“A Time to Betray” is the real life story of Reza Kahlili (not his real name) who leads a double life as a dreaded Revolutionary Guard and a CIA Agent for close to 10 years. This book is an exciting thriller that is hard to put down. It also raises some interesting issues and questions.
One of the issues I found most fascinating in the book was the discussion of the relationship between the United States Government and the Islamic Regime. Kahlili describes in his book reporting to the CIA in detail about the human rights violations, brutal torture, rape and execution of opposition as young as 15-16 years old in the Evin Prison. He discusses the involvement of the Islamic Regime including the so called “moderate” Hashemi Rafsanjani in terrorist activities and hostage taking abroad, and yet it’s disturbing to see that the reaction of the US Government is to “negotiate” with the Islamic Regime on numerous occasions. This lack of concern for human rights violations committed by the Islamic Regime both inside and outside of Iran, which continues to this day under Obama Administration is disturbing, but perhaps not surprising...
The second issue I found interesting was Kahlili’s revelations about the Regime’s activities abroad in relation to the “opposition” or suspected opposition. As an activist deeply involved with pro-democracy activities for many years I have had my share of threats and disturbances from the Islamic Regime. Reading about how the Regime sends “agents” abroad in order to infiltrate opposition groups, spy on and threaten opposition and even assassinate them from Kahlili, a former Revolutionary Guard gives these threats a whole new air of reality, which may not have been there before, at least for me.
Further I found it fascinating that the Regime feels threatened enough to send agents abroad to infiltrate opposition. This is something that I have been writing about for many years, but having it confirmed by a former Revolutionary Guard is certainly gratifying.
After finishing this book I was left with one major question. Why did Mr. Kahlili choose to continue working for the CIA for so long after seeing over and over that the information he was providing for CIA was not helping the Iranian people he so desperately was trying to protect? One wonders if there may have been better ways for Mr. Kahlili to use his position in the Revolutionary Guards to help rid Iran of the Islamic Regime...
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, it was written in a simple yet sincere and touching manner and brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion (not an easy thing to do.) The revelations in the book are interesting and serve as a remainder of the brutal human rights violations committed by the Islamic Regime against the Iranian people.
Down with the Islamic Regime in Iran
Long Live Freedom in Iran