"Tehran's Own Worst Enemy" (Wall Street Journal)

 “This fine book shreds the dominant narratives about the Islamic Republic as Parsa analyzes the titanic struggle under way in Iran between theocracy and democracy. Along the way, the author shows why gradual reform—the leitmotif for Western supporters of ‘pragmatic’ Iranian president Hassan Rouhani and of the Obama administration’s nuclear deal—is unlikely. Parsa digs deep into Persian primary material often ignored in Washington policy discussions, intelligence analysis and journalism. He also mines data from other authoritarian countries to compare and contrast those that have transformed peacefully with those that have changed more violently but still democratically (Indonesia) or erupted and returned to dictatorship (Egypt). Parsa’s careful scholarship leads him to one overarching conclusion: A peaceful evolution to a more humane system in the Islamic Republic, let alone a more democratic one, isn’t in the cards… While anyone curious about Iran will find it illuminating, for those working in government or the foreign-affairs community, it is mandatory reading… [Parsa’s] book is easily the most important work in English on the Islamic Republic since the revolution.”—Reuel Marc Gerecht, Wall Street Journal

Read the full review here.