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The US Wants to Bring Back the Shah of Iran

David William Pear

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, aka The Shah of Iran, photo Wikipedia

The US had a great deal going from 1953 to 1979 with the Shah of Iran. For 25 years Iran was a cornerstone of the US usurping the British Empire in the Middle East, following World War Two. Iran was a base for projecting US power in the region, and strategically it bordered the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

During the early 20th century the British Empire had full control of Iran’s oil industry, and was paying Iran a flat fee for every barrel of oil it extracted. A rough calculation of Iran’s royalties is between 8% to 16% of the profits, but Iran was never allowed to look at the financial books.

Prior to the CIA-led 1953 overthrow of the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh, Iran demanded 50% of the profits and control of their oil industry. That was not unreasonable, but Iran was willing to negotiate. At the time, the US oil companies had a 50/50 profit sharing agreement with Saudi Arabia.

The British refused any negotiated settlement. It was then that the Iranian parliament led by Mossadegh voted to nationalize Iran’s oil industry. The British responded with a naval blockade, and began plotting to overthrow Mossadegh and the parliament. As the Prime Minister, Mossadegh held the most political power in Iran because the people were behind him. The Shah of Iran was mostly a figurehead, at the time.

President Harry Truman was adamantly against colonialism and sided with Iran, which infuriated the British. When President Dwight D. Eisenhower took office in 1953, he sided with the British. Eisenhower and Churchill plotted a coup d’état to overthrow Mossadegh. The frightened Shah, who was in on the plot, fled from Iran before the coup attempt just in case anything went wrong. The first attempt did fail. A second daring CIA-led coup succeeded and the US reinstalled Mohammad Reza Pahlavi as the Shah of Iran, with dictatorial power.

By its intervention, the US broke the British Empire’s monopoly on Iran’s oil. That was part of the US’s calculous. After the coup, US oil companies got 40% of Iran’s oil industry, 14% went to Royal Dutch-Shell, 6 % went to the French Petroleum Company, and the British oil company kept 40%. In addition, Iran got its 50/50 share of the net profits that it wanted in the first place. The US immediately sent financial aid to prop up the Shah, and to bolster Iran’s weakened economy from the British blockade.

If the British had initially been flexible, renegotiated a 50/50 oil deal with Prime Minister Mossadegh, then it would have made a coup less likely. Iran was developing a secular democratic government. It might have become a model for other post-colonial countries in the Middle East. Democracy and self-determination are what the US said its world mission was going back to President Woodrow Wilson in 1918:

…every peace-loving nation which, like our own, wishes to live its own life, determine its own institutions, be assured of justice and fair dealing by the other peoples of the world as against force and selfish aggression. All the peoples of the world are in effect partners in this interest, and for our own part we see very clearly that unless justice be done to others it will not be done to us.”

Since Iran was a developing democracy, an excuse had to be found for a US intervention. Churchill accused Mossadegh of being a communist. There was no evidence that he was. Mossadegh was an anti-colonial nationalist who cared about the welfare of the Iranian people, and that was all the evidence that Eisenhower needed. Mossadegh had to be punished for standing up to the British and demanding Iran’s natural resources for the benefit of the Iranian people.

The winners from the coup were the US and the timid Shah who had ran from his own people. The US would teach him how to have a backbone. He turned out to be a good student, and with the support of the US he turned Iran into a totalitarian police state and he ruled by terror. The Shah got US protection from his own people and from foreign enemies.

The US looked the other way from the Shah’s corruption of conspicuous consumption, stuffing dollars in foreign bank accounts and lining his own pockets, and those of his cronies. The US got a big piece of the Iran oil industry, and Iran gave the US a strategically important location for a military presence. As for the people of Iran, they continued to live in abject poverty and illiteracy.

Now that the Shah is gone, the US propaganda machine and the mainstream media put out a flood of stories about how wonderful life was under the Shah. The propagandists use economic indicators of inflation, employment, gross domestic product, oil exports and the upper-class standard of living. Anybody who puts out those kinds of comparative economics deserves to flunk Economics 101.

Iran has been under sever US-imposed economic sanctions for 40 years. The US has been threatening Iran with war and “all options are on the table” for decades. The US has also instigated instability inside Iran and supported external attacks by terrorist groups such as Mujahideen-e-Khalq, or MEK.

MEK was on the US State Department’s list of terrorist organization until it was removed by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2012. The fact that MEK has killed US citizens in terrorist attacks did not hinder some US politicians from accepting large speaking fees at their conventions, even when MEK was still on the US terrorist list. [*]

The US project to destroy Iran’s economy has had a devastating impact. The husky Secretary of Defense Mike Pompeo said that it is up to Iranian’s leadership “if they want their people to eat”. Because of the US, Iran lacks sufficient funds that it would like to invest in human resources and social programs. Iran’s constitution guarantees healthcare and free education for all, as well as protections of civil rights. As reflected in the drafting of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic, the vision of the economic order was:

Social justice and economic independence were the main economic goals to be achieved, among other means, through the expansion of the welfare state, extension of public ownership, creation of an active cooperative sector, and strengthening the agricultural and industrial sectors for greater self-reliance. ….the Constitution of the Islamic Republic bears great resemblance on economic issues to the charters and constitutions of Arab “socialist” states drafted during the 1960s and 1970s.”

Constant US, Israeli and Saudi threats require Iran to divert its domestic budget more towards defense, instead of its desired economic goals. Terrorist attacks and internal dissention stirred up by the US causes Iran to increase its internal security to the detriment of civil liberties. The US and the mainstream media propaganda machines know what the deliberate effects of US aggressive actions cause, but they cruelly taunt Iran for its economic and social hardships by blaming the victim.

