A Time To Betray - The Astonishing double Life of a CIA Agent inside the Revolutionary Guards of Iran is a fantastic book and I highly recommend it. Reza Kahlili (not his real name) was born and raised in Iran, came to America for his college education, then returned to Iran. Reza Kahlili, seems to represent the heart of the Iranian people who love freedom, America, peace, and are not religious fanatics in any way. Khalili's friend gets him a job with the Revolutionary Guard working with computers, not realizing what he is getting into.
When Kahlili does realize what is happening in his country, beginning with the ouster of the Shaw, the takeover by the mullahs, the rise of the Revolutionary Guards and abuse by those in power, he decides he must contact the FBI.
Kahlili's two closest friends from childhood take different paths as adults, one joining and rising in the ranks of the Revolutionary Guard. The other friend is arrested, tortured, executed, in Evin Prison along with his little sister, who suffers the same treatment as all girls and women -- rape, torture, starvation and eventually execution.
The FBI connect Kahlili with the CIA and be begins sharing vital secrets he learns from high-ranking Revolutionary Guard members and others. The secrets revealed in the book, the intrigue, the mixed feelings Kahlili has working as a spy, keeping his actions secret from everyone he knows and loves, makes the reader feel like a fly on the wall -- seeing, hearing, feeling and smelling what Kahlili experiences.
Eventually Kahlili, his wife and son get safely to America, but the trip isn't quick and it isn't easy. For almost three decades he keeps his actions as a spy from everyone, including his wife. When he finally confesses to her, she insists that he tell and this book, A Time to Betray is that public confession.
In the book we learn never-before mentioned facts: Iran has been pursuing
a nuclear weapon for 25 years; previously unknown facts about
Lockerbie and the Iranian connection; details of the Iran-Iraq war and the Iran-Contra affair. Kahlili reports to his CIA handler almost immediately about Iran's support of terror groups in Lebanon, Syria and other places, Hezbollah and Taliban training and arming.
Just yesterday U.S. General Stanly McChrystal said there is clear evidence of Iranian activity — in some cases providing weaponry and training to the Taliban, and training Taliban inside Iran. This isn't new today and it certainly isn't "news" to Reza Kahlili who informed the United States of this over 20 years ago.
I give this book 5 out of 5 stars and say if you do not read it you are missing out of the book of the year.
Kahlili and his book were recently highlighted at: