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A Stained History

by SOHRAB AHMARI

19 Jul 2010 17:2838 Comments
3721403556_79b92fa6bd.jpgIran, too, suffered for BP's profits, and now is the time for a complicit U.S. to make amends.

[ opinion ] Since 2000, BP has run a marketing campaign with the slogan "Beyond Petroleum." One arm of the campaign was composed of ads featuring average Americans ruminating about the need for a diverse national energy portfolio: biofeuls, wind, solar, and...offshore drilling right here in America. The ads were quickly pulled after it became apparent that BP's offshore drilling was responsible for the biggest manmade environmental catastrophe in the history of the United States. Viewed in hindsight, they reveal a company desperate to dissociate itself from its core business, which evidently involved pursuing profits despite significant public risks.

This is nothing new. Decades before the current disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, BP -- then known as the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) -- was closely involved in a different kind of disaster, one that stifled the Iranian people's aspirations to national self-determination for a generation.

In 1951, outraged by a raw deal that gave the British company cheap access to Iran's vast oil reserves, the Majles (parliament) elected Mohammad Mosaddegh as prime minister. Mosaddegh swiftly moved to nationalize Iran's oil. AIOC was not amused. And the rest is history. The Western powers mounted a crushing oil embargo against Tehran. Two years later, at AIOC's behest, British and American intelligence services sponsored a coup that ousted Mosaddegh and restored the Shah to the Peacock Throne.

Historians have begun to cast doubt on aspects of this tragedy. Nationalization of Iran's oil, some contend, was impossible and unwise to begin with. Even if the West had not prevented nationalization, Iran at the time did not have the capacity to refine, market, or distribute its own oil. Moreover, it was alleged that Mosaddegh was erratic, autocratic, and on the verge of senility. Even if this were true, there is no denying that the coup was a significant blow to Iran's fledgling democratic consciousness and political self-confidence.

Since seizing power more than 30 years ago, Iran's Islamic regime has wielded the coup as a permanent grievance against the United States. What better way to make the case against the "Global Arrogance" than to highlight its collaboration in a dirty coup to prevent the oppressed Iranian nation from taking full benefit of its God-given natural resources. Today, some regime apologists in the West even draw parallels between Mosaddegh and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as leaders seeking to protect Iranian sovereignty against Western encroachment.

Both the Clinton and Obama administrations have responded by actually apologizing to the clerics. They shouldn't have. The predecessors of today's theocrats were materially complicit in the coup. Mosaddegh's secular nationalism, with its calls for gender equity and modernization, was anathema to the clerical establishment that yearned to go "back to fundamentals." They whipped up hysteria against the prime minister, even insinuating that Mosaddegh was a homosexual. Even today, the regime refuses to name a major street after Mosaddegh or memorialize the home where he spent his last days under house arrest.

Apologizing to the Islamic Republic for an incident that occurred six decades ago allows Iranian leaders to avoid taking responsibility for their mischief abroad and brutality at home. It can also feed the worst aspect of the Iranian national psyche: the tendency to seek out the dark machinations of ominously powerful foreign conspirators to explain away Iran's failure to realize its potential. For Iran and the Middle East as a whole to move forward, that tendency needs to be overcome.

Still, just as the oily mess BP's incompetence unleashed has stained our precious Gulf states, so the coup carried out at AIOC's behest continues to stain Iranians' collective memory. The best way to clean up the latter stain is not for Western leaders to apologize to the dictators of Tehran. Rather, they should take seriously the main lesson of the Mosaddegh affair: it doesn't pay to ignore or, worse, undermine Iranians' democratic aspirations in pursuit of short-sighted strategic aims. And they should give moral support to Mosaddegh's contemporary heirs, the brave young men and women in green who daily risk their lives to secure a free and prosperous Iran.

Sohrab Ahmari, a member of the American Islamic Congress's New England Council, is a law student at Northeastern University. His commentary on Iran and democratic reform in the Middle East has also appeared in The Boston Globe, Courrier International, and Harry's Place.

Copyright © 2010 Tehran Bureau

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38 Comments

Six decades passed and I stll remember the day of the coup
,my relatives had to go to hiding ,their lives were disrupted
and their children had to suffer.The apology is for them ,not the government and the present regime. The more pressed on this regime the more misery for people who live there.
Easy for us here to give opinion.