The US uses these same dirty tricks against Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, North Korea, Russia and every other country that the US demonizes for not falling into line behind US domination in the neoliberal New World Order. The New World Order is the US foreign policy that it alone is unrestrained to “destabilize countries in order to integrate them militarily, politically and economically…into US-style capitalism and culture”. [*]

The US is still fighting a cold war against socialism, the welfare state, and public ownership. A cold war against Iran is not about US national security. Iran is not an existential threat to the US, or to Israel either. It is about US corporations being thwarted from exploiting Iran’s natural resources, privatizing their state-owned enterprises, and “opening” Iran to unequal trade arrangements. It is also about the US being the hegemon in the Middle East.

The US is still using the same gunboat diplomacy that it has been using since the 19th century to “open” Latin America, Japan, Korea, China and the Philippians to exploitation. It is old fashioned imperialism dressed up in the jargon of “human rights, democracy, and US exceptionalism”. It is what old-world colonialism called “civilizing the heathens”.

The US will never forgive the Islamic Republic of Iran for shutting down the US deal of exploitation. With the Shah’s cut from oil companies, he was a very big customer for US weapons manufacturers, such as General Dynamics, Lockheed, and Northrop. He also aggressively bought into President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peace program. At the urging of the US, Iran began its nuclear program in 1957.

Selling weapons and nuclear technology was good business for weapons manufacturers and the nuclear industry. US companies like General Electric and Westinghouse sold Iran the nuclear equipment and technology, as well as the enriched uranium fuel. They even sold the Shah highly enriched weapons grade uranium, which is the most efficient for producing electricity, and making atomic bombs, too.

As far as the US public knew the Shah was highly popular and loved by his people. Imagine the surprise when the people of Iran overthrew him in 1979. The mainstream media was shocked too, since they had swallowed their own propaganda. The images of Iranians rioting, protesting, burning the US flag and shouting Death to America were frightening, it looked irrational, and it seemed to come out of nowhere.

The US public and press became outraged when the US Embassy in Tehran was stormed by revolutionary students who took 52 Americans hostage. The students renamed the US Embassy the “Den of Spies”. The students had every reason for that name, given the cache of incriminating documents they discovered.

In the US, every nightly TV news broadcast began with the number of days that had passed since the beginning of the Iran Hostage Crisis. It lasted for 444 days, and resulted in President Carter losing his re-election bid to Ronald Reagan in 1980.

Instead of an imperial looking shah, the Iranian Revolution ushered in an Islamic leader to head the government. The thought of Iran turning into a theocracy seemed antiquated to Americans. They had not known that Ayatollah Khomeini was a national hero since the early 1960’s. He had been arrested, tortured, imprisoned and then exiled to France for his outspoken opposition to the Shah. The unphotogenic image of a dour looking Ayatollah Khomeini was an easy target for Western racist and Islamophobic propaganda.

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

The US public could not understand why Iran became anti-US, anti-West, anti-modern, and appeared to be fanatical. The violent purging of the Shah’s cronies and of the opposition was shocking. Iranian supporters of the Shah who fled to the US brought with them wild tales of people being hung from street lamps for having televisions and toilets in their homes. They left out the part about how they lived in affluent luxury, while the vast majority of people lived in hovels. The transition was violence, and it lasted for about 2 years.

The US public had no idea why the Iranian people hated the US so much. The facts were kept secret from the public for years. The State Department documents were finally made public in 2017. For many decades the public did not know that it was the US, from President Eisenhower on down through the State Department and the CIA, which overthrew the popular democratically elected government of the charismatic Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh. But the Iranian people knew that It was the US that put the brutal regime of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi on the Peacock Throne.

The US public was uninformed of the Shah’s repression, political prisoners, torture chambers, assassinations, disappearances and executions. Not only did the US government turn a blind eye to the brutality, it was the CIA (and Israel’s Mossad) that was the overseer and mentor to the Shah’s secret police; the “Organization of National Intelligence and Security of the Nation”, known as SAVAK.

For an example of the Shah’s brutality, an Amnesty International assessment for 1974-1975 report stated:

The shah of Iran retains his benevolent [world] image despite the highest rate of death penalties in the world, no valid system of civilian courts and a history of torture which is beyond belief.”

Once when The Shah was confronted by a journalist for the French newspaper Le Monde about his brutal repression methods he responded:

Why should we not employ the same methods as you Europeans. We have learned sophisticated methods of torture from you. You use psychological methods to extract the truth; we do the same.”

In 1978 Amnesty International reported that nothing had changed for the better in Iran. Even the mention of the word SAVAK was enough to send chills down the backs of Iranians.

The explosion of the Iranian Revolution of 1979, the Hostage Crisis and the animosity of the Iranian people towards the US government was the direct result and blowback from 25 years of the US coddling and sheltering its shah puppet. As Kermit Roosevelt who was the CIA station chief in Tehran in 1953 said of the Shah: “He’s our boy”. It was Roosevelt who engineered and implemented the coup that brought the Shaw to power. The codename for the coup was Operation Ajax.

Just as Trump is trying to cover up for MBS (as Thomas Friedman affectionately refers to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia), President Jimmy “Human Rights” Carter tried to cover up and sheltered Mohammad Reza Pahlavi after the Iranian Revolution. The Iranian people wanted the Shah arrested by the US, where he had fled. They wanted him extradited to Iran to face justice.

Henry Kissinger and David Rockefeller had appealed to Carter’s compassion to admit the Shah to the US for health reasons. After much vacillation Carter agreed. Carter had had a friendly personal relationship with The Shah. In 1977 Carter visited Iran and toasted the Shah for his “island of stability” and for “the admiration and love which your people give you”.

Carter admitted the Shah to the US on October 21, 1979. On November 4, 1979 revolutionary students took over the US Embassy in Tehran, and demanded the Shah in exchange for the US hostages. Carter said he refused to give in to “blackmail” to a group of “terrorists”. Still vacillating, Carter expelled the Shah from the US. He died in Egypt in 1980.

