A Time to Betray: The Astonishing Double Life of a CIA Agent by Reza Kahlili

By Reza Kahlili

A real tale as exhilarating as a very good undercover agent mystery, as turbulent as today’s headlines from the center East, 2010 nationwide most sensible Books Award-winning A Time to Betray unearths what no different past CIA operative’s memoir almost certainly may: the internal workings of the infamous progressive Guards of Iran, as witnessed by way of an Iranian guy within their ranks who spied for the yank govt. it's a human tale, a chronicle of kin and friendships torn aside via a terror-mongering regime, and the way the grownup offerings of 3 early life buddies throughout the Islamic Republic yielded divisive and tragic fates. And it's the stunningly brave account of 1 man’s decades-long dedication to steer a surprising double lifestyles informing at the loved nation of his start, a spot that when provided the promise of freedom and enlightenment—but in its place governed by means of murderous violence and spirit-crushing oppression.

Reza Kahlili grew up in Tehran surrounded by way of his close-knit kin and lively boyhood neighbors. The Iran of his formative years allowed Reza to imagine and act freely, or even indulge a penchant for rebellious pranks within the face of the neighborhood mullahs. His political and private freedoms flourished whereas he studied laptop technology on the collage of Southern California within the Nineteen Seventies. yet his carefree time in the US used to be reduce brief with the unexpected demise of his father, and Reza back domestic to discover a rustic at the cusp of swap. The revolution of 1979 plunged Iran right into a darkish age of non secular fundamentalism below the Ayatollah Khomeini, and Reza, clinging to the desire of a Persian Renaissance, joined the progressive Guards, an elite strength on the beck and speak to of the Ayatollah. yet as Khomeini’s tyrannies spread out, as his fellow countrymen grew to become on one another, and after the horror he witnessed within Evin criminal, a shattered and disenchanted Reza lower back to the US to dangerously turn into “Wally,” a secret agent for the CIA.

In the wake of an Iranian election that sparked worldwide outrage, at a time whilst Iran’s nuclear application holds the world’s apprehensive recognition, the revelations within A Time to Betray couldn't be extra robust or well timed. Now resigned from his secretive lifestyles to reclaim important time together with his family, Reza Kahlili files scenes from background with heart-wrenching readability, as he offers important details from the Iran-Iraq conflict, the Marine barracks bombings in Beirut, the catastrophes of Pan Am Flight 103, the scandal of the Iran-Contra affair, and extra . . . a series of great occasions that culminates in a nation’s struggle for freedom that keeps to this very day.

A TIME TO BETRAY used to be the winner of The nationwide most sensible Books 2010 Awards for Non-Fiction Narrative. It was once additionally commemorated because the “Finalist” within the “Autobiography/Memoirs” classification. It is now a part of JCITA’s (Joint Counterintelligence education Academy of DOD) Iranian Program’s readings.

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We would gently nestle them into big shopping bags that sport Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera’s wildly colorful wife with the unibrow, or Our Lady of Guadalupe, and scurry home to wolf them down with a cold beer. While we’re on the topic of domestic details, I should tell you that it took us some time to become accustomed to the way many North Americans live in San Miguel. We learned that going to the market was no longer one of our “regular” chores, as it had been for us when we lived there years ago.

Indd 40 2/7/14 3:00 PM Home Sweet Anywhere 41 had draped themselves over the wall of the ring and were casually chatting. I’m sure the baby belonged to one of them. Suddenly, a bull emerged from a chute across the arena. He ambled a few feet, paused, and surveyed the scene. Without warning, he started to run. He didn’t seem very big, but he was really fast. He aimed at the closest man, who held his cape away from his body with one arm, loosely cradling the baby with the other. The little bull hurled his body at him and shot through the cape.

We wrapped up last-­minute chores and returned house keys. Our friends and family treated us to lunches, dinners, cocktails, phone calls, emails, gifts, cards, and good wishes. Finally, Departure Day arrived. And suddenly, we were in our car. Just the two of us. ) Silence descended as we followed Highway 101 toward Los Angeles, two hundred fifty miles to the south. We retreated into our own heads, each considering the enormity of the step we had taken. We had finally made our plan a reality, which left us exhilarated.

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