Ali Raouf / July 19, 2010 6:57 PM

Good grief. As if the interests of a marginalized political faction trump the honor of an entire nation.

Can't we hear from Iranian voices here at TB, other than those of disgruntled exiles? I mean, we are talking about a marginalized political faction.

Now, it's fine to read their views from time to time. But it would be more interesting to read perspectives offered by the politically relevant, for a change.

Pirouz / July 19, 2010 7:38 PM

This is outright shameful. This elementary analysys of BP vis a vis Iran does not even live up to Wikipedia's journalistic standards.

Also, if Washington should not apologize to Iran for the crimes committed against that country than can the author of this article at least apologize to me for writing this rubbish? Twenty minutes later and my mind is still trying to make sense of this author's points.

Anonymous / July 19, 2010 8:58 PM

Hardly marginalized. Credit for the 1953 coup belongs to Ayatollahs Kashani and Behbehani rather than to the muppet (Kermit Roosevelt) who was closing down his shop after the failed attempt when the mullahs efforts came to a head. No less than Ayatollah Khomeini carried congratulations on his return to the Shah from the mullahs.

Chuck Hamilton / July 19, 2010 9:26 PM


You ask Western leaders to take seriously the main lesson of the Mosaddegh affair. What is sad, as evident by some of the comments left here, is that many of our own don't get the same message that "it doesn't pay to ignore or, worse, undermine Iranians' democratic aspirations in pursuit of short-sighted strategic aims".

Kia / July 19, 2010 10:56 PM

Thank you so much, Mr Ahmari!
Finally an Iranian, who is not living in the past and does not try to "adjust" this past to the ruling ideology in Iran.
If Iranian expats had insisted earlier on fostering democracy in our country (instead of ideological combats or business), perhaps western nations would have been more reluctant to give moral support to our compatriots in green. I also miss a firm approval for democracy in Iran.

Arshama / July 19, 2010 11:25 PM

I was born in Abadan a year before the coup. My father was one of those who got the oil refinery up-and-going after the British were kicked out. My mother (who's British) tells me how she was shunned by the British wives there because she had married an Iranian (they met while he was studying in England). So there is no doubt that the refinery was in full production. My Mum tells me how my dad poured over manuals nightly, trying to figure out what they needed to do . To assert that the US/UK should not have apologized is ludicrous; it should have apologized decades ago. And it doesn't matter to whom it is addressed. The Iranian people need to hear the West own its mistake. Additionally, to say that some Iranians (clerics etc.), were complicit, is to state the obvious. Any time an imperialist power tries to manipulate, it will seek and support the locals who have an axe to grind. As for the hysteria they whipped up, whenever you have a hungry or corrupt population—due to Britain's pressure—all you have to do to manipulate, is to spend a bit of money.

The point that is not lost to Iranians is that had there not been a coup --> Shah --> oppression --> the need for a revolution (1979), we would not be where we are now.

Nimche Iroony / July 19, 2010 11:42 PM

"Apologizing to the Islamic Republic for an incident that occurred six decades ago allows Iranian leaders to avoid taking responsibility for their mischief abroad and brutality at home."

As law student, the author has certainly some familiarity with logic?

However, one would seriously doubt this judging by this very primitive scribble.

The same author notes: "there is no denying that the coup was a significant blow to Iran's fledgling democratic consciousness and political self-confidence."

So what was it? Was the coup significant or wasn't it?

And what about the funding of Iraq and the push for war with Iran? What about the chemical weapons? What about IR655? etc, etc.

What the clerics do or don't is one matter. The continuous double standards and brutality with which the West has been dealing with Iran, while simultaneously claiming to be "leading the free world" is another.

If this is the non-logic the author uses to write about "democratic reform in the middle east", I suggest he do us all a favor and keep his thoughts to himself.

Houshang / July 20, 2010 3:21 AM

Dear Tehran Bureau,

I think your website content is great as it is and in my opinion we do not need to hear from what Pirouz describes as the "politically relevant" by which I assume he means representatives of the current regime.

I suspect the majority of your readers would not be interested to hear the Hizbollah party line on how the mullahs had nothing to do with the 1953 coup, how the whole world is run by an imperialist-zionist conspiracy, how Iran doesn't stone its own citizens, or rape them in jail and how the present regime is whiter than white etc etc.

Keep up the good work!

