‘They wanted to believe in Khomeini’: Book shows how Iranian mullahs manipulated Western media and ‘secular left’ to win in 1979

Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khomeini and his media-savvy allies duped Western journalists and intellectuals into supporting his rise to theocratic tyranny, according to a new history.

“He had manipulated the secular left and the Islamic modernists, as a vehicle, and he would dispose of them at the moment of his choosing,” Kim Ghattas writes in Black Wave, a new survey of the four-decade rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

That reflection caps Khomeini’s meteoric rise from a “tired exile” in Iraq to the pinnacle of political power in Tehran. He was propelled, in part, by the gullibility of prominent French thinkers and Western journalists who were horrified by the
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