Slow March To War: US the Aggressor in Iran

The Iranian Revolution, 1979

The Iranian Revolution, 1979

Most Americans of my generation (I’m 40) became familiar with Iran after the 1979 Iranian Revolution, when a combination of hard-line Islamists and college  students seized control of the American Embassy in Tehran on November 4th of that year. They imprisoned and held hostage 52 embassy staff for 444 days, releasing the hostages on January 20th, 1981 after the signing of the Algiers Accords.

I, along with most of my generation, grew up with the opinion that Iran was a terrorist rogue nation, and that should be no surprise. The US government has, through its manipulation of the media, made it seem that way to all Americans. In real life, however, nothing could be further from the truth.

The Coup

The US (along with the UK) was the instigator in the souring of relations between the two countries. On August 19th, 1953, American

The Shah of Iran

The Shah of Iran

and British intelligence agencies, working together under a project codenamed TPAJAX, were able to instigate a coup d’etat against Iran’s democratically elected government led by Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh and transition it to what was ostensibly a constitutional monarchy, but was in reality a brutal dictatorship led by Mohammad-Rezā Shāh Pahlavi (the Shah, as he is commonly known.)

Why would the US and the UK want to do this? Surprise, surprise: money and oil. The British owned Anglo Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) was making a fortune from Iranian oil fields since 1908 (the company would later on become BP). Widespread discontent with the company and its exploitation of Iran’s national resources among the Iranian people led PM Mosaddegh to nationalize their oil industry in 1951, thus cutting the AIOC’s (and by extension, the UK’s) profits dramatically. Britain led an effort through the use of  Iranian agents to undermine Mosaddegh’s government. A coup attempt was proposed to President Truman, who declined, but when President Eisenhower took over, the CIA was able to convince him that the Communists would be able to seize control of Iran. This led to the actual coup itself:

On August 19th, 1953, hundreds of CIA-paid men, including most of Tehran’s most notorious gangsters, took to the streets and marched on the residence of Mosaddegh. The streets were chaos, with some 800 people killed as a result of the coup. Mosaddegh was arrested, tried and found guilty of treason in the Shah’s military court. He was jailed for 3 years and placed under house arrest for the rest of his life. His supporters were likewise rounded up, and either imprisoned or executed. The Shah continued his rule, backed by the US, who continually sold him arms and trained his secret police force, the SAVAK, until the events of November 4th, 1979.

The Aggression Continues; US Support of Iraq in Iran-Iraq War

Courtesy of the USA, via Saddam Hussein

Courtesy of the USA, via Saddam Hussein

Although the US does not appear to have had a role in the origins of this war, that does not mean that America is blameless in this conflict; far from it. The Reagan administration seized upon this opportunity to weaken Iran by supporting Iraq, both financially and militarily.  Beginning in 1982, Iraq was removed from the list of State Sponsors or Terrorism, allowing it to more easily acquire dual-use technology. According to an investigation by the House Banking Committee, it was found that 2 out of every 7 exports under this dual-use program went either directly to the Iraqi military, manufacturers of military equipment, or diverted to Iraqi-controlled enterprises for the development of weapons of mass destruction. Indeed, the US government did not stop backing Iraq even when it was determined that Iraq had used chemical weapons on its own civilians, even going so far as to suggest Iranians may have carried out the attack.

In 1994, an investigation by the U.S. Senate Banking Committee reported 70 shipments (including Bacillus anthracis) from the United States to Iraqi government agencies over three years, concluding “It was later learned that these microorganisms exported by the United States were identical to those the UN inspectors found and recovered from the Iraqi biological warfare program.” It was further reported that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control sent Iraq 14 separate agents “with biological warfare significance.”

“Axis of Evil?”

In his 2002 State of the Union Address, President George W. Bush labeled Iran, along with North Korea and Iraq, as part of an “Axis of Evil.” That made for good political theater, and also provided (and continues to provide) an excuse for the military industrial complex to ratchet up the rhetoric and provoke Iran into a military response. Despite the fact that the IAEA has yet to find evidence of Iran pursuing nuclear technology for weapons (though, to be sure, it remains suspicious), the West, led by the US, has imposed crippling sanctions on Iran over its supposed refusal to allow inspectors “full access to its facilities.” This, despite the fact that Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and Israel, who is believed to have over 200 nuclear weapons, is not.

How about the fact that Iran has reached out to the USA on multiple occasions with friendly overtures, only to be rebuffed each time? Immediately after the 9/11 attacks, Iran reached out to the USA to discuss anti-Taliban cooperation. Declined. In the Spring of 2003, Iran sent the White House a detailed proposal  to resolve questions regarding its weapons programs, its relations with Hezbollah and Hamas and a Palestinian peace agreement with Israel. Ignored. In October 2003 EU officials worked out an agreement with Iran to suspend Iranian uranium enrichment and to pursue talks. The US declined to participate, and the deal withered.

Iran remains a hot topic in the 2012 Presidential Elections, with every candidate with exception of Ron Paul adopting a “war with Iran” platform. You can see the video evidence at the bottom of this story.

In Conclusion

It is not up for debate that the US is the aggressor in relations with Iran, and has been for over 50 years. America’s hands are bloodied beyond measure with the involvement in the installation of the Shah, where innumerable political dissidents were jailed, tortured, and/or executed, and is also complicit in a large number of the estimated 1.5 million people killed or wounded in the Iran-Iraq war. One can only hope that the American public will wake up before our warmongering leaders lead us straight into WWIII.

Video Exhibits

The video below summarizes what was once a cordial US-Iran relationship and its decline:

This video shows that the only candidate that understands the Iran issue is Ron Paul:

Ron Paul, among others, on blowback:

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About phdinweed
Father of 2 sons on the autism spectrum, wage slave, socially functional nerd of all sorts. Just entered my 40's, but still love video games (RPGs especially), cartoons, fart jokes, and getting nice.

3 Responses to Slow March To War: US the Aggressor in Iran

  1. phdinweed says:

    Well said, and totally agreed. Appreciate you taking the time to stopby and weigh in. Stopby often. We are constantly adding new content.

  2. Ever since the United States and other western countries adopted Realpolitik as the guiding principle of it’s foreign policy, it has been seeking world domination, economically if not politically. I think it is entirely feasible that the oligarchs that actually run this country and the European Union, will choose to try to destroy Iran in the name of ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’. Unless we can reclaim the American government, we are headed for war, and further economic chaos. Already, thanks to President Obama, the US has the legal means to incarcerate Americans who oppose the current government, claiming they are domestic terrorists. In the eyes of the British, the American revolutionaries were domestic terrorists. I’m not sure this is a battle we can win. We would have to be willing to take enormous sacrifices, or convince the military and police forces to side with us, which would be very unlikely. However, I predict further unrest in this country as people realize that neither Democrat nor Republican is truly on the side of the people.

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