Agha Irani / July 20, 2010 5:00 AM

Agha Irani, to be fair has nothing to do with being followers of the "hizbollah party". I guess for you, killers, murderers and rapers are the good guys so long as they wear Armani.

Houshang / July 20, 2010 6:58 AM


Nimche Irooni writes:

"Additionally, to say that some Iranians (clerics etc.), were complicit, is to state the obvious. "

Obvious it is. But the point of the article (and couple of the links) that you are leaving out is that some of these complicits (i.e. clerics) used/are using the coupe to advance their own cause, covering up the side they took at the time. I find this shameless.....

Kia / July 20, 2010 8:23 AM

Houshang,

Killers, murderers and rapists are bad guys whatever they wear.

Most of the "killers, murderers and rapers" of Iranians are the Hizbollahis, not Americans, or Israelis, or British or anyone else, just Hezbollahis. Thats why I don't want to see a pack of lies published here by IRI propagandists.

If you are so worried about the coup, explain the role of Kashani and Khomeini and the other mullahs in overthrowing Mossadegh - don't lie about that like you lie about everything else. Then we can really see who was in the pockets of the West along with the usual suspects you like to blame.

Agha Irani / July 20, 2010 8:23 AM


It's so disheartening to see so many regime apologizers commenting here. I guess it's the oil money at work. The same oil that Mossadegh gave so much to nationalize!

Kia / July 20, 2010 8:41 AM

What's the fuss about guys? Ahrami is the resident neocon. So relax.

It has nothing do with being a regime apologists or Hezbollahi. This author claims to be a "member" of an Islamic organization but the truth is he is the first to call critics anti-Semite. In previous letters (you can search) on the web, he has proven to be an Israeli-Firster.

Let's enjoy the diversity and be happy multiple sides are represented.

Anonymous / July 20, 2010 8:54 PM


Thanks to anonymous for shedding light on the background of the writer.

Jay / July 20, 2010 10:56 PM

Anonymous: I will have to bring up the fact that you unmasked me with the Elders of Zion at Neocon Headquarters on our nightly conference call.

In all seriousness, it's a sad day when self-identifying as Muslim precludes one from speaking out against anti-Semitism. And it's a sad day when labels and innuendos are enough to excuse one from seriously engaging ideas.

Sohrab Ahmari / July 20, 2010 11:39 PM

By the way, just so it's on the record, here's the full text of the -- allegedly damning -- letter I wrote in opposition to a proposal that a certain Norwegian university boycott Israeli academics. The proposal was defeated by the university's Board.

Unlike my interlocutor who posts his smears anonymously, I published this under my real name -- Jay and Anonymous would you be willing to specifically explain how writing this makes one an "Israel-Firster" or a "neocon?"

"Dear Board Members Arnstad and Reinersten,

As a US-based, Iranian-American law student and a strong supporter of a just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I was dismayed to learn that the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) is considering a boycott of Israeli academics and academic institutions. Academic boycott proposals such as the one before the NTNU Board are often driven by anti-semitic biases, are counterproductive to the cause of peace in the Middle East, and stand in breach of the values of free inquiry and academic freedom.

Proposed academic boycotts of Israel have drawn criticism from scholars and students of conscience everywhere because they single out Israel for its alleged violations of international law. The boycotters — who purport to act in the name of universal values — ignore all of the other nations accused of committing human rights violations and choose to condemn Israel, the world’s only Jewish state. This singling out cannot but raise the red flag of anti-semitism to fair-minded observers of the Middle East. This is not to say that Israel is a perfect society or above criticism — no democracy is! But to subject Israel and only Israel to an academic boycott when elsewhere in the region women are regularly stoned to death for adultery and those who would choose to exercise their rights to free speech and assembly are murdered in cold blood should strike you as profoundly troubling.

Moreover, boycott efforts such as the one before you only end up alienating Israeli civil society and barring the kinds of cross-cultural and transnational exchanges that can otherwise serve to build common ground between divided peoples. Boycott proponents typically premise their arguments on the unsound assumption that Israeli civil society in general, and Israeli academics in particular, are in complete agreement with Israeli political leaders and policies. This assumption simply does not comport with the realities of an open and democratic Israel, which boasts fiercely independent academic institutions and benefits from strong traditions of academic dissent. The monolithic and unidimensional caricature of Israeli academics put forth by boycott proponents marginalizes and isolates those Israeli voices who speak out in favor of Jerusalem taking substantial steps towards a lasting peace.

