Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States” as Want to Read:
Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  418 ratings  ·  47 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by Yale University Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  418 ratings  ·  47 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States
Mar 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: politics, middle-east
Ignore its rhetoric, my dog won't bite

An interesting book, up to about Ch. 19 at which point it does go off the rails. The range of coverage of the Israeli point of view is excellent and reasonably reflects the diversity of opinion. Parsi was afforded wide access and used it well. The coverage of Iranian internal points of view is less extensive. Particularly disapointing was a lack of coverage of the Basiji, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard which now dominates the economy and internal secur
Doreen Petersen
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics
Very well written and explanatory book about some of what is going on in the Middle East. I think this book will help others to understand part of what is happening. I would definitely recommend this one to all.
May 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
I borrowed this book from the library, but it's so rich in history and detail that I'm going to buy it. Having it in my own library should come in handy to combat the lies and distortions emanating from the Republican Party. The book is unique because much of its material is based on interviews Parsi obtained with figures in the U.S., Israeli, and Iranian governments. It covers the period from when the Shah was in power in Iran to the year 2007, and it shows how even the pro-Western Shah attempt ...more
Mustafa Basree
Aug 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Very good read. So informative, full with evidence and fairly unbiased.

Trita Parsi introduces the argument that Iran has a rational strategy that is/was consistent throughout the years of Shah, the revolution, and the current regime that it aspired domination and hegemony in the Middle East. That, in essence, collides with the very same aspiration of Israel, which fears the acquired, but before that the would-be, weaponization of any country - in the region - that contests Israel over the hegem
Pam Rasmussen
Sep 01, 2008 rated it liked it
This book is sometimes dissatisfying in that it focuses very narrowly on the relationship between Iran, Israel and the United States, and thus certain more complex subjects are lacking in the broader context needed to understand them. However, it is enlightening nonetheless, clearly making the point that despite our governments' focus on Iran's anti-semitic rhetoric, other forces (mainly geopolitical) are responsible for our own belligerent behavior. In the past, all of the parties have put rhet ...more
Ghada Arafat
Feb 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mena-challenge
A must read book not only for those interested in Israeli Iranian relations but also any one who is interested in ME politics and realism in international relations.
Sam Qiu
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thought provoking book about the balance of power in the Middle East and the evolving relationship between Israel and Iran, with the United States as a pawn for the Israeli people. The need for an Israeli enemy is profound and provides thought provoking ideas about how history pas and present is written and shaped for the benefit of certain country’s goals
Dan Leatham
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The book was an in depth and comprehensive look into the role the Israel-Iran power struggle/balance has played out into American foreign policy (goes up to 2005/6). Really great book that I would highly recommend to anyone interested in learning more about the Middle East.
Yousof Hourani
An insightful perspective

An interesting overview of the range of motives underpinning Israeli, American and Iranian interests.
Feels like it concludes about a decade too early.
Sumit Mehrotra
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Just loved it. Well written by Trita Parsi.
Jul 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
Understanding the Iran-Israel-U.S. triad

This is an exceptional look inside a diplomatic house of mirrors: the ongoing evolution of relationships among Iran, Israel and the U.S., and where their motives, rhetoric, realpolitik and military power converge. Trita Parsi’s sophisticated analysis of this complex, high-stakes, long-standing triad presents many surprises, perhaps even to those who think they know the inner workings of the Middle East and U.S. diplomacy. Parsi offers an advanc
Daniel Frank
Mar 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
There is a ton of information in this book. Although some of it is quite dubious, some of it was new and illuminating (many of the sources are from undocumented personal interviews about third parties). The author is partially an Iranian propagandist. Moreover, he has a huge personal issue with the state of Israel. Although its annoying to continuously read his attacks on Israel throughout the book, it becomes extremely problematic because his knowledge and understanding about Israel is insuffic ...more
Corey Rowe
Jan 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
i love this guy but this book gets really confusing. not his fault though-the conspiracies and alliances between everyone involved are beyond your imagination and nothing you ever hear of. you will need to take notes as you read-maybe even a chart-unless you are super smart, or just smarter than me:) really good stuff in light of us/iran relations...really really really good. and if you didn't know that everything in m.e. politics revolves around israel/palestine, whether because of true concern ...more
Jun 24, 2009 rated it liked it
Fascinating, if too academic account, of the Iran-Israel-US triangle. Things are not what they seem. Both Israel and the US did business with Khomeini, and later Israel managed to scuttle a rapprochement between the US and Iran.

Although the régime in Iran is currently acting quite brutally, a strategic understanding with the US, which might well also reduce pressure on Israel, is possible.

