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Longstanding US/Iranian Relations

by Stephen Lendman Tuesday, Oct. 01, 2013 at 6:43 AM


Longstanding US/Iranian Relations

by Stephen Lendman

Iranians have long memories. They're well justified. They know how America always treated them. They understand Washington's duplicity. They're well aware of its imperial designs.

Obama's outreach to President Hassan Rohani changed nothing. His entire agenda is duplicitous. He governs with malicious intent. He's waging war on humanity.

Iran's Baku envoy Mohsen Pakayeen said America's "34-year-long animosity cannot be settled with one phone call, although it was a positive start."

"The phone talk between the Iranian and US presidents can be the start of a confidence-building move and if the process leads to the settlement of Iran's nuclear issue, it will serve both countries' interests."

On Friday, "the White House contacted us and expressed the willingness of the US president to have a phone conversation for some minutes."

"(T)he main topic of our discussion was the nuclear issue."

Obama failed to address decades of anti-Iranian US maliciousness. Nothing suggests meaningful change now.

On all vital issues, Obama's rhetoric belies his policies. Nothing he says can be believed. Iranian's aren't stupid.

They know what they face. America has lots of proving to show otherwise. Nothing suggests it's happening.

Author/lawyer/distinguished parliamentarian Mohammad Mosaddegh was Iran's democratically elected Prime Minister. He served from April 1951 until August 1953.

America's Operation Ajax ousted him. It was the CIA's first coup. Theodore Roosevelt's grandson, Kermit, orchestrated it.

For decades, Washington denied involvement. In March 2000, Clinton's Secretary of State Madeline Albright acknowledged it, saying:

"In 1953 the United States played a significant role in orchestrating the overthrow of Iran's popular Prime Minister, Mohammed Mossadegh."

"The Eisenhower Administration believed its actions were justified for strategic reasons; but the coup was clearly a setback for Iran's political development."

"And it is easy to see now why many Iranians continue to resent this intervention by America in their internal affairs."

In late 1947, Iran demanded more revenue from its own oil. It had every right to do so. Britain's Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AOIC) refused.

In 1951, one month before Mosaddegh became prime minister, parliament nationalized AOIC. Fair compensation was paid. Iran tried but couldn't resolve its revenue sharing dispute equitably.

Punitive economic sanctions followed. So did an oil embargo. British banks froze Iranian assets. Major Anglo-American oil interests supported London. Current anti-Iranian animosity replicates what occurred then.

In 1953, Washington installed Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi. A generation of repressive rule followed. Iran's 1979 revolution changed things.

In late 1977, Jimmy Carter called Iran an "oasis of stability." He ignored years of brutal regime repression.

In 1978, a White House task force recommended replacing the Shah with Ayatollah Khomeini. At the time, he was living in France.

Washington's intent was part of a larger scheme. Balkanizing the region along tribal and religious lines was planned. So was creating an arc of crisis through Central Asia to Soviet Russia.

Carter urged accomplishing his plan straightaway. Reza Shah Pahlavi was negotiating a 25-year oil deal with British Petroleum (BP).

In October, talks broke down. BP demanded exclusive rights to future output. It refused to guarantee oil purchases.

The Shah balked. He sought new buyers. He did so in Europe and elsewhere. He hoped to create a modern energy infrastructure.

He wanted it built around nuclear power. He wanted to transform Iranian and regional power needs.

He envisioned 20 new reactors by 1995. He wanted less dependance on Iranian oil. He wanted less pressure to recycle petrodollars. He sought increased foreign investments.

Washington tried blocking his plan. It failed. Typical US tactics followed. Iranian oil purchases were cut. Other economic pressures were imposed.

US instigated instability fueled oil strikes, religious rivalries, other disruptions and anti-Shah sentiment. Major media scoundrels regurgitated government propaganda.

Khomeini got public attention. The Shah's comments were ignored. In January 1979, things came to a head.

He fled the country. Khomeini returned. He proclaimed an Islamic Republic. He did so with overwhelming public support.

In May, he cancelled Iran's nuclear plans. US officials thought they could control him. They miscalculated. After a generation of  Western dominance, Iranians were free at last.

Tensions built. Washington doesn't accept defeat lightly. For nearly 35 years, it waged political, economic and proxy hot war on Iran. Regime change is official US policy.

In 1975, Iran and Iraq negotiated the Algiers Agreement. Doing so settled longstanding border disputes. In March 1980, Saddam Hussein unilaterally abrogated it. Carter officials encouraged him.

Journalist/historian Dilip Hiro noted:

"According to the Iranian president, Bani-Sadr, in early August 1980 his government had purchased secret documents containing a detailed account of the conversations in France between several deposed Iranian generals and politicians, Iraqi representatives, and American and Israeli military experts."

"If so, the administration of President James Carter had an inkling of Iraqi plans. By supplying secret information, which exaggerated Iran’s military weakness, to Saudi Arabia for onward transmission to Baghdad, Washington encouraged Iraq to attack Iran."