Finally, the boycott proposals violate fundamental principles of academic freedom and open inquiry. As the American Association of University Professors put it in their statement opposing the NTNU proposal, “free discussion among all faculty members worldwide should be encouraged, not inhibited.” As a student, I would always want to hear both sides of a controversial issue. And I’m certain my Norwegian counterparts also appreciate the diversity of ideas and approaches. A boycott of Israeli academics will send the wrong message to your students and your academic community by suggesting that the best way to navigate a highly complex and difficult issue is to silence the other side.

For the above reasons, I urge you to vote against the boycott. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach back out to me.

Sincerely,

Sohrab Ahmari"

Sohrab Ahmari / July 20, 2010 11:52 PM

Ahmari

You called someone anti-Semite because they disagree with you, not because they said anything about Jews. I don't like boycotting Israel but it is not = to anti-Semitism. As a law student you should have better logic.

Plus, where is your letter protecting the Iranian people from sanctions? Does your humanity not include them?

Anonymous / July 21, 2010 3:09 AM

I really enjoyed Mr Ahmari's article.

It acknowledges the historical crimes committed by BP. Acknowledging an injustice is an important step toward healing of the wounds caused by the injustice. And without healing the wounds of the past (including those of June 2009), the Iranian nation cannot become free. Imagine if one day we win the World Cup like Spain... or have students from all over the world wishing to study at our universities... or become a shining example, a beacon for all other peoples, of a nation that turned around from devastating tyranny, to true democracy, rule of law, and incredible prosperity.

We have it in us, Iranians.

However, beyond acknowledgment of the crimes of yesterday, is the more important attitude of self-responsibility.

As long as Iranians keep endlessly blaming dead men on the woes of today, we will not break free from the wretched legacy they left for posterity, and we would not be able to breakthrough into a new dawn.

The attitude and mindset of each individual Iranian will shape the future of Iran. Stop waiting for a strongman to come and rescue us, if that's what you're waiting for.

Liberty takes seed in the hearts of men, women, and children of a nation.

Liberty, freedom, prosperity takes seed in YOUR heart.

I respect that Mr. Ahmari makes self-responsibility and a focus on the democratic aspiration of the people the cornerstone of his article, instead of continuing with the ageold and tired conspiracy theory banter that has sickened the mind of many Iranians, and kept them in a stranglehold of powerlessness, blame, and anger.

Sure, there have been many conspiracies, and sure, there are conspiracies today. But it's a waste of time and energy to become stuck in thinking of hidden enemies as the determinants of our people's destiny!

And for those who expect lengthy essays, this is not the place for it.

Mr. Ahmari has succeeded with his article. He inspired me think critically about the internal role of Iranians in the scandalous coup d'etat of 1953...

... and reminded me that what stands in the way of Iran is as much internal, if not more, than external.

And what ultimately stands in the way of Iran is you and me... our attitudes, our thoughts, our words, and our deeds.

Baa eradat va aarezooye azadi va pishrafte melli baraaye Iran va Iranihaa.

- Saeed

Saeed / July 21, 2010 4:00 AM

Saeed

I agree with you. However, what you wrote about has nothing to do with Ahmaris article. Ahmari thinks by US not apologizing US is supporting democracy in Iran. Where is the logic in this?

Anonymous / July 21, 2010 6:33 AM

Thank you, Sohrab, for writing this intelligent piece. It's ironic that the current regime in Iran criticizes US involvement in the coup against Prime Minister Mossadeq, yet has murdered many of his supporters in the National Front, including Prime Minister Shahpour Bakhtiar and the Forouhars. Although he was flawed, Mossadeq was a patriot who defended Iran's dignity. To him, Iran wasn't just another province of a greater Islamic caliphate. It was a proud, independent nation with over 2,500 years of history. Today, it's a criminal act to publicly wave the national flag (Lion & Sun) in Iran. Yet, it was the flag of the Constitutional Revolution, Mossadeq and Bakhtiar. If Iran's rulers truly want to defend Mossadeq's legacy, then they should end their oppression of dissidents and allow free and fair elections once and for all.

Peter / July 21, 2010 10:23 AM

Norweigans boycott Israeli students and professors?