As a reaction to the Iran Hostage Crisis, the US imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran, cut off the sale of oil and froze their assets in the US. The US put an embargo on Iran, including humanitarian supplies, and the US broke diplomatic relations. Needless to say, the US stopped its “Atoms for Peace” program and cooperation with Iran in developing nuclear energy.

Not coincidentally, Iran released the US hostages within hours of Ronald Reagan being sworn in as President in 1981. The circumstances and timing of the hostage release is still controversial. Most likely, Carter deserves the credit for successfully negotiating the release of the hostages. Why the Iranians released the hostages when they did is still a mystery.

In 1980 Iraq invaded Iran starting the Iran-Iraq war that lasted until 1988. Whether or not the US gave a “green light” to Saddam Hussein to invade Iran, the US did not try to prevent or stop Iraq’s aggression. According to Dexter Filkins, writing in the New Yorker:

Iran’s leaders took two lessons from the Iran-Iraq War. The first was that Iran was surrounded by enemies, near and far. To the regime, the invasion was not so much an Iraqi plot as a Western one. American officials were aware of Saddam’s preparations to invade Iran in 1980, and they later provided him with targeting information used in chemical-weapons attacks; the weapons themselves were built with the help of Western European firms.

The other lesson drawn from the Iran-Iraq War was the futility of fighting a head-to-head confrontation. ……Instead, they had to build the capacity to wage asymmetrical warfare—attacking stronger powers indirectly, outside of Iran. [*]

According to the New York Times, “the Reagan Administration secretly decided shortly after taking office in January 1981 to allow Israel to ship several billion dollars’ worth of American arms and spare parts to Iran”. Cynically the US later said that it gave aid to both sides “to remain neutral”; and unsaid was to keep either side from winning. Both Iran and Iraq suffered over 500,000 casualties each in the Iran-Iraq War.

If the US had hoped that the Iran-Iraq war would weaken Iran, then the unintended consequences were just the opposite, as often is the case with US duplicity. Iraq’s invasion of Iran united the Iranian people strongly behind the Iran revolutionary government. In 2003, President Bush’s invasion of Iraq would make Iran an even stronger regional power.
In 1982 Israel invaded Lebanon, and through a series of events Reagan sent US Marines to Lebanon. He called them a “peacekeeping force” to avoid having to get Congressional approval under the 1973 War Powers Resolution. In 1983 a truck bomb suicide attack on a Marine barracks in Lebanon killed 241 people, mostly US Marines. The US blamed the attack on Iran and declared Iran a “terrorist state”. More US sanctions were imposed on Iran even though there was only circumstantial evidence that Iran was the perpetrator.

In 1988 the US shot down an Iranian commercial airliner that was in Iranian airspace. All 290 passengers and crew of the airliner died. The US claimed that it mistook the plane for a threatening fighter jet. Even though the US admitted that it had shot down the airliner, President George H. W. Bush refused to apologize, saying “I’m not an apologize-for-America kind of guy”.

Even with all the turmoil of the 1980’s, Iran continued to work on its nuclear program. It had signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1970. Iran has every right under the treaty to a nuclear energy program. In fact, under the treaty the nuclear-weapons countries are obligated to cooperate with the non-nuclear-weapons countries in the peaceful development of atomic energy.

Instead of abiding by the NPT, the US used the red herring that Iran had a nuclear weapons program. Without proof, the US slapped unilateral economic sanctions on Iran. So, Iran turned to France, Russia and other countries to purchase material, equipment and technology for its nuclear energy program.

After the Iraq invasion of Kuwait in 1990, and the US war with Iraq, the US imposed sanctions on both Iraq and Iran. While Iran had declared neutrality in the war, the US accused Iran of secretly aiding Iraq. The real reason why the US imposed sanctions on Iran was that it was concerned that a weakened Iraq would strengthen Iran as a regional power, which is exactly what it did.

Then in 1996 under President Bill Clinton, what was to become known as the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act was passed by Congress. This act penalized any US or foreign entities that invested in Iran’s oil and gas industry. The supposed rationale was that investing in Iran’s oil and gas industry would provide Iran with the funds to develop weapons of mass destruction. Since money is fungible, the same logic could be used about all trade with Iran, and eventually it was. Still there is no proof, except circumstantial, that Iran has ever had a nuclear weapons program.

The real reason for economic sanctions is that the US is engaging in economic warfare against Iran. It is angry because their puppet shah was overthrown. US economic sanctions are an attempt to destroy Iran’s economy. As the most powerful and influential economic nation in the world the US can exert tremendous financial penalties, hardships and isolation on other countries. Most of the suffering from sanctions are borne by civilians.

Does supporting the aggressor in a war, aiding the aggressor in the use of banned chemical weapons, giving both sides weapons to kill each other, and shooting down a civilian airliner qualify as “state sponsored terrorism”? Since 1979 the US has killed millions of people is covert operations such as in Afghanistan, and in illegal wars of aggression in the Middle East, such as the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Yet, Iran is condemned by the US as the world’s “leading state sponsor of terrorism”? Such accusations by the US against Iran are hypocritical and politically motivated hyperbole. The motive for US propaganda is to aid the cause of overthrowing, one way or another, the internationally recognized legal government of Iran. [*] The world’s leading sponsor of state terrorism is surely the US, and its partners in terrorism are the UK, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, and the other Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

The definition of terrorism according to Webster’s dictionary is “the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims”.

The victims of US economic sanctions call it financial terrorism. It is and it does hurt mostly civilians financially, and it causes them unnecessary suffering and deaths from the lack of nutrition and medicines for curable and preventable diseases. There is also tremendous emotional distress on the civilian population caused by economic sanctions. Alcoholism, drug addiction, divorce, crime and many other social conditions are exacerbated.

Economic sanctions meet the definition of terrorism, and that makes economic sanctions a crime against humanity. Even UN authorized economic sanctions overstep the Geneva Conventions and are immoral and may be unlawful. The International Committee of the Red Cross has cautioned the United Nations Security Council that the “Security Council is bound to observe the principles of international humanitarian law when designing, monitoring and reviewing sanctions regimes.”

