Saturday, July 16, 2005

The South African link to Iran's nukes

Christopher Holton, World Tribune:
BOOK REVIEW: Iran’s Nuclear Option, by Al J. Venter © Casemate Publishing 2005.

The threat from Iran is beginning to garner more and more media attention as revelations about Iran’s involvement with Al Qaida and its nuclear weapons program come to light. For anyone concerned with or interested in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Al J. Venter’s Iran’s Nuclear Option is an indispensable work.

Not only does Venter do a masterful job of detailing the history and progress of Iran’s quest to build the Bomb, he also reveals—in some cases for the first time—the degree to which Iran has fooled the world about its nuclear program. Most importantly, Venter provides details about Pakistan’s Dr. A.Q. Khan’s assistance for Iran’s program and, in a little known revelation, how post-apartheid South Africa played a key role in moving Iran’s bomb program along. READ MORE

The South African connection detailed in the book should serve to alter the conventional wisdom that post-apartheid South Africa is squeaky clean in terms of its now-defunct weapons program. The link between South Africa and Iran alone makes the book worth buying.

In a way, the title of this book is somewhat misleading. It actually goes way beyond Iran’s nuclear program and provides remarkable background on the theocracy in Tehran, its philosophy and its history. It also goes into useful detail to fully explain and describe Iran’s ballistic missile program. It covers Iran’s other weapons of mass destruction, and provides insight into the Pasdaran, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

And no book on modern Iran would be complete without an analysis of Iran’s role as the world’s most active sponsor of terrorism. Venter does a great job of this, including information on an Al Qaida-Hezbollah axis, made possible by Iran.

Iran’s Nuclear Option should be considered a definitive work on Iran and the serious threat that it poses to the U.S., Middle East and world security. No national security or Middle East library could be complete without it.