book, written by an investigative journalist, tells the story of 30 years of Iranian schemes against the West, mainly supporting terrorist groups that attack the West. The book presents a lot of new information while avoiding conspiracy theories for which there is little evidence. The author focuses on Iran's attacks against Israel, with a more limited focus on the United States and other Western countries.
Nov 24, 2008 Marvey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
omg Khoemini and the Shah and Israel selling weapons to Iran and George Bush's covert deals with Iran via Nicaragua, and all this was happening worlds away while I was growing up and when are we ever supposed to learn about this stuff . . .never got up to that point in high school history or any courses in college
I've just started this book, but a better understanding of Iran and the middle east is urgent, so from what I have read to date I think our political leaders as well as the general population should read it.
Oct 04, 2009 Joe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
Interesting book but almost too much detail. I am amazed how poorly the inteligence community kept up with what is happening in Iran. The worst part is that Iran had everything the Bush administration accused Iraq of having. We went to war in the wrong country, oh well just missed it by one letter.
Jun 01, 2010 Harmeet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
pros: well researched over a long span, interesting, well written, mostly balanced.
cons: no solutions offered to improve things, research sources limited to one side, moved faster than expected over some major events
Kamil Salamah
Jul 25, 2009 Kamil Salamah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Peter Galamaga
This book is quite thorough and informative. However, it is also depressing. What a mess. There are no heroes in this story.
Kirk Bower
Excellent. very well documented.
Liked the part of "sleeper" sniper inserted into an area to wait until the proper target appears. Written with a decidedly Israeli flair. Good read.
Another a friend asked me to read.
Ian Major
Oct 10, 2013 Ian Major rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Invaluable intelligence-background information. I read this as I was reading Robert Fisk's 'Pity the Nation', and a lot mutual confirmation leads me to think both are reliable reports.
Aug 10, 2012 Rakesh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Opens up our eyes and thoughts to the bloody struggle between ISLAM and JEWS fueled by Politics. The book is very heavy, at times we get confused with names but end of the day its a great read.
UK: Juliet Mabey
Ben rated it really liked it
Sep 07, 2010
Yusuf Ayan
Yusuf Ayan rated it liked it
Jan 07, 2016
Mitchell rated it really liked it
Mar 15, 2010
Kim Bahir
Kim Bahir rated it really liked it
Feb 08, 2015
noushin rated it really liked it
Jun 07, 2011
M.J. Kephart
M.J. Kephart rated it liked it
Mar 07, 2012
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Bergman was born in 1972, and grew up in Kiryat Bialik. His mother was a teacher and his father was an accountant. He is the youngest of three children. As a boy, he was a reporter for a youth television show.

He studied law at the University of Haifa, and graduated cum laude from its law school. He is a member of the Israeli Bar. He also studied history and international relations at the Universit
More about Ronen Bergman...

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