The US wants to turn the clock back to 1953 and a return of the Shah of Iran. Why not? The US had a great deal going with the Shah of Iran for a quarter of a century, until the Iranian Revolution of 1979. That is why the US hates the current government and wants to overthrow it.

The US is determined to undermine the government of Iran. President Trump’s violation of the JCPOA, “Iran Deal”, has put “all options on the table” again: economic sanctions, terrorism, war and even the use of nuclear weapons. Iran is now in its 40th year of the Islamic Republic. Speaking to the terrorist group MEK in 2017, John Bolton said that President Trump’s policies should be that “Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1979 revolution will not last until its 40th birthday.” The 40th anniversary of Iran’s Islamic Revolution will take place in a few months, on February 11, 2019. Obviously, Bolton is not invited.

Trump says that the Iran Deal is the worst deal in history. What the US wants is the old deal that it had with Iran from 1953 to 1979. That was the “Greatest Iran Deal in History”. The CIA already has their man ready. They have been grooming him since he was 17 years old. He lives not far from the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. He is Reza Pahlavi, the Crown Prince of Iran. He is the last heir apparent to his father’s defunct Peacock Throne. He is waiting in the wings for the job opening for a new Shah of Iran.

Reza Pahlavi, Crown Prince of Iran

First published by The Greanville Post

David William Pear is a progressive columnist writing on U.S. foreign policy, economic and political issues, human rights and social issues. David is a Senior Contributing Editor of The Greanville Post and a prior Senior Editor for OpEdNews for four years 2014 to 2018, and he is still a "Trusted Writer" for OpEdNews. David has been writing for The Real News Network for over 10 years, and has been a long-term financial supporter.

Filed under: empire watch, featured, Iran, latest, United States

by

David William Pear is a progressive columnist writing on U.S. foreign policy, economic and political issues, human rights and social issues. David is a Senior Contributing Editor of The Greanville Post and a prior Senior Editor for OpEdNews for four years 2014 to 2018, and he is still a "Trusted Writer" for OpEdNews. David has been writing for The Real News Network for over 10 years, and has been a long-term financial supporter.

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vexarb
Reader

@Jen: “so far in this BTL comments thread, everyone seems agreed that Iran’s political and religious elite is hardline conservative in its social attitudes.”

_Almost_ everyone. So for facts I tried the GINI index of social inequality, from 1986 to 2014. Lower GINI is a more equal society:

Iran under a Conservative Socialist Theocracy: Inequality Down from 48 to 38.
UK under a Liberal-Conservative New-Labour Democracy: Inequality Up from 20 to 50.
Sweden beacon of Liberal Leftist Mercantile Femocracy: Inequality Up from 15 to 60.

For the Islamic Socialist viewpoint read Ramin Mazaheri, whom I cited below.

Andyoldlabour
Reader
Andyoldlabour

This will show the part which the UK and US played in the revolution of 1979.

http://markcurtis.info/2017/02/01/islamic-revolution-in-iran-cultivating-then-arming-the-ayatollah/

Jen
Reader
Jen

It seems that, so far in this BTL comments thread, everyone seems agreed on one thing: that Iran’s political and religious elite is hardline conservative in its social attitudes. Is that really the case though? Is it possible that among the clerical class or the mullahs as they are known, there are some – maybe many? – who interpret Islam as a more compassionate and tolerant religion or who recognise that Islam cannot and should not be subjected to one narrow and literal interpretation, and is amenable to political, economic and social reform? In spite of the fact that Grand… Read more »

David William Pear
Reader
David William Pear

“ignoring the reactionary role of the clerics.” is a good point.

I am sure the CIA was more than happy to give Khomeini their list of the usual suspects. As someone else mentioned the Shah eliminated the leftist and intellectuals and the only fertile ground for resistance was the Mosques. I guess most revolutions do get hijacked. Anyway my interest is the crimes of the US. The US keeps eliminating secular socialist countries. If left alone, other countries can decides their own destinies.

nondimenticare
Reader
nondimenticare

In my earlier post about the Ayatollah Khomeini in no way did I mean to imply that his imposition of theocracy would have justified aggression to infiltrate or overthrow his government by the US or its “helpers” – only that the Iranians did not get what they had hoped for, probably a new Mossadegh.

glasshopper
Reader
glasshopper

In a police state like the Shah’s Iran, the only place where people could legitimately gather in numbers was the mosque. Which is why the revolution against the Shah came from the mosque, even among secular leftists. However after the revolution, when more pious factions took over, many secular leftists ended up being strung up by their necks.

For many Iranians the dream of the new beginning ended very quickly. Followed by a terrible war which kept the new elites in power much longer than they deserved.

Frankly Speaking
Reader
Frankly Speaking

The Persians are a very fine group of people. How tragic that they are in a situation where they will be led either by a bunch of religious nutters or a bunch of neocon nutters. They deserve far better.

Fair dinkum
Reader
Fair dinkum

It is not a nation, country, state, religion or ideology that decides to invade, occupy, exploit, or control a foreign land.
It is a handful of malevolent psychopaths who see nothing but profit in front of them.

summitflyer
Reader
summitflyer

The local clown Trump says it is the worst deal in history ,so we should all believe him ? NOT .
Very good article detailing the history of Iran since the assassination of the Prime Minister Mohammed
Mossadegh . I had read about it all before but an excellent factual report of events in Iran since the assassination .
The US and it’s allies have all proven themselves to be assassins for the sake of their pocket books.Criminals one
and all.

Andyoldlabour
Reader
Andyoldlabour

Mossadegh died at home in 1967, he was not assasinated.