Saddam got CIA-sponsored Iranian military officers' support. He gave them refuge in Iraq. Soviet Russia feared revolutionary Islam spreading to central Asia.

Saddam saw his chance to wage war and win. He hoped to defeat a regional rival. He wanted parts of Iran annexed. He wanted his regional position strengthened.

Washington wanted its own Middle East influence enhanced.  Carter Doctrine policy pledged Middle East military intervention if US interests were threatened. Soviet Russia threatened intervention.

Carter abandoned his plans. At the same time, his administration remained hostile to Ayatollah Khomeini's government.

Reagan escalated Carter policies. He did so short of committing US forces directly. Saddam got US backing. America pretended neutrality. It proves repeatedly it can't be trusted.

Support for the Shah was a key element of US regional policy. Iran's 1979 revolution changed things. Saddam became Washington's anti-Iranian weapon.

On September 22, 1980, Iraq invaded Iran. It did so with US support. Border clashes preceded all-out conflict.

Nearly eight years of bloody war followed. The human and economic cost on both sides was horrendous. Over a million lives were lost.

America and other Western countries call it the Iran/Iraq war.

Saddam hoped it would be a "whirlwind war." He renamed it Qadisiyyad Saddam. It was an emotive reference to Arabs defeating Persians in 636. Tehran calls it the "Sacred Defense" or "imposed war."

Reagan officials supported Iraq's invasion. In March 1982, Washington delisted Iraq as a sponsor of international terrorism.  

Doing so made it eligible to purchase so-called dual-use equipment and technology.

According to former Reagan National Security Council official Howard Teicher years later:

"President Reagan formalized this policy by issuing a National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) to this effect in June, 1982."

"CIA Director Casey personally spearheaded the effort to ensure that Iraq had sufficient military weapons, ammunition and vehicles to avoid losing the Iran-Iraq war."

"Pursuant to the secret NSDD, the United States actively supported the Iraqi war effort by supplying the Iraqis with billions of dollars of credits, by providing US military intelligence and advice to the Iraqis, and by closely monitoring third country arms sales to Iraq to make sure that Iraq had the military weaponry required."

In 1983, the Reagan administration scrapped its alleged neutrality position. Then Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Lawrence Eagleburger explained, saying:

"Until now, (alleged neutrality) served our objectives and interests well."

"It has: 1) avoided direct great power involvement 2) prevented spread of the war beyond the territory of the combatants to threaten Gulf oil supplies 3) contributed to the current military stalemate 4) preserved the possibility of developing a future relationship with Iran while minimizing openings for expansion of Soviet influence."

Eagleburger's assessment ended by indicating a "qualified tilt" toward Iraq. At the same, he tried having things both ways. He disingenuously claimed Washington "maintain(ed) an overall posture of neutrality."

In 1984, Reagan officials considered direct intervention. At issue was preventing an Iranian victory. Concerns were raised about establishing "radical" Shiite Baghdad rule.

War raged throughout most of the 1980s. Eight years of bloody fighting produced stalemate. Saddam fell out of favor. The 1991 Gulf War followed. So did years of repressive economic sanctions.

Bush's 2003 Iraq war ended Saddam's rule. Anti-Iranian hostility continues unabated. Regime change plans are longstanding. Nothing suggests Obama shifted policy.

A previous article explained ongoing US tactics. They include saber rattling, cyber attacks, other sabotage, targeted assassinations, deadly explosions, satellite, drone, and other type spying, bogus accusations, lawless sanctions, and attempts to cripple Iran's economy.

If Obama was sincere, he'd order these and other anti-Iranian practices ended. He go all out to normalize relations.

He'd do it through actions, not words. He'd do it straightaway. He would have done it years earlier.

He's given no indication of doing so now. Failure shows US policy is fixed. Duplicitous rhetoric conceals it.

Francis Boyle said if WW III occurs, "it will probably result from a direct confrontation between the United States and Russia over the Middle East/Persian Gulf region."

In July, Michel Chossudovsky reposted an article he wrote in August 2010. It headlined "Global Warfare. Preparing for World War III, Targeting Iran." Conditions now are as perilous as years earlier.

Chossudovsky said "(h)umanity is at a dangerous crossroads. War preparations to attack Iran are in 'an advanced state of readiness.' "

"Hi tech weapons systems including nuclear warheads are fully deployed."

"This military adventure has been on the Pentagon's drawing board since the mid-1990s."

"First Iraq, then Iran according to a declassified 1995 US Central Command document."

"Escalation is part of the military agenda. While Iran is the next target together with Syria and Lebanon, this strategic military deployment also threatens North Korea, China and Russia."

NATO partners, Israel and other US allies are involved. It's part of Washington's "Global War on Terrorism."

It's about advancing America's imperium. It's to achieve unchallenged global dominance. It risks WW III.

Obama's war on Syria is prelude to attacking Iran. Doing so is madness. It risks embroiling the entire region.

It risks global war. It risks humanity's survival. It risks what no responsible leader would chance. It risks what may happen before Obama's tenure ends.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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