DEAL OF THE
How the Iranian
Was Won, Then Lost,
and the Possible
Foreword by Seymour Hersh
$29.95 / 302 pp. / 2017
EBOOK ISBN: 978-0-9978965-1-0
ORDER E-BOOK: $20.00
The story of the Iranian nuclear agreement, as told in the West, is a classic
narrative of good versus evil, where a recalcitrant Iran is driven to the
negotiating table by crippling economic sanctions imposed by a international
coalition led by the United States, and then compelled to surrender its
nefarious designs for a nuclear weapon in the face of steely American
The reality is far different. Deal of the Century tells this story from the
perspective of the Iranians, and in doing so takes the reader on a journey into a
world seldom seen, and little understood, in the West. Iranian motives behind
the nuclear negotiations are explored in depth, and the truth behind Iran’s
nuclear ambition is revealed, and explained.
In the end, Iran concluded a nuclear agreement that saw it give up nothing (its
core demand that Iran be permitted to possess an indigenous uranium
enrichment capability remained unchanged from 2002 until 2015) while
overcoming American-led opposition founded more on fiction than fact.
Key Iranian personalities, such as Supreme Leader Khamenei, President
Rouhani, Foreign Minister Zarif, and Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larjani, are
brought to life in the text in a manner that belies the simplistic cartoon-like
characterizations that more often than not appear in the West. Likewise, the
author helps put into context the complex, Byzantine-like structures of Iranian
theocratic governance in a manner that brings clarity to a system little
understood in the West. The reader is exposed to the curious blend of
religious zealotry and strict adherence to constitutional law that defines Iran’s
ruling system, especially as it is intertwined with the harsh realities of domestic
Iranian politics and regional hostility from Israel and Iran’s Gulf Arab neighbors,
all of which influenced the pace and substance of Iran’s nuclear negotiating
position far more than any outside pressure brought to bear by the West.
The author makes extensive use of Iranian sources and interviews to tell a
story rich in detail, possessing both current and historical context, and which
brings to life the other side of the story of the nuclear agreement, largely
unknown in the West.
Deal of the Century presents a counter-narrative where Iran actually does the
world a service by charting a course out of the treacherous shoals of Western-
induced fear and mistrust, and leading the negotiations onto a path that
provides a meaningful chance for peace and stability in a region of the world
otherwise plagued by tragedy and war.
Scott Ritter is a former Marine intelligence officer who served in
the former Soviet Union, implementing arms control agreements, and
on the staff of General Norman Schwartzkopf during the Gulf War,
where he played a critical role in the hunt for Iraqi SCUD missiles.
From 1991 until 1998, Mr. Ritter served as a Chief Inspector for the
United Nations in Iraq, leading the search for Iraq’s proscribed
weapons of mass destruction. Mr. Ritter was a vocal critic of the
American decision to go to war with Iraq. He resides in Upstate New
York, where he writes on issues pertaining to arms control, the
Middle East and national security. Deal of the Century is Mr. Ritter’s
Scott Ritter has testified before a combined Armed Services/Foreign
Affairs hearing of the US Senate, and before the House Foreign
Relations and National Security committees. He has spoken to NATO,
the United Nations, the British Parliament, the Canadian Parliament,
the Italian and French Parliaments, the European Parliament, the
Iraqi Parliament and the Japanese Parliaments. He has done public
speaking engagements at Harvard, MIT, Brown, Dartmouth, Cornell,
Yale and Columbia, and dozens of other public and private
universities and colleges across the country. He has spoken before
the Council on Foreign Affairs, Chatham House and RUSI (in London),
and various World Affairs Councils.
Seymour Hersh is an American investigative journalist, winner
of a Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting, two National Magazine
Awards and five George Polk Awards. In 2004, he received the
George Orwell Award and in 2017 the Sam Adams Award for Integrity
in Intelligence (SAAII)
|TABLE OF CONTENTS
Prologue: Religious Democracy
Chapter One: The Lecture
Chapter Two: Resistance
Chapter Three: Sanctions
Chapter Four: Distractions
Chapter Five: Quagmire
Chapter Six: A Slow Trip to Nowhere
Chapter Seven: Bridging the Gaps
Chapter Eight: Deal of the Century
Chapter Nine: Parchin
Epilogue: Between Scylla and Charybdis
| ACCOLADES FOR SCOTT RITTER
"A Patriot." US Secretary of State John Kerry
"A genuine American hero."
Colonel George M. Connell, USMC (Retired)
"Scott Ritter has the great advantage of having 'been there and
experienced that' and so can bring the sharp edge of realism to the
delicate task of separating fact from fiction."
William R. Polk, former State Department official under President
John F. Kennedy
"The most important thing to know about Scott Ritter, the man, is that
he was right."