Glasshopper
Reader
Glasshopper

Looks like the author just got round to reading Kinzer’s All The Shah’s Men and thought nobody would notice. Not exactly groundbreaking journalism. The question now is weather China, Russia and India will stand by Iran for the coming onslaught. My guess is that they will, and that the sanctions will fail. But that’s not to say Iran couldn’t benefit from some new faces – and ideas – at the higher echelons of government. It’s hard to see how dinosaurs like Khamanei can hang around forever putting up billboards of themselves in every public space forever. The Iranian people deserve… Read more »

David William Pear
Reader
David William Pear

“The Plot to Attack Iran: How the CIA and the Deep State Have Conspired to Vilify Iran”, by Dan Kovalik.

“Shah of Shahs”, by Ryszard Kapuscinski.

“All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror”, by Stephen Kinzer.

I listed them as credits in the original article.

Armchair
Reader
Armchair

“not to say Iran couldn’t benefit from some new faces ..”

Yes, new faces to rule Iran are aplenty: the Saudi crown prince MBS, Nethanyahu, Bolton, Mattis, and why not Kushner?

Glasshopper
Reader
Glasshopper

I’m no neocon if that is what you are insinuating. Iran needs reform, not regime change. I’ve traveled all over Iran and am a huge fan of the country. It is the shining light of the region in many ways, but has been held back by a dinosaur elite long past their sell by date. In any case it is still light years ahead of the Sunnifascist states. The breakdown of the nuclear agreement is disastrous for reformists in iran, undermines their cause, and plays into the hands of the dinosaurs. It is a shocking betrayal that makes my blood… Read more »

wardropper
Reader
wardropper

You bet the US wants to bring back the Shah of Iran.
And they want him to be just another one of those Italian-looking spivs who saw “The Godfather” a million years ago, and thought it would be cool to be like Marlon Brando or Al Pacino.
It goes without saying that he would not have the interests of Iran at heart, but the interests of Washington alone.
We get it, Deep State. We really do get it – just like the people of ancient Rome got Caligula – for a while.

vierotchka
Reader

FOREIGN POLICY

Son of deposed Iranian Shah calls for U.S.-backed regime change

Reza Pahlavi, the former Shah’s son, made a rare public appearance in Washington Friday amid pro-monarchy nostalgia in his home country.

By NAHAL TOOSI 12/13/2018 06:54 PM EST Updated 12/14/2018 05:09 PM EST

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/12/13/trumps-anti-iran-push-boosts-a-royal-outcast-1063441

Brozza
Reader
Brozza

Let’s see the wanker go back to Iran and make the call.

vierotchka
Reader

Published on 9 Jan 2018

FULL interview with Iran’s exiled Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi

What Iran needs is a new Mossadegh, not a new CIA puppet king.

nondimenticare
Reader
nondimenticare

I stand to be corrected, but I do not think that the Ayatollah was a “national hero.” He was a hero to the religious right. No mention is made of the fact that, though his writings were theocratic in the extreme, while in exile he was promising freedom and democracy upon his return. We may fault the revolutionary leaders for believing that, or at least thinking they could control him, but people believe what they want to believe. Remember “Hope and Change” in the US. That, of course, was not the point of this informative article, but it is essential… Read more »

Theo
Reader
Theo

I agree with you. I remember an interview Khomeini gave in Paris exile to,I think it was the German news magazine”Der Spiegel”where he promised exactly what you mentioned.But on his return he established a brutal theocratic regime.He didn’t stick to his promise.Again many Iranians had to flee the country.Those folks were deeply disappointed.

Jen
Reader
Jen

If the CIA actually is serious about promoting and installing Reza Pahlavi in a revived monarchy, that organisation really must be completely off this planet and out of this universe in its thinking. According to the Wikipedia article on Reza Pahlavi, he has no support even among the Iranian-American community. A poll done in 2013 among Iranian-American people found that only 15% supported groups or figures opposed to the current Iranian government. Of that 15%, only 20% supported Reza Pahlavi. This means Reza Pahlavi has only 3% support among the Iranian-American community. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reza_Pahlavi,_Crown_Prince_of_Iran#Public_support He has only female children as well.… Read more »

jjc
Reader
jjc
wardropper
Reader
wardropper

The whole of Washington has been making its own reality for many decades now.
That reality tends to be short-term, and they’re okay with that.

vexarb
Reader

In Uncle $cam’s war against Syria, U$ “boots” have not done much fighting, leaving it to their I$I$ proxies. But now that I$I$ has been effectively wiped out by the ground troops of the Syrian Army and its Allies (Iran and Hezb’Allah) it seems that U$ “grunts” (who occupy 1/3 of Syria) will have to leave or else face direct conflict with the Syrian ground forces. POTU$A Trump initially declared strongly in favour of withdrawing. In September, however, the Trump regime characteristically reneged, saying the Men from Uncle will now stay in Syria “to act as a bulwark against Iran”.… Read more »

Narrative
Reader
Narrative

“In Uncle $cam’s war against Syria, U$ “boots” have not done much fighting, leaving it to their I$I$ proxies”

This should be called the ‘Obama Doctrine’:
Let them fight each other for the benefits of the US national interests. Ditto for the war in Yemen.
Another example, the creation of an Arab NATO army.

