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David Ignatius: Iran & the U.S.
A military exhibition displays a Revolutionary Guard missile, the Shahab-3 missile, which is claimed to be capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and reaching Europe, Israel and U.S. forces in the Middle East, seen under a picture of the Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in Tehran, Iran, on Tuesday Sept. 23, 2008. The display is to mark the 28th anniversary of the onset of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988). (AP)

A Revolutionary Guard missile, the Shahab-3, claimed to be capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and reaching Europe, Israel and U.S. forces in the Middle East, is displayed in Tehran on Sept. 23, 2008. Behind it is a picture of the Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, (AP)

The tangled intrigue over Iran’s nuclear ambitions and advances is a world where fact can be as strange and bewildering as fiction.

Washington Post columnist David Ignatius looks at it both ways. As fact, in his job following intelligence and foreign affairs for the Post. As fiction, in his second life as a writer of near-to-life spy thrillers.

In his latest, Ignatius imagines a full-lather American plunge toward war with Iran as intelligence operatives battle over whether Tehran is really on the brink of going nuclear, as in nuclear arms.

This hour, On Point: David Ignatius goes close to life in “The Increment.”

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Guest:

David Ignatius is a columnist and associate editor at The Washington Post. He has covered the Middle East and the CIA for more than 25 years. His new novel, his seventh, is “The Increment.” His 2007 novel, “Body of Lies,” was made into a movie staring Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe.

Read the first chapter of “The Increment” (pdf).

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Joe B.

    The time has come for the U.S. to set up full diplomatic relations with Iran. Iran is worth far more to us as an ally rather than an enemy. It is the neo-cons who want to retain the “status quo” with Iran because they want the U.S. military to invade Iran as we invaded Iraq. And we all know how well that worked out.

  • clifford sobkowicz

    Does Mr. Ignatus have a comment on the US envolvemnet with the ouster of mosadec in the 50′s in support of the british.

  • Basil Cleveland

    Hi,

    I just jumped out of the car when you started playing Iranian rap music. Fascinating stuff. What’s the name of the band and where can I find more?

  • Lilya Lopekha

    12 years ago or so when we were kids, we used to play a game called 180 degrees in our retreats. You switch the facts or characters of an injust event to make the event more politically correct.

    Here is an example:
    Iranian President Ahmedinejad gave an ultimatum to Barack Obama, saying that if Obama does not make Israel halt nuclear enrichment and open their facilities to international inspections; Iranian airforces will bomb all Nuclear Facilities in Israel.

    Take that Bibi !

  • gabriell

    good one Lilya!

  • Frederic C.

    Whatever can bring about development in Iran would be a good thing.

    Hopefully, if life gets better in Iran, the people will overthrow that widespread version of Islam that is antithetical to people of good will and requires reformation before the people of Islam may truly be free.

    Iran has a right to play hardball as all nations do, but Iran is not founded on a bedrock of values and beliefs that are shared by most nations.

  • Lilya Lopekha

    Frederic C is absolutely right.

    Whatever can bring about development in Vatican would be a good thing.

    Hopefully, if life gets better in Vatican, the people will overthrow that widespread version of Christianity that is antithetical to people of good will and requires reformation before the people of Catholics may truly be free.

    Vatican has a right to play hardball as all nations do, but Iran is not founded on a bedrock of values and beliefs that are shared by most nations.

    ———————–
    Obviously being sarcastic here. We have our country, and our religions, and they have their country and their religions. Thats why the world is a beautiful place with diversity and changing values, without one culture imposing their value system on somebody else by force and making blanket judgements without being in somebody else’s shoes.

    Europeans cannot understand why we have death penalty, and are afraid of gays getting married and why we go to jail if we smoke a natural weed.

    Did you get my point?

  • Frederic C.

    I agree that the Vatican has more in common with Islam that say, secular humanists do.

    I don’t agree that all nations are equal.

    I believe that all men(mankind-homo-sapiens sapiens) are created equal.

    All nations do have an imperfect past and present; such is life for us mere mortals. You can point to the past wrongs of the U.S.A., Israel, wherever, until the cows come home, that won’t overcome the inherent troubles that Islam faces.

    Yes, Iran’s problems have external causes, but until the culture can look within and take responsibility for its weaknesses then Iran is doomed to remain in the 14th century.

    If you care about Islam, write about Islam. And pick up a history book; It will help you develop your arguments.

  • Lilya Lopekha

    What makes us to think that Islam is facing troubles/problems from “within” (I think that’s what you meant)?

  • Mike

    My On Point podcasts are not updating in iTunes. I see nothing abnormal with my computer or iTunes. Is the problem possibly on your end?

  • Mike

    Disregard last. Apologies.

  • Frederic C.

    Religious totalitarianism, a culture that promotes men with weak psyches that result in the horrific subjugation of women, violent jihad, corruption, and on and on.

    Lilya, that whole 180 thing makes me think you are a pro-America, pro-Israeli blogger disguised as a, in approximately your words, ‘naive young person,’just throwing soft-ball pitches to make counter arguments easy.

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