The Acts of the Democracies

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Victim Country : Iran

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Generated : 8th December 2023



At the end of the First World War (1918), Iran (or Persia as it was then called) was a monarchy.

The king, Reza Shah, developed his country and called in foreign technicians to help. These included engineers from the UK and countries in Europe. The UK controlled much of the oil development through the company Anglo-Iranian Oil.

In 1941, the UK wanted Iran to expel technicians from Germany as the two countries were at war. Iran refused as it had declared itself neutral. The UK and Russia disregarded this and occupied the country. The UK exiled Reza Shah and took control of communications. The UK placed the exiled king's son, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, onto the throne.

In 1942 USA troops took control of the country's railway line.

After the end of World War II, the USA, UK and Russia withdrew as agreed with the new king. However the victorious allies failed to pay promised compensation for the use of Iran as a supply route during the War.

Free elections brought reformer Mohammed Mossadeq to power.


Coup in Iran (Mossadeq and The Shah)

Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the Shah (king) of Iran takes power in a coup planned and supported by the USA and UK secret services (Operation Ajax). He topples the flourishing and popular democracy of Mohammed Mossadeq.

Mossadeq had stated that the mineral wealth of the country should benefit its citizens. This did not please the Western oil companies. The parliament had nationalised UK oil concessions that were reaping 88% of the profits from the country's oil industry. Iran had offered the UK 25% of the profits. The UK responded by imposing a blockade on Iran and freezing Iranian assets.

After the coup, oil concessions are given to USA and UK companies - Anglo-Iranian Oil is renamed British Petroleum.

Internal dissent is crushed by the secret police. This brutal regime terrorises the country for 25 years and is eventually displaced by Ayatollah Khomeini's equally brutal regime in 1979.

The new regime is described by the USA newspaper, the New York Times (6 August) as "good news indeed" and sends out a chilling warning:

"Underdeveloped countries with rich resources now have an object lesson in the heavy cost that must be paid by one of their number which goes berserk with fanatical nationalism. It is perhaps too much to hope that Iran's experience will prevent the rise of Mossadeqs in other countries, but that experience may at least strengthen the hands of more reasonable and more far-seeing leaders."

In the above quote, fanatical nationalism means being independent economically of the USA while reasonable and far-seeing mean compliant.

The American CIA first uses the term Blowback. It is a metaphor for the unintended consequences of the USA government's international activities that have been kept secret from the American people. The term is coined during the Iranian coup. In Iran, a flourishing democracy is converted to a brutal dictatorship which becomes and anti-West theocracy (rule by religion).

The USA had laid the ground for the coup by paying for stories against Mohammed Mossadeq to be placed in friendly newspapers. According to Richard Cottam, one of the CIA operatives: "Any article I would write - it gave you something of a sense of power - would appear about instantly. They were designed to show Mossadegh as a Communist collaborator and a fanatic." He estimates that 80% of the leading newspapers in the capital, Tehran, were under CIA influence.


Elections in Iran

In regional elections in Iran, agents of the Shah (Reza Pahlavi) raid a religious school and hurl hundreds of students to their deaths from the roof. The regime receives 100% of the vote in an election which registers more votes than there are voters.


USA in Iran (SAVAK)

In Iran, the Shah (king), Reza Pahlavi, sets up a secret police agency (SAVAK). This agency is managed by the USA CIA at all levels of daily operation, including the choice and organization of personnel, selection and operation of equipment, and the running of agents.

SAVAK's torture methods include electric shock, whipping, beating, inserting broken glass and pouring boiling water into the rectum, putting weights to the testicles, and the extraction of teeth and nails.

Iran under the unelected Shah becomes a USA ally and a base for spy operations against the USSR.


Iran (Fall of the Shah)

Iran, under the Western backed Shah of Iran, Reza Pahlavi, executes several government officials. The West does little as the Shah allows oil and business concessions.

The Ayatolla Khomeini overthrows the Shah. The new government has an equally bad human rights record but is denounced by the West because it removes the business concessions enjoyed by Western companies.

The Shah flees to the USA. Iranians occupy the American Embassy demanding the Shah's repatriation. In response, the USA freezes Iran's assets in America. General Mansour Moharari (one of the Shah's torturers) also flees to the USA.