writerroddis
Reader
writerroddis

As corrective to the mainstream narrative on Iran this is timely and useful. Unfortunately it is seriously flawed by ignoring the reactionary role of the clerics. First in siding with the imperialists in 1953 – https://foreignpolicy.com/2017/06/20/64-years-later-cia-finally-releases-details-of-iranian-coup-iran-tehran-oil – because they feared Mossadegh’s secularist power base. And second in the bloody suppression of the communist Tudeh, especially vicious after 1983. The Shah’s ouster was a setback to imperialism to be welcomed by progressives. The theocratic and horrific obscurantism of those who hijacked it – http://www.communistpartyofireland.ie/c-tudeh.html – was not. As with defence of Russia, Syria and all nations in the firing line of… Read more »

vexarb
Reader

Oddis, I notice that your link to the worthy Communist Party of Ireland refers to the Iranian Communist Party, Tudeh — a Stalinist party according to WSWS — who claim that their Revolution was hijacked by “theocratic and horrific obscurantism”. For a salutary corrective to WSWS denigration of Islamic Socialism, read Ramin Mazaheri in Saker Vineyard. http://thesaker.is/cultural-permanent-revolution-in-iranian-revolutionary-shiism/ Clip from Part 1: “The continued moral failures of capitalism and imperialism mean that socialism is the only way forward. Iran will never give up religion, so that is a non-issue, but historical parallels show the universality of the human economic-political experience. The… Read more »

writerroddis
Reader
writerroddis

I agree with the characterisation of the Tudeh as stalinist, with all the limitations that implies, but so what? That in no way negates my poibt about the reign of theocratic terror that sent so many communists to horrific deaths. Nor the 1953 role of the theocrats.

As for your broader points on ‘the positive influence of religion’, shall we agree to differ? I’m sure there’s much we can and do agree on.

harry stotle
Reader
harry stotle

Is there a better recruiting tool for religious fanatics than an existential threat from an external power with a well earned reputation for violence and mendacity? Look at places like Iraq, Syria, Libya and the Yemen – none were saved by well intentioned liberals, yet all were victims to perfidious Albion. In fact mad mullahs, as derranged as they are, are still ess of a threat to the vast majority of ordinary Iranians compared to heavily armed US forces conducting yet another illegal war in order to bring ‘western values’ to a ‘backward nation’. In time citizens of Iran might… Read more »

writerroddis
Reader
writerroddis

“In fact mad mullahs, as derranged as they are, are still ess of a threat to the vast majority of ordinary Iranians compared to heavily armed US forces conducting yet another illegal war in order to bring ‘western values’ to a ‘backward nation’.” I couldn’t agree more. And thanks for giving me the opportunity to say so. This tenet – unconditional but critical defence – has been and continues to be a major dividing line within the revolutionary left in the West. For instance its fierce demands caused International Socialism (now SWP) to take opportunist stances on the USSR (“neither… Read more »

summitflyer
Reader
summitflyer

I would not be so quick to call Iran a backward nation .They are a very educated nation, women as well as men.
The country is now led by religious fanatics but this will not last forever.But just because they might not choose the Western way does not really mean anything .If nations were left alone and not subverted by others , i.e. the US and the UK ,it would be a different world we would live in .Of that I am convinced.
Cheers.

Loverat
Reader
Loverat

This is the problem isn’t it? The states in the Middle East and elsewhere have not been allowed to evolve because of the constant meddling and powers games played by US/UK/France. Latin America I guess is another example. Governments in the region lurch from the left to the right, back to the left and back again. When you really think about it the constant meddling in the lives of ordinary people is just as evil as the regime change wars the US/UK have unleased in recent years. I would guess Syria is a good model of how to counter this.… Read more »

Willem
Reader
Willem

The shah is dead isn’t he? So is the believe in peaceful US foreign policy. ‘The US wants to turn the clock back to 1953 and a return of the Shah of Iran’ But then they also have to turn back the clock in terms of internet, readership, and 65 years of millions and millions of people talking about/experiencing the danger of the most dangerous country, the US, according a Gallup poll from 2013 Poor journalists ar the Guardian still don’t understand why the US is seen as a rogue state and mistake bombing a country, economically sanction people to… Read more »

Simon Hodges
Reader

Why do people keep dragging Israel into this debate and this site into disrepute? Our grievances are with Progressive Neoliberals and Neocons in the so called ‘Left’ wing parties of the UK, USA and EU. We have plenty of inhumane monsters such as George Bush and Tony Blair to expose and show how the progressive extreme right wing of the Labour and Democratic parties Neoconned genuine liberals and the people into supporting their imperialist wars.

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

Why do people keep dragging Israel into this debate?

Indeed, what could Israel possibly have to do with US policy towards Iran?

Antonym
Reader
Antonym

Is Nethanyahu = Israel? No. Same for May & UK, Macron & France, Trudeau & Canada etc.
Please keep these distinctions.

George Cornell
Reader
George Cornell

Watching this is sickening. The repeated standing ovations especially. Netanyahu talking about Iran as a genocidal enemy? And which genocide would that be?

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

Iran as a genocidal enemy? And which genocide would that be? Obviously, the glorious genocide which the Chosen People conducted against 75,000 of their Persian enemies, now celebrated as the festival of Purim. moral of the story: if you’re sufficiently adept at sucking up to the ruling class of great empires, you can get away with just about any crime, no matter how horrific. but as revealed in the video above, if you are truly a master of chutzpah, you can get the ruling class of great empires to suck up to you, and commit your glorious genocides for you.… Read more »

George cornell
Reader
George cornell

And are you suggesting that Israel’s relentless aggressive rhetoric about Iran is insincere? Are you aware that Israel has discussed nuking Iran and applies all the political pressure it can to have the Americans attack them? Are you aware that Iran now tops the list of regime changes discussed by the US neocon crowd, one with remarkably close ties to Israel? This is an article about Iran and its tragic recent history. But you want there to be no mention of the state with the greatest malevolence toward it. What the hell is wrong with you? This has nothing to… Read more »

Simon Hodges
Reader

No I am not suggesting any of that. I sometime think that this site is run by the CIA in the way you all jump to the racist baits offered to you. There are poor people everywhere and we should be concerned with all of them. The fact that none of you get this, and rush to put poor Jews down is a matter of much concern. I suppose you think that there are no poor Jewish people. I cannot support any of you and your hate for people in general who are not the same thing as their inhumane… Read more »

