They’ve been wanting a war for a long time; since back in the Reagan days. It becomes a prideful thing, once you’ve toppled a government you want it to stay toppled. It was 1953, when the elected Prime Minister of Iran, Mohammed Mossadegh sought to audit the books of the Anglo-Iranian oil company (now BP) when the trouble began. These Iranian radicals had gotten it into their heads that the petroleum reserves buried in the bowels of Iran, somehow belonged to the people of Iran. Clearly, they failed to understand the most basic tenant of Western Capitalism — law and justice are merely slogans chiseled on marble walls, meaningless platitudes, like “in God we trust.” Just a Madison Avenue sales pitch to amuse the elites and pacify the suckers.
These Iranian radicals sought to renegotiate their contract with the Anglo-Iranian oil company and when the oil company refused, the Iranian Parliament voted to nationalize the assets of the Anglo-Iranian oil company, expelling their officers from the country. Of course, we are a bit more sophisticated today. We understand that when a people attempt to take control of assets we covet, the phone rings at the CIA. In response to Iran’s nationalization, the British imposed a worldwide boycott against Iran.
The CIA called the operation TPAJAX. The Brits called it “Operation Boot.” Using the best tools Capitalism has to offer — money, guns and corruption — a coup was organized. With Churchill in London and Eisenhower in the White House, it was like old home week. The old war horses smelling powder, breaking out their soldier uniforms to play again. Mohammed Mossadegh was arrested and tried for treason, replaced by a military General, Zahedi. Zahedi was a short-lived tool used to facilitate the return of the Iranian King. A friendly Iranian King, a friendly King with no interest in auditing the books of the Anglo-Iranian oil company.
Bribing officials, clerics and the military, the CIA hired thugs, criminals and mercenaries, to stage pro-Shah riots, marching on Mossadegh’s residence. Hundreds were killed or injured on the streets of Tehran, a royal decree from a King without any constitutional power dismissed Mossadegh. A decree from an unelected Prime Minister placed the Shah in power for the next twenty-six years. The good guys won… right? Some of Mossadegh’s supporters were executed, others given long prison terms for the crimes of resisting empire.
In a Cold War world, Iran was a bulwark. Like Poland in 1939, Iran was the key. An Iran in a Soviet orbit would endanger the entire Persian Gulf, plus give the Soviet Fleet access to the Indian Ocean. From a paternalistic, imperialistic mindset, the coup was a no-brainer. We were saving those poor devils from ruling themselves, giving them a king, giving them ceremonies and hogwash, giving them parliamentary pleasantries and flag waving memorials, never forgetting who is in charge here. The Shah wore the robe of a benevolent monarch with a well-organized secret police.
The Iranian revolution in 1979 opened a new chapter for a declining American empire trying to maintain its grip. In the end, the Shah used tanks and guns against his citizens, making it clear he was neither benevolent, nor a ruler. A Century of British intervention in Iran and more than twenty-six years of US Imperialism was at an end. A new war with Iran is promptly begun in the corridors of Washington. In Iran, popular support flowed to the most anti-imperialist party — surprise, surprise. When college students occupied the American embassy in Tehran, the Ayatollah Khomeini used the students, giving them tacit support, forcing the government to break its teeth, trying to raise a coalition to oust them. Khomeini grew stronger doing nothing, the opposition grew weaker fighting with each other for a compromise. The hostages languished, American politicians schemed. It was the worst form of treason, negotiating with terrorists to keep Americans held hostage. Reagan Campaign chief and future head of the CIA William Casey flew to Paris to meet with the Iranians, promising them a better deal if they waited. He was accompanied by former CIA head, Reagan running mate and future President George H. W. Bush. The hostages were released as Reagan took the oath of office.
Iranian assets held hostage were released and military procurement contracts completed, despite the US having no official relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran. But Khomeini is a cleric and not a politician, his calling for the export of his Islamic revolution makes great fodder for local consumption, but makes Iran’s chief adversary, Iraq, nervous. Remember that famous photo of Donald Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam Hussein? This is when it was taken, Saddam had his own ambitions, encouraged by his good friends the Saudis and the Americans. He saw an Iranian military depleted by repeated purges and embargoes of US spare parts and thought, why not? Forgetting, the Red Army never fought for Stalin, they fought for Russia.
“He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks.”- Sun Tzu
Almost from the initial failures of the Iraqi Army, Saddam begins using US supplied chemical weapons on the battlefield. (See Rumsfeld photo) In 1982, Reagan issues a National Security Directive stating the US, “could not afford to allow Iraq to lose the war to Iran,” and that the United States “would do whatever was necessary to prevent Iraq from losing the war with Iran.” By removing Iraq from the list of nations supporting terrorism, Reagan opens the door to the world’s arms bazaar, plus gives Iraqi credit to boot. Khomeini’s rhetoric about exporting Islamic revolution doesn’t go down well with the Soviets either, or any other country in the region with minority Islamic populations.
But insanity had not yet fully flowered. In 1985 the Reagan Administration began selling arms to Iran, arming both sides in a war to fund a new war in Central America. Funneling arms through Israel to hide their tracks, Iranian soldiers fired American made anti-tank rockets from Israel to stop Russian built Iraqi tanks, purchased with US tax dollars. In 1988, a US missile Cruiser Vincennes, in Iranian territorial waters, shoots down a civilian airliner killing all 290 people onboard, including 66 children.
In 2010, The US pressured Russia to not sell Iran S-300 anti-aircraft missiles after the US claimed the missiles could be used to protect Iranian nuclear facilities. Let’s look at that logic shall we? Anti-aircraft missiles are defensive in nature, the US is claiming it has a right to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities based on claims of “When did you stop beating your wife?” intelligence. Iran is a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Iran has opened its facilities for international inspection. Iran has publically declared they have no desire to build a bomb.
But, what if Iran did want to build a nuclear weapon… what would their motivation be? To bomb Israel? Come on, to believe that ranks with Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. What could Iran possibly gain by bombing Israel? Israel isn’t their adversary in the Persian Gulf, so why does US propaganda repeat it over and over? Just who is Iran’s adversary in the Persian Gulf? It’s Saudi Arabia, but Americans are unwilling to fight a war over Saudi Arabia. Iran is ringed by powerful neighbors, nuclear Pakistan, nuclear China, nuclear Russia and nuclear India. The US operates client states on the Western and Eastern borders of Iran. So the real question isn’t when the US war with Iran will begin, but when it will end. A war begun nearly thirty-five years ago. It is the culmination of the Great Game in a unipolar world. George H.W. Bush’s “New World Order,” walling off the Persian Gulf, controlling and protecting the oil monopoly.
In 1889, the British Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon, wrote that Iran and its neighbors were “the pieces on a chessboard upon which is being played out a game for the domination of the world,” where “the future of Great Britain, according to this view, will be decided.”
About the author: David Glenn Cox is a senior staff writer for TLR and an award winning author and musician. He is the author of the novel, “The Servants of Pilate.”