In 1973 USA Senator, Henry Jackson had boasted that "the strength and Western orientation of Israel on the Mediterranean and Iran [under the Shah] on the Persian Gulf [are] two reliable friends of the United States [who] have served to inhibit and contain those irresponsible and radical elements in certain Arab States who, were they free to do so, would pose a grave threat indeed to our principal sources of petroleum in the Persian Gulf".


The Iraq-Iran War

Iraq invades Iran beginning a war that would last for 10 years killing over 1,000,000 people. The USA opposes United Nations condemnation of the invasion and removes Iraq from its list of "nations supporting terrorism".

Iraq is financed by Saudi Arabia and armed by the UK and USA. Ten years later these weapons would be turned towards these supporters.

The USA also sent arms to Iran secretly via Israel; both countries hoping a military coup would take place.


USA, Iraq and Iran

The USA continues to arm Iraq in its war against Iran. The USA CIA is implicated in a number of plots to assassinate the leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini.


USA and Iran

The UK and USA step up naval activity in the Persian Gulf. The USA navy seizes an Iranian ship in international waters near Iran. This is another example of the USA military patrolling provocatively close to Middle Eastern countries.


USA and Iran

The USA bombs oil facilities in Iran.

The USA destroyer, the US Vincennes in Iranian territorial waters, shoots down an Iranian commercial flight (Iran Air 654) in Iranian airspace killing all 286 passengers.

The USA refuses to apologise; vice president, George Bush is quoted in the magazine, Newsweek: "I will never apologise for the United States of America. I don't care what the facts are".


USA and Iran

The USA imposes oil and trade sanctions against Iran. The reasons given are the usual ones of "sponsorship of terrorism, seeking to acquire nuclear arms and hostility to the Middle East peace process".


The USA and the "Axis of Evil"

The USA threatens to attack countries it considers part of an "axis of evil". These countries include Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Libya, Cuba and Sudan. These countries are accused of sponsoring terrorism and amassing weapons of mass destruction.

The USA military budget for 2001 was $ 343,000 million. This is 69% greater than that of the next five highest nations combined. Russia, which has the second largest military budget, spends less than one sixth of the USA budget. The above named "axis of evil" states spend $ 14,400 million combined (4% of the USA budget) with more than half of this amount accounted for by Iran.

None of the "axis" countries is under USA political control.

Ignacio Ramonet, writing for the French newspaper, La Monde states that USA "military domination is now absolute. And the punishment it has inflicted on Afghanistan warns all other countries: anyone opposing the USA will be isolated, devoid of allies, and exposed to the real danger of being bombed back to the stone age. A list of the likely targets has now been publicly announced in the USA press: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, North Korea."

In a speech at West Point on 1 June the USA president said there were 60 countries that were potential targets for regime change.



Iran passes a law raising the minimum age for the death penalty, life sentences and lashes from 15 to 18.

The unelected Guardian Council bans hundreds of candidates from standing in the elections.

In an interview with USA television station, WCBS, in late May USA Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld, discusses whether military force will be used against Iran:

"That's up to the President but the fact is that to the extent that Iran attempts to influence what's taking place in Iraq and tries to make Iraq into their image, we will have to stop it. And to the extent they have people from their Revolutionary Guard in they're attempting to do that, why we'll have to find them and capture them or kill them."

Another USA television station, CNN, asked Assistant Secretary of Defense, Paul Wolfowitz, whether military force will be used to weed out the clerics running the country. His response:

"you know, I think you know, we never rule out that kind of thing."


Iran Under Threat

In late 2006 the USA Treasury threaten UK banks who have business dealings in Iran. One senior executive stated that "the consequences of not toeing the American line on Iran have not yet been made clear, but we were left in no dount that we might not want to find out". The UK government, whose job it is to protect UK citizens and interests, makes no comment. According to the financial section of the UK newspaper, The Independent, "..UK business leaders - traditionally the biggest fans of America - are growing increasingly worried about what [the UK's] 'special relationship' with the US actually entails".

KryssTal Opinion: Welcome to how the rest of the world views the USA.

In January USA forces enter an Iranian consulate in the city of Mosul (northern Iraq) and arrest diplomats. Computer equipment and documents were also taken. Violation of embassies and consulates is not allowed under international law. Even the puppet government in Baghdad call for the release of the diplomats (which the USA ignores). The story is under-reported in the Western media.

The USA orders a second aircraft carrier to the Gulf. The Gulf is the body of water that borders southern Iran.

KryssTal Opinion: One wonders what the reaction would be if two Iranian warships were patrolling the waters off the coast of the USA.