Would either side notice either way? I'm sure Israelis can find better universities than in Norway, and the Norweigians can find other students to rip-off.

muhammad billy bob / July 21, 2010 5:26 PM

Dear Houshang,


It is incontrovertible that religious supremos eventually turned on Mossadeq, often for narrow, parochial reasons, to their eternal shame.


But this unprincipled author, Sohrab Ahmari, conveniently fails to mention that assaults on the Maraje', both physical and journalistic, helped catalyze this sordid process of alienation.


The attacks were launched by agent-provocateurs posing as Toodehis and Nationalists, paid for and directed by American and British intelligence.


Don't you recall Sohrab Ahmari from his previous effusions on TehranBureau?


I suggest you review the following article and glance at its comments section:


"Resisting the Rhetoric of Proliferation", Sohrab Ahmari, 11/05/2010
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/2010/05/resisting-the-rhetoric-of-proliferation.html


Ahmari's writings on TehranBureau, mostly a jumble of cliches, glaring omissions and non-sequiturs stroking the US Establishment, may yet prove to be part of a much larger resume-padding [and patronage-seeking] effort to grease his ascent from Northeastern to Harvard and on to the remunerative world of Zionist advocacy beyond.


If it does happen, remember: You heard it here first!

Ali from Tehran / July 21, 2010 7:23 PM

I wonder, Ali, if you noted the section of my column where I derided "[t]he worst aspect of the Iranian national psyche: the tendency to seek out the dark machinations of ominously powerful foreign conspirators to explain away Iran's failure to realize its potential."

You are the living embodiment of this tendency.

Sohrab Ahmari / July 21, 2010 8:04 PM

Dear Sohrab,


Your preemptive derision of the Iranian national psyche notwithstanding, I stand by my post.


You are certainly linked to "foreign conspirators," but I wouldn't characterize your stultified patrons as "ominously powerful" masterminds capable of "dark machinations".


Paltry, tactless, lurid and obvious, I would rather say.


And I consider any disparagement coming my way from Yehuda Yaakov's sayanim a badge of honor.

Ali from Tehran / July 21, 2010 9:48 PM

Dear Ali,

How much is Khamenei paying you to write such garbage? Five dollars? Ten? Certainly no more than that. I mean, nobody else uses the phrase "linked to foreign conspirators." Do us a favor and go find something more productive to do.

Peter / July 21, 2010 10:29 PM


Dear Sohrab,

I'm also against the boycott of Israeli academics in any university as much as I'm against the boycott of Iranian academics in any university. But I find your reasoning absurd. Just because NTNU ignores some of other nations accused of committing human rights violations and choose to condemn Israel does not make this necessary wrong. There are so many other instances where other human rights violators are penalized while Israel is not. I agree with NTNU's attempt to punish Israeli policies in principal but believe their approach is counter productive. Students and academics in a society, are usually the most open minded of them. Depriving them of participation in world community in no way alters their government's policies and in fact strengthens the hard-line view there. Besides, as you justly pointed out, university environment is where these issues are to be debated and where you would want all views represented.

And then what does anti-semitism has to do with it. You're following the example of Israeli PR machine labeling anyone and any organization opposition Israeli policies as anti-semite. I really like to know how you reached the conclusion that NTNU's sole purpose has been to single out the "world’s only Jewish state"!!! This is like saying the people opposing Iran's violations of human rights are doing it because Iran is the world's only Shia state"! So lets label them anti-shia and dismiss their grievances instead of addressing the actual human right violations.

Kia / July 21, 2010 10:30 PM

Kia-Jaan,

You are more than welcome to disagree with the content of my letter on principled grounds, which you did. What you are doing is debating in good faith without resorting to bizarre conspiracy theories and character attacks.

I don't think this is an appropriate forum for hashing out the I/P issue. I just posted the letter because "Anonymous" referred to it as evidence of how I am a "neocon" and an "Israel firster." By posting it, I just wanted to clear the air and show that my position is well within the mainstream.

As the letter shows I support the two-state solution and believe that we should be encouraging those elements in Israeli society, including academics, who push for "Jerusalem taking substantial steps towards a lasting peace." This is the same sentiments that you expressed when you wrote: "Students and academics in a society, are usually the most open minded of them. Depriving them of participation in world community in no way alters their government's policies and in fact strengthens the hard-line view there."

Sohrab Ahmari / July 21, 2010 11:02 PM

Dear Peter,


For a nominal fee, I'll tell you what Khamenei pays me for writing garbage.