Jen
Reader
Jen

“… I suppose you think that there are no poor Jewish people …” I am a regular Off-Guardian.org commenter (I should really get a life!) who does believe there are poor Jewish people, in Israel anyway. I’ve seen the statistics: 1/4 of all Israelis and 30% of Israeli children living below the poverty line, at the same time that over 60% of the country’s wealth is controlled by just 18 families. Eyton Halon, “NGO: Over 1 million Israeli children in poverty” https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/NGO-Over-one-million-Israeli-children-living-in-poverty-574262 “Israel: 18 Families control 60% Corporate Equity” It is sobering to think that one reason the Israeli government… Read more »

RealPeter
Reader
RealPeter

Since I have been coming to the OffG site, it has never, to my knowledge, published an anti-Semitic article. There are a few people posting comments who do see “the Jews” behind every geopolitical event, but that is their personal opinion. OffG does not censor them, or any other opinion, but leaves it up to other posters to disagree with them, which they usually do. I don’t agree with everything published here, but when everybody agrees with everything, that’s the world of 1984. OffG is not a “racist site”, full stop. Israel’s hostility to Iran is well known and is… Read more »

mohandeer
Reader

Simon Hodges.
You are conflating the Zionist aggression of Israel with ordinary decent Jewish people who deplore Israel’s aggression and absence of Palestinian Human Rights. If you are not aware of Israel Eretz and the purpose for the establishment of an Israeli state, which began as far back as 1903 with the “six million Jews holocaust” deception, then you need to revisit world history.

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

September 29, 1944, is the earliest published claim that six million Jews had been murdered, this author has found. August 13, 1943 is the latest (of many) predictions that six million Jews would be killed, this author has found. I’m not including here the writer who was bold enough to claim in January 1939, that Hitler had already killed six million Jews! Further research has revealed an undeniable Jewish, or more precisely; Zionist, obsession with the exact number of six million Jews, being on the verged of death, dating back to 1915, or arguably even earlier. This undeniable obsession was… Read more »

Glasshopper
Reader
Glasshopper

Iran has the largest community of Jews in the Middle East outside Israel with full rights of worship and parliamentary representation. Unlike the “moderate” Arab states we are allied with.

summitflyer
Reader
summitflyer

And not only that ,they have refused to move to Israel .That must say something about the state of Israel when Jewish people living in a predominantly Muslim nation refuse to move there. It is not a matter of maligning Jewish people ,it is a matter of exposing the zionist cause ,which is racist to the core.

George cornell
Reader
George cornell

This one is about Iran, not about poor Jews. Could you be any more tangential? You will find if you look back that there are people on this site who leap to the defense of Jews when they are being inappropriately targeted, including Admin. The emphasis is on inappropriate. For you no criticism is appropriate, I guess. Are you unable to take in what this article says? Evidently not. So it is all about you and your relatives? The world has observed the consequences of such an approach, as epitomized by the US.

Admin
Moderator
Admin

We have zero sympathy for racism and intolerance, and believe it’s a product of fear and ignorance or a tool used by the PTB to divide and distract the masses. But we aren’t about to cave to the campaign to equate criticism of Israel with antisemitism and start avoiding discussion of the state and its government. Neither are we responsible for the comments and opinions of people BTL here. If you think we – as in our editors and authors – have “risen to racist bait” please point this out. I’ll be surprised if you can find an example. On… Read more »

Thomas Prentice
Reader
Thomas Prentice

Add to your list of inhumane monsters Netanyahu, Sharon, Begin, Meir, ben Gurion.

Simon Hodges
Reader

Indeed and Stalin, Hitler, Lenin etc etc. But none of these monsters are the people everywhere who are all facing the same neoliberal global threat. We are all in this together and we all need to get wise. How do you think this shit has historically been managed other than this divide and conquer politics than placed the peoples of Europe and all over the world against one and other as if the interest of the elite were identical with the interests of all our peoples that we should care about.

homeslicez
Reader

Simon, in this case (well, not this Iran case, but in general), it is valid to blame many Israel citizens, not just their government. 800,000 of them (well, them and kids) chose to illegally settle in Palestinian land. I despise anti-semitism too but your reaction is way overboard. Even without the settlement matter Israelis still share some responsibility with what their government does, since it’s a democracy. Similarly Americans share responsibility for the imperialist warmongers they keep electing. The only ones who are blameless would be those who are literally ignorant of what’s going on in the world. Anyone cognizant… Read more »

John2o2o
Reader
John2o2o

Please stop shilling for Israel.

Admin
Moderator
Admin

Are you suggesting the state of Israel is a) above reproach b) immune to rational criticism c) not a tool of neoliberal policy?

Simon Hodges
Reader

No. I am suggesting it is a massive strategic error to unnecessarily involve any political movement in Anti-Semitism and open yourself to racial critique when it simply doesn’t need to be done. These issues are not relevant in the immediate grand scheme of things and I am extremely suspicious of the establishment trolls who keep bringing them up and throwing our criticism into racist disrepute. Our problems throughout history have never been with the people of Israel, Syrian, Russia, France, Germany, the UK, the USA, Pakistan, India, China etc etc etc. Our problems are with the disgusting elites or the… Read more »

vexarb
Reader

Simon, my criticism of The Yahoo is not Jew-baiting, any more than my criticism of St.Theresa is antiAngloism.

Loverat
Reader
Loverat

I think this is an interesting part of the debate. Many years ago I did have some admiration for the state of Israel based partly on my WW11 studies. But the role of Israel for causing misery and mayhem in the region is now well documented. It is a criminal state. But if you think of the line up against Syria and Iran – US, UK, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar (more previously) and Israel, I guess when exposing the pure evil, it probably makes more strategic sense to expose the first five rogue states. They all have a long… Read more »

summitflyer
Reader
summitflyer

Israel hides behind the curtain though and gets others to do their fighting on pretty well everything that concerns the Middle East .It has been brought to many’s attention as to who is actually running the US/UK foreign policy .Just look at who you can’t criticize to find out who rules over you comes to mind.

jag37777
Reader

Zionism is part and parcel of the global neoliberal/neoconservative putsch.
And ‘Israel’ is cheerleading the destabilising of Iran.
That’s why.

thebloodneverdried
Reader

The US can’t control democracies, but it can control dictators, so that will always be its preference.

