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BELIEVERS: Love and Death in Tehran.

A NOVEL

Availability: Forthcoming
Published: 2020
Page #: xii + 366
ISBN: 978-1568593807

Quick Overview

Thirty years have passed since a shattered Nilufar Hartman, pregnant and betrayed, fled Iran. She barely got out alive, carrying her deepest secrets of love and tragedy.

Nilufar had arrived in Tehran in November 1979 to take a job as a junior American diplomat at the U.S. Embassy. She had instead spent nine years as an American spy, reporting from deep inside the new Islamic Republic as it collapsed into extremism, civil strife, and war. After her return to America, she chose a quiet university life and swore she would never again do Washington’s bidding.

Her tranquility is upended by a plea from Alan Porter, the man who had sent her to Tehran in 1979. Porter tells her about a plot by colluding American and Iranian extremists to provoke a war between the two countries. He says she is the only person who can stop it.

Nilufar is reluctant to go back to Iran, vividly recalling the agony of her years under cover, when she posed as a believer, the devout and revolutionary “Massoumeh”. She can never forget the horrific end to her mission when her lover and the father of her unborn child were murdered.

A commitment to serve the United States, which never died inside her, propels her back into the maelstrom. Nilufar adopts another covert identity and returns to Iran to end the parallel conspiracies intent on sparking a conflict. While she is working in Tehran, Porter must stop the Americans ready to promote their private agendas through mass murder. Nilufar must evade Iran’s vicious secret police, deliver a message from America, convince a patriotic but suspicious group of Iranians to act, and once more manage a narrow escape from both Iran and her own memories.

author

Marc Grossman

Ambassador Marc Grossman served as the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, the State Department's third ranking official, until his retirement in 2005 after 29 years in the US Foreign Service. As Under Secretary, he helped marshal diplomatic support for the international response to the attacks of September 11, 2001. He also managed US policies in the Balkans and Colombia and promoted a key expansion of the NATO alliance. As Assistant Secretary for European Affairs, he helped direct NATO's military campaign in Kosovo and an earlier round of NATO expansion. Ambassador Grossman was the US Ambassador to Turkey 1994 – 1997. Ambassador Grossman was a Vice Chairman of The Cohen Group from July 2005 to February 2011. In February, 2011 President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton called Ambassador Grossman back to service as the US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Ambassador Grossman promoted the international effort to support Afghanistan by shaping major international meetings in Istanbul, Bonn, Chicago and Tokyo. He provided US backing for an Afghan peace process designed to end thirty years of conflict and played an important part in restoring US ties with Pakistan. He returned to The Cohen Group in February, 2013. Ambassador Grossman is Chairman of the Board of the Senior Living Foundation of the Foreign Service. He is a Trustee of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the UC Santa Barbara Foundation, and Robert College of Istanbul. Ambassador Grossman is Vice Chair of the American Academy of Diplomacy. In 2013, Ambassador Grossman was Kissinger Senior Fellow at the Johnson Center for the Study of American Diplomacy at Yale University. Raised in Los Angeles, California, Ambassador Grossman has a BA in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara and an MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
author

John Limbert

During a 34-year career in the United States Foreign Service, Ambassador John Limbert served mostly in the Middle East and Islamic Africa, including posts in Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Guinea, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. He was president of the Foreign Service employees’ union, the American Foreign Service Association (2003-2005), and ambassador to Mauritania (2000-2003). In 2009-2010, on leave from the Naval Academy, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary responsible for Iran, in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. After retiring from the State Department in 2006, he was Class of 1955 Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the U.S. Naval Academy, where he taught history and political science until retiring in 2018. In the academic year 2015-16 he held the Gruss-Lipper fellowship in Middle East policy at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School. A native of Washington, D.C, Ambassador Limbert attended the D.C. public schools and earned his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from Harvard University, the last degree in History and Middle Eastern Studies. Before joining the Foreign Service in 1973, he taught in Iran as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kurdistan Province (1964-66) and as an instructor at Shiraz University (1969-72). He has written numerous articles and books on Middle Eastern subjects, including Iran at War with History (Westview Press, 1987), Shiraz in the Age of Hafez (University of Washington Press, 2004), and Negotiating with Iran: Wrestling the Ghosts of History (U.S. Institute of Peace, 2009). Ambassador Limbert was among the last American diplomats to serve at the American Embassy in Tehran. He holds the Department of State’s highest award – the Distinguished Service Award – and the department’s Award for Valor, which he received in 1981 after fourteen months as hostage in Iran. He and his wife, the former Parvaneh Tabibzadeh, currently live in New York City. They have two children and four grandchildren.

Acknowledgments
Prologue: The Present. Middlebury, Vermont
Chronology of Real-World Events.
1. Nilofar
2. Massoumeh
3. Porter
4. Beheshti
5. In Plain Sight
6. Ruzbeh
7. The Two Rafsanjanis
8. Behnam Alley
9. Sarhaddi
10. Two Conspiracies
11. Nazanin
Epilogue: Vermont, One Year Later
About the Authors

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