By the way, the Forouhars and Mossadeq, moral giants all, would turn in their graves to learn that you have lumped them in with the turncoat Bakhtiar.


As a matter of fact, the Forouhars and the National Front disowned Bakhtiar immediately after he accepted the Shah's offer of premiership.


Don't know much history, do you, Peter joon?

Ali from Tehran / July 21, 2010 11:11 PM

Ali Joon Jooni,

If you call what you found on wikipedia "history," then I'll admit that I'm not an eminent historian of Iran like you are. But I am a humanitarian; that is why I'll continue with this feed so that you'll continue to get paid for your brilliant work here. Just out of curiosity, how exactly was Bakhtiar a turncoat? I'd like to get a better sense of your thinking, since now you are defending the Forouhars as "moral giants" even though your masters had them murdered.

Peter / July 22, 2010 8:21 AM

Dear Peter koochooloo,


If you think the National Front's excommunication of Bakhtiar as a turncoat is a figment of my imagination or Wikipaedia's, then it's no wonder you are so enamoured of Sohrab Ahmari's warped narratives.


Birds of a feather, and all that.


Khamenei pays me more when the humanitarian Zionist claque gets riled up, so keep the indignant ripostes coming.


Kol HaKavod!

Ali from Tehran / July 22, 2010 10:41 PM

Anonymous / July 21, 2010 6:33 AM:

You posed a question for me:

"Ahmari thinks by US not apologizing US is supporting democracy in Iran. Where is the logic in this?"

My interpretation of what Ahmari is saying is that the US SHOULD apologize to the PEOPLE of Iran. Perhaps it is simplistic of Mr Ahmari to suggest that the US government shouldn't apologize to the Iranian theocracy, that has committed so many crimes against the Iranian people, because there aren't other viable diplomatic channels at this point.

(or could the US government simply have said "we apologize to the Iranian people"?... I don't know what potential negative consequences that may have had)

However, the situation in Iran after June 2009 is not much different than if a government apologized to Pinochet's administration, with the hopes of reaching the people of Chile.

The regime in Iran is no longer trusted by many Iranians, and many within the ranks of the clergy are guilty of treason against the people of Iran, seemingly including cooperation with foreign conspirators against our nation.

I assume that Mr. Ahmari considers the current Iranian regime to be illegitimate and lacking in credibility, sickly paranoid and constantly on the look-out for an external enemy to blame its own fatal flaws on.

In my view, apologizing to someone who is going to use your apology to defend his own criminality is not a smart and healing action, especially when he is blind and hypocritical when it comes to his own transgressions.

Yet, I am not sure how valid Mr. Ahmari's suggestion is from a diplomatic stance.

It could be even more antagonistic to deliberately bypass a nation's political administration when addressing the nation, with a potential backlash effect being the consequence...

Saeed / July 24, 2010 8:32 AM

BP- that's british petroleum, a U.K. company.

Anyway, regarding government apologies......... I've always been puzzled by government apologies. What is the purpose of such a thing? It's almost always done well after all the principles are dead. It's just words, you know actions speak louder.

When is the Iranian government going to apologize for holding the U.S. embassy hostage, and organizing hostage takings in Lebanon in the 80's? My guess would be never.

When I think of government apologies I always think of the Japanese treatment of the Chinese in WWII. The japanese have issued government apologies (well after the worst offenders are dead) regarding their behavior in China and Korea. But, they still do not teach their childern the horrors that were committed. Actions speak louder than words.

Then there is always the possiblitly of reparations. Upon issuing an apology a nation opens itself up to monetary claims. How would one determine compensation so many years after all those involved are dead and gone? Should people alive today be forced to pay for acts committed by those who are long dead?

muhammad billy bob / July 24, 2010 6:59 PM

"It could be even more antagonistic to deliberately bypass a nation's political administration when addressing the nation, with a potential backlash effect being the consequence..."

That's exactly what Reagan did. He negotiated with Communist leaders but also spoke directly to the people imprisoned behind the Iron Curtain.

Sohrab Ahmari / July 24, 2010 8:44 PM

Sohrab Ahmari,


But did the people behind the iron curtain actually hear what Reagan had to say? I have a Czech friend who knew very little of Reagan, and would certainly not claim he was any inspiration to action.

