The Tehran Initiative

The Tehran Initiative
A novel by Joel Rosenberg

Should anyone not be familiar with Joel Rosenberg's books, he is the author of a string of what I guess can be called Bible prophecy thrillers. I read his first novel, The Last Jihad, a while ago, and went on to read the rest of that sequence of fictional works; The Ezekiel Option and The Copper Scroll among them.

Now Rosenberg has introduced a new set of characters, and brought prophecy thrillers bang up to date - or should I say up to date with a bang! The Tehran Initiative is the second in his new series, following the opener, The Twelfth Imam. Although I would recommend that anyone start with the first novel in the series, on this occasion I thought I'd jump right in and read The Tehran Initiative on Kindle. And I'm glad I did - it's a pretty good novel.

The protagonist, David Shirazi, is a CIA agent who is tasked with infiltrating the movement of "Twelvers" - followers of Islam's twelfth imam -who are currently running the show in Iran, and who are gaining increasing influence throughout the Middle East. Shirazi has serious misgivings about what he's doing, not because he doubts the importance of the work, but because he doesn't believe that the White House has the moral courage to do anything about what's happening.

As it turns out, Shirazi has good reason to worry. The American President is portayed as a mealy-mouthed waster, who fails to understand the nature of the clear and present danger threatening the United States, Israel, and the rest of the free world. This fictional American President seems to believe that negotiation and appeasement is the most effective way to deal with Islamic fanatics who are hell bent on destroying Jerusalem, the rest of Israel, and then America.

The Israelis though, understand the threat which they and the rest of the free world face perfectly well, and there is no way on earth they are going to sit on their hands and allow a second Holocaust to take place, regardless of the hostility exhibited towards them by the rest of the world, or the lack of spine exhibited by the Neville Chamberlain clone wandering the corridors of the White House.

Given all that then, the scene is set for a thrilling conclusion to the book. When I read it, I was a bit sleep deprived, having just finished working a lot of night shifts, and at times I thought the book was slow going. But after drinking a gallon or so of coffee, I quickly found out that the author was setting the scene for a rip-roaring final third of his story. And believe me, once the Israelis decide they're going to take steps, you won't sleep until you reach the last page.

When Rosenberg wrote his first novel, The Last Jihad, people couldn't understand how he seemed to know what was about to happen in the Middle East, and in America. Now, anyone who reads Rosenberg's latest book, The Tehran Initiative, will surely find themselves wondering as they turn the pages: Can this - or something like it - really be about to happen?

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