Israeli military begin training to use nuclear weapons against Iran. The USA talks about the use of nuclear "bunker buster" bombs. Such bombs would cause massive nuclear contamination and would violate the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which both the USA and Iran have signed (but not signed by other nuclear powers in the region such as Israel, Pakistan and India). Use of nuclear weapons (especially against a non-nuclear state) would violate the United Nations Charter, other parts of international law, and the constitution of the USA.

Iran has not attacked or threatened to attack any country since the end of World War II. It defended itself when invaded by a USA backed and armed Iraq in the 1980s. Its Uranium enrichment does not violate the Non-Proliferation Treaty. In addition, the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency has found no evidence of a nuclear weapons programme.

Iran does have oil, however, as well as a government that has defied the USA by removing a USA-installed regime in 1979.

The USA accuses Iran of being responsible for the deaths of its occupying forces in Iraq. This is contradicted by the USA's own National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) which asserted in February 2007 that Iran's involvement in Iraq "is not likely to be a major driver of violence" there.

Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies (based in the Netherlands) has analysed the reasons for the USA's threats on Iran:

"U.S. interest in controlling Iran, or at least undermining its independence, sovereignty and potential power, is not a new phenomenon. The U.S. overthrew the democratically elected Iranian leader Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953; installed, armed and protected brutal dictatorships (the Shah of Iran); cut off diplomatic relations and imposed tight economic sanctions (the Islamic Republic from 1979); and provided seed stock for biological weapons, targeting information for chemical weapons, and financial backing for Iran's enemy (Iraq) throughout the years of the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988)."

"The reasons have not changed. Iran is one of only two countries in the Middle East that contains the three prerequisites for indigenous power: oil / wealth, water, large land and population. The only other country is (or was´┐Ż) Iraq."

"Later the U.S. moved strategically to prevent either regional power from challenging overall U.S. domination of the Middle East. It was on that basis that the U.S. backed Saddam Hussein's Iraq throughout the Gulf War - because Iran was stronger, so the U.S. weighed in on the side of the weaker competitor to keep the war going and encourage both regional challengers to waste their blood and treasure fighting each other, rather than turning on the U.S. So U.S. interest has always been in controlling Iran's oil (less for direct access, which was never a real necessity or real problem, than for control of pricing and supply, and to be able to act as guarantor of access for Washington's allies and now competitors such as China and India) and suppressing its regional influence."

Iran arrests fifteen UK sailors after they had "inspected" an Iranian cargo ship. The news is reported in the UK without mention of the Iranian diplomats being held by the USA and without mention of Somalis being flown between countries and questioned by UK and USA officials.

When released the captives are allowed to sell their stories to newspapers, something not normally allowed to UK military personnel. When it later transpires that the sailors had strayed into Iranian waters, the media remain silent.

News items in the USA and UK continue to attack Iran for enriching Uranium while ignoring a story that Russia has begun building floating nuclear power stations for export to energy-hungry developing countries.

KryssTal Opinion: FLOATING nuclear power stations?

The USA leads a campaign to have the United Nations impose sanctions on Iran which is abiding ny the terms of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) that it has signed. Iran also allows inspections of its facilities. This is in contrast with the treatment given to allies of the USA:

The USA has been pressurising the International Atomic Energy Agency to refer Iran to the United Nstions. In one example, David Mulford, the USA Ambassador to India, threatened that country with an end to its nuclear assistance (itself a violation of the NPT) if it failed to vote against Iran (a non-violator of the NPT). This was admitted by Stephen Rademaker, the former USA Assistant Secretary for International Security and Non-proliferation. If so, it makes the referral illegitimate.

The USA continues to violate the United Nations Charter of self determination by running secret operations in Iran to raise ethnic unrest to distabilise the country. Spy planes regularly violate the country's sovereignty (Seymour Hersh, New Yorker, 17th April 2006).

The USA imposes sanctions on Iran's military in October. It then puts pressure on European companies to stop trading with Iran. Germany and France comply after the USA threatens to make life difficult for their financial institutions. The UK company British Petroleum agrees not to trade in Iran.

KryssTal Opinion: The irony here is that British Petroleum began life as The Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and was set up to trade in Iranian oil. The company was evicted from Iran when a democratic government was elected in the late 1940s. The company only returned to Iran when the USA and UK engineered a coup against this government in 1953.

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