DEAL OF THE
How the Iranian
Was Won, Then Lost,
and the Possible
Foreword by Seymour Hersh
$29.95 / 302 pp. / 2018
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 negotiators.
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 eighth book.
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
|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
“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
Daniel Ellsberg (national security expert/anti-war
"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 fantastic.”
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 ...
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"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 policy."
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-
"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