I'd like it if more footnotes referenced sources other than newspapers, and if the g
May 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
All foreign service officers and students of international affairs should read this. It is said that the Persians invented chess and I am not surprised. The writer has unique access to many of the players from the 79 Revolution through the 2003 post-OIF Arab conference. This book is filled with primary sources and interviews. I was extremely impressed and although not primarily a student of Middle-East politics, I feel all current affairs books should be this well-written and researched.
Nabil Farhan
Jul 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Although some people think Iran as a country of Mad Mullahs but this book proves them wrong. Iranians are highly capable diplomats. The way they played with USA,Israel and other arab countries is astonishing.

Those who think Iran as a very much Islamic country may be disheartened. Sometimes their religious goals don't echo in their diplomacy.

A good read. Almost without any bias toward Iran. (I believe no book is without bias)
Dec 29, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Man, this took me FOREVER to get through. Guess that's what I get for not liking to read digital books. That said, the author presents some interesting arguments for a shift in Israeli and American politics to favor engagement with Iran. Similar to "Reset", which addresses Turkey and Iran. Lots of detailed diplomatic skulduggery and intrigue - worthwhile for those who are interested in either nation or geopolitics. Not unbiased, but not over the top.
Abhimanyu Verma
Oct 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
A very insightful book , well written and comes across as unbiased . Drives home the point beautifully that underneath all the rehtoric the three players .
, especially Iran , are pragmatic players and are playing the long game to serve their interests . " There are no permanent friends or foes, only permanent interests"......
Jul 20, 2011 rated it really liked it

A rich book that you should give it a read here are some quotes from the book:

A key pillar of Iranian revolutionary government’s foreign policy was “rhetorical
opposition to Israel but practical collaboration . . .with the Jewish State.

A majority of senior Israeli
officials, including Yitzhak Rabin, continued to believe that Iran was a
“natural ally” of Israel

Serving Patriot
Mar 01, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before your blindly accept whatever you are told about Iran and Israel in the U.S. mainstream media, read this book!! Most of us are history starved and shoveled so much fluff for news that we forget when and why Israel and Iran were silent allies, when and why they turned against each other, and how that change affects them today. Parsi did a great job with this book!

한 카트
Feb 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
It took me a month to finish this book as it was very heavy on info, but it was totally worth it! I'd say take any book about Middle East with a grain of salt because there are lobbyists everywhere, but this is a very entertaining and interesting book. Read it and draw your own conclusions!
Emeka Uwam
This parsi did a good job. It was worth reading if your interested in the middle east
This book won the 2010 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order, a $200,000 prize.
Aboud Akhdir
Apr 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
You get to understand why and how Iran got to this position... I love the book, it is more important now than ever, while Iran is already the dominant power in many Arab states...
Nov 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Good analysis of the geopolitical struggle for supremacy in the Middle East.
Jun 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
How sad. So many places over the last few decades where seemingly obvious, granted obvious in hindsight, choices could have likely led to a better world. What might have been?

Highly recommended!
Kevin Burns
A very important read to anyone interested in understanding the complex foreign policy of Iran and the USA and Israel.
ChirAth AkOn
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An outstanding book ! Gives you a rare insight of how ingeniously "Shah" managed to balance the regional Jewish and Arabic powers and Washington (Y)
Apr 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Rich in detail and perspective that newspaper stories don't give you. Also quite timely with the potential reset of US-Iran relationship.
Jack Lohbeck
Mar 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
great analysis of a complex situation
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA
  • The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order
  • The Geopolitics of Emotion: How Cultures of Fear, Humiliation, and Hope are Reshaping the World
  • Anatomia de um desastre - Os bastidores da crise econômica que mergulhou o país na pior recessão de sua história
  • Capitalismo de Laços
  • Diplomacy
  • An Affair of State: The Investigation, Impeachment, and Trial of President Clinton
  • How to Break Up with Your Phone: The 30-Day Plan to Take Back Your Life
  • The Politics of Genocide
  • The Biafra Story
  • In Biafra Africa Died
  • Ibrahim Babangida: The Military, Power and Politics (PB)
  • Narconomics: How to Run a Drug Cartel
  • His Excellency the Ambassador
  • How to Fight
  • How to Relax (Mindfulness Essentials, #5)
  • Imobilismo em Movimento: Da Abertura Democrática ao Governo Dilma
  • Galantes Memórias e Admiráveis Aventuras do Virtuoso Conselheiro Gomes, o Chalaça
See similar books…
Trita Parsi (Persian: تریتا پارسی) is the founder and current president of the National Iranian American Council, and author of Treacherous Alliance and A Single Roll of the Dice.

Born in Iran to a Zoroastrian family, Parsi moved with his family to Sweden at the age of 4 to escape the political repression in Iran. His father was an outspoken academic who was jailed under the reign of the Shah and later