Words are just that, words. Can anyone take what the Iranian government says seriously? That government is the absolute master of outlandish words of grandeious fantasy dreams. So idiotic are their claims to makes any claim they make unbelieveable. They are the boy that cried wolf.

muhammad billy bob / July 24, 2010 11:20 PM

BTW,

Reagsn was very good at the duplicitious use of words.

His words were of "no negotiation" with Iran for the Lebanese hostages. Yet, he ended up paying them off for their freedom. Thus encouraging such actions in the future. The Iranian government is probably under such illusions that holding 3 hikers will net them some kind of profit because of Reagan.

Muhammad billy bob / July 24, 2010 11:30 PM

This is another piece from a US/Israel apologist.

He says,

"Historians have begun to cast doubt on aspects of this tragedy [of the coup]."

Really? Which historian? Not Mirfetros and Hekmat, I hope. I know no credible historian who has cast doubts on the history of the coup, which was a pure aggression against the Iranian nation. The author himself does not give a link to any of these "historians." Then, he says,

"Nationalization of Iran's oil, some contend, was impossible and unwise to begin with. Even if the West had not prevented nationalization, Iran at the time did not have the capacity to refine, market, or distribute its own oil."

Assuming that this is true (which is not), does it justify looting of Iran's resources, and then staging a coup against the nation because it resisted the looting? Again the author declares something and quickly moves on!

Then, he claims that Clinton and Obama have apologized to Iranians. They never did. Madeleine Albright only expressed mild regrets, but also tried to justify it by bringing up "strategic considerations." Obama has never apologized.

Then, the author shows his true colors by saying that Clinton and Obama should not have apologized. Assuming that the phantom apology actually materialized, why should they not have done it? Even if they did, it was targeted towards the masses not the government. So, what is wrong with that?

No, "hanaa-ye mollaayaan-e efraati digar rangi nadaareh." People know that the sorry state of Iran is purely their fault. But, they also know that, had there not been any 1953 coup, Iran would have been a democracy now. That is where the blame go. The author is simply confused.

Yes, some of the mullahs supported the coup. But they supported it, not designed it, nor did they provide material support for the coup. The decision to stage the coup was made in Washington and London, not in Tehran. The plan was put together by Donald Wilbur, not Kashani. The money was provided by the CIA, not the mullahs. The money was distributed by the treacherous agents of the British empire, such as the Rashidian brothers, not the mullahs. And the Iranian coup "leader" was the pro-Nazi Fazlollah Zahedi who had been imprisoned by the British government a few years earlier for his pro-Nazi tendencies, not Kashani et al.

I suggest that the author preoccupy himself with what he is really good at, namely, providing justifications for the US/Israel crimes. After all, he is really well-known in this area, and is known as a pundit.

Asghar Taragheh / July 26, 2010 8:20 AM

Asghar,

You apparently think nationalization (which means total government control) of the oil industry in Iran was a good thing. And that foreigners who owned such companies were "looting [Iran's] natural resources".

There are many reasons why this is an outdated fantasy of socialists and nationalists utopians. 1) Total government control of any industry is only beneficial to the few politicans and insiders who would be recieving the profits. The average worker is very likely to see no improvement in wages less taxation, and is then subject to the ever more increased control of their lives by said politicans and insiders.One employer is replaced by an even worse emploer. Regardless of their nationality. 2) Foreign ownership of any business is not a bad thing. Businesses provide benefits to their owners, their customers, and their workers. Otherwise, they wouldn't be in business. If any of these people were not benefited there would be no business. There is no looting. There are plenty of foreign owned business operated in the U.S. and around the world. There are plenty of foreign workers in the U.S. and around the world. And only the most dense and out of touch person thinks such people are looting anything.

Now, does this justify any governments intervention into another countries stupid decision? No. A governments only purpose is to defend it's citizens rights to life and liberty, within it's own borders. If it's citizens want to trade elsewhere they take the risk of the stupidity of the utopians in that region.

And then, what does this have to do with Israelis? Would the Israelis like to have a government in Iran that does not threaten them constantly? Of course they would. Anyone would. Is this a crime? Is self defense a crime? Should the Israeli government just sit back and let anyone who wants kill their citizens? This is the most basic function of a government. Protection for their citizens to not be killed. Is it a crime to kill someone who is doing everything they can to kill you? I don't think so. And any objective observer would agree. Those that would disagree are those that want Israel to be eliminated.

Muhammad billy bob / July 26, 2010 6:42 PM