Brozza
Reader
Brozza

Back in the early 70’s, a country called Australia had a Prime Minister named Gough Whitlam who didn’t like U$ actions in Vietnam and Australia. Guess what happened to him.

Jen
Reader
Jen

It’s not that he “didn’t like US actions” – Gough Whitlam’s sin was to insist that the US spy station at Pine Gap should advise Canberra what it was doing.

vexarb
Reader

Brozza, “He won the 1974 election before being controversially dismissed by the Governor-General of Australia, Sir John Kerr, at the climax of the 1975 Australian constitutional crisis. _Whitlam remains the only Australian prime minister to have his commission terminated in that manner_.” — WikiPedia

Glasshopper
Reader
Glasshopper

Who would you rather do business with. A nation state like Iran with a parliament and electorate to deal with?

Or a family business like Saudi Arabia?

Particularly when the latter has even more resources and is linked to many similar family business across the region.

Seamus Padraig
Reader
Seamus Padraig

Oh yeah? The US has managed to control the other democracies (or perhaps I should say ‘democracies’) in NATO since 1949.

Seamus Padraig
Reader
Seamus Padraig

The sad fact is that democracies, by their very nature, are much easier to infiltrate and subvert. That’s why so many of the more successful revolutionary republics–Iran, Cuba, Libya, etc.–have opted for dictatorship instead. By way of contrast, there’s Venezuela, whose commitment to democracy may well be admirable, but this also means that the country is in constant political/social turmoil.

Francis Lee
Reader
Francis Lee

It seems that medieval siege warfare (i.e., sanctions) has now become the US-NATO-ZIONIST weapon of choice. Not surprising as hunger, malnutrition, and mass starvation – as envisioned by Mr Pompeo – was first used against indigenous peoples in the Americas, Southern Africa and Australasia. White settler colonialism has been a planetary scourge throughout the 19/20/21 centuries. The ‘White Man’s Burden’ would be better named the ‘White Man’s Guilt.’ Strange creature this ‘benign imperialism’ and oxymoron comparable perhaps to a talking zebra.

Antonym
Reader
Antonym

That same medieval siege warfare (i.e., sanctions) was the Left’s weapon of choice for South Africa and Israel……

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

medieval siege warfare

ZIONIST weapon of choice

hunger, malnutrition, and mass starvation

Nicholas Lysson — Holocaust and Holodomor

vierotchka
Reader

Holodomor Hoax: Joseph Stalin’s Crime That Never Took Place
https://sputniknews.com/politics/201508091025560345/

The “Holodomor” and the Film “Bitter Harvest” are Fascist Lies
https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/03/03/the-holodomor-and-the-film-bitter-harvest-are-fascist-lies/

As for the Holocaust, my mother was one of the tanslators and interpreters at the Nuremberg Trials – in a side-room to the main trial room were almost ceiling-high piles of the meticulously detailed records of the victims made by the Nazis with regard to the Holocaust – there were indeed some five million Jews plus about a million Gypsies, plus gays and mentally handicapped in vast numbers who were murdered in the camps. The Holocaust denial is absolutely shameful.

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

from the Counterpunch article: Grover Furr is the author of Khrushchev Lied. The Evidence That Every “Revelation” of Stalin’s (and Beria’s) Crimes in Nikita Khrushchev’s Infamous “Secret Speech” to the 20th Party Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union on February 25, 1956, is Provably False (2011); The Murder of Sergei Kirov. History, Scholarship and the Anti-Stalin Paradigm (2013); Blood Lies: The Evidence that Every Accusation against Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union in Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands Is False (2014); Trotsky’s “Amalgams.” Trotsky’s Lies, The Moscow Trials As Evidence, The Dewey Commission. Trotsky’s Conspiracies of the 1930s, Volume… Read more »

vierotchka
Reader

Certainly more reliable a source than you are.

As for the Holocaust denial, only psychopaths are not outraged.

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

As for the Holocaust denial, Sever Plocker — Stalin’s Jews (note the source) We mustn’t forget that some of greatest murderers of modern times were Jewish Stalin’s close associates and loyalists included member of the Central Committee and Politburo Lazar Kaganovich. Montefiore characterizes him as the “first Stalinist” and adds that those starving to death in Ukraine, an unparalleled tragedy in the history of human kind aside from the Nazi horrors and Mao’s terror in China, did not move Kaganovich. Many Jews sold their soul to the devil of the Communist revolution and have blood on their hands for eternity.… Read more »

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

in a side-room to the main trial room were almost ceiling-high piles of the meticulously detailed records of the victims made by the Nazis with regard to the Holocaust – there were indeed some five million Jews plus about a million Gypsies, plus gays and mentally handicapped in vast numbers who were murdered in the camps.

Strange, then, that these records have never been published, but are only attested by second-hand recollections. That seems like an almost inexplicable oversight.

vierotchka
Reader

They have been archived. Can you imagine the volume necessary to publish them? Get real, friend.

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

I’ll bet the same archives contain the records proving that the Nazis committed the Katyn Forest Massacre, as alleged by the Stalinist prosecutors at the Nuremburg trial. Remind me how that accusation turned out?

vierotchka
Reader

That is just plain silly. Get real.

milosevic
Reader
milosevic

— wait, I remember now. It turns out that after the Stalinists agreed with the Nazis to partition Poland between them, they decided to round up the 20,000 Polish people they thought were most likely to organize resistance to the Russian occupation. After keeping them in concentration camps for a year, they drove them into a forest, shot them all in the head, and hastily buried them in mass graves, assuming that nobody would ever find out. Unfortunately, they subsequently lost control of the territory, after which their crimes were revealed. However, they cleverly blamed the whole thing on their… Read more »