Journalist Seymour Hersh, Pulitzer Prize winner
"Scott Ritter is a Marine officer who knows there is no expiration
date on “Semper Fidelis.” High-profile skunk at the picnic planning
“shock and awe” on Iraq, Scott did all he could to head off the
unnecessary war that has catalyzed current chaos in the Middle East."
Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst and presidential briefer
“I respect and admire Scott Ritter’s character unreservedly...Not only
was he right—again, almost alone—but he was willing to pay the
personal costs psychologically and in career terms of bucking a tide
of government propaganda and condemnation...I believe he is a great
Daniel Ellsberg (national security expert/anti-war activist)
"I have known Scott Ritter for years. The Scott Ritter I know is highly
principled and dedicated to his community, country and the cause of
peace. I have seen up close how he has put service to others ahead
of financial reward.”
Jeff Cohen (media critic/journalist)
“History will record...that Ritter was right, while those who showed
him nothing but contempt were flat wrong."
Matt Bai (Yahoo News Political Columnist/former NY Times Magazine
chief political correspondent)
“[Scott Ritter] has certainly more experience, more credibility and
more information than most anybody else we talk to...that guy was
Dylan Ratigan, former MSNBC host
"Scott Ritter is a man with exceptional levels of integrity, honesty,
courage and intelligence."
US Ambassador Edward Peck
Scott Ritter has "leveled one of the most serious indictments against
the top-level national security team of this country that has ever been
done in contemporary times."
US Senator John Warner
|AND NOW, FOR THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY ...
$20.00 plus shipping
"As the people who got Iraq wrong are still all over your television explaining
what should be done next, here's a novel idea: Read this book by Scott Ritter
who got Iraq right." David Swanson, author of War Is A Lie
"Deal of the Century could not be more timely in view of the machinations by
Congress to maintain the sanctions against Iran — sanctions that were illegal
from the get-go. This book is needed to counter the obfuscations and inversions
of the sanctions issue that mainstream media has proffered to the American
public. We are in debt to the maturity of Iran’s leadership for their patience and
to some of our political leaders for correcting this injustice of our foreign
Senator Mike Gravel (D, Alaska), opponent of the Vietnam War
EXCERPTS FROM REVIEWS OF EARLIER WORKS
"What is the endgame [Ritter] proposes? It is a starry-eyed diplomatic solution, including
''an Iraqi Marshall Plan'' to rebuild the shattered nation and ''military-to-military contacts to
assist in the modernization and training'' of the Iraqi Army -- about as likely a plan as inviting
Saddam to throw out the first ball at Yankee Stadium. At the end of this book, Ritter writes:
''In the end, a military solution may prove to be the only certain way to solve the Saddam
problem. At present, however, a military solution is impossible.'' Thanks, Major. Dismissed."
"Scott Ritter stared into the abyss of Iraq for seven years, searching for things unseen:
missiles and bombs, nerve gas and anthrax... Ritter has written several impassioned yet
reasoned passages indicting aspects of American policy in Iraq, arguing convincingly that
the economic sanctions against Iraq are killing tens of thousands of children without
imposing political pain on Saddam Hussein. American leaders and the American people
have chosen to ignore that suffering."
Tim Weiner, The New York Times, April 11, 1999
"As commendable as Ritter's courage and ingenuity were in wrestling with Iraqi duplicity, he
shows little talent for policy analysis. His solution to the current standoff -- a reinvigorated
system of inspections -- is wildly unrealistic given that even the American government
seems to have lost hope in UNSCOM."
"Until 1998, [Ritter] was an aggressive and energetic -- if undiplomatic -- front-line sleuth
who spearheaded operations designed to uncover both Saddam's weapons programs and
the mechanisms for concealing those programs from Western scrutiny."
Eliot Cohen, Foreign Affairs, July-August 1999
"Scott Ritter...gives an original and vivid account of the work of the inspectors in all its
drama and frustration. Ritter is the kind of single-minded and conscientious intelligence
official who is not always appreciated by, or appreciative of, the higher command, with its
wide and diverse problems. Indeed he is scornful of the crosscurrents, the compromises,
and the pressures that often go into making high policy. He is impatient with the very idea
that there are often hard truths which those higher up do not wish to hear."
"Ritter denounces the US administration, and especially Madeleine Albright, for undercutting
his aggressive inspection policy and putting pressure on Richard Butler—who strongly
denies his charges—to rein him in. His only hero in the US administration is UN ambassador
Bill Richardson, who apparently supported Ritter’s damn-the-torpedoes approach. In his
resignation statement Ritter said, “The illusion of arms control is more dangerous than no
arms control at all,” and he would not be a party to such an illusion."
Brian Urquhart, The New York Review of Books, May 6, 1999