The day has arrived! Congress is back from one of its endless month long vacations and they are ready to work (snark snark)……and high on the agenda is the Iran Deal that has been all the rage for about 4 months.
The prez has his veto proof but he still needs more senators to join him to keep the anti-deal bill from coming up for a vote. The Israelis and their front man, AIPAC, will be working overtime and spending lots of cash to bribe the senators into opposing the deal in all its forms…..let the fun begin!
I have people I know that oppose the nuke deal with Iran…..one of their reasons is the placards they have seen at protests on TV that read….”Death To America”……they use this to illustrate Iran is not untrustworthy and their hatred for the US. I point out that the people leading those protests are the same people that stormed in the embassy in 1979 or what could be called the “Old Guard”. And like most people I know they do not want to hear the possibility that the ‘dislike’ could be well founded. I also try to point out that Saddam had a massive following at rallies but that was short lived when people did not have to show up……the same in Iran.
Okay it is time for the history lesson you knew was coming, right?
Since WW1 Iran was occupied by foreign forces……at this time by Russia, British and Ottoman…….after the war came a wide range of governments most of whom were basically ineffective……in 1935 Persia officially changes its name to that of Iran….then in 1941 Iran became pro-Axis in World War II leads to the Anglo-Russian occupation of Iran and the deposition of the Shah in favor of his son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi……..in 1950 a man named Ali Razmara becomes prime minister and is assassinated less than nine months later. He is succeeded by the nationalist, Mohammad Mossadeq and this is where the events really turn against the US….
In 1951, Parliament votes to nationalize the oil industry, which is dominated by the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. Britain imposes an embargo and a blockade, halting oil exports and hitting the economy. A power struggle between the Shah and Mossadeq ensues and the Shah flees the country in August 1953.
Big oil took exception to the move to nationalization and in 1953 Mossadeq is overthrown in a coup engineered by the British and American intelligence services. General Fazlollah Zahedi is proclaimed as prime minister and the Shah returns. (strike one)
In 1963 was a major turning point in the rule of the shah……The Shah embarks on a campaign to modernize and westernize the country. He launches the ‘White Revolution’, a program of land reform and social and economic modernization. During the late 1960’s the Shah became increasingly dependent on the secret police (SAVAK) in controlling those opposition movements critical of his reforms.
The secret police became a unit of oppression of the Iranian people and the US was heavily invested in the group……with training and support….(strike two)
Iranian society continued to deteriorate and become more and more oppressive until 1978……The Shah’s policies alienate the clergy and his authoritarian rule leads to riots, strikes and mass demonstrations. Martial law is imposed. America was viewed as the master of the shah and his oppressive ways. (Strike three)
Until finally in1979……..The Islamic fundamentalist, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, returns to Iran following 14 years of exile in Iraq and France for opposing the regime. Islamic militants take 52 Americans hostage inside the US embassy in Tehran. They demand the extradition of the Shah, in the US at the time for medical treatment, to face trial in Iran.
And so the hatred begins in earnest.
I wish this was the end of the story ….but nope just about the middle of said tale……
Now enter Saddam and Iraq…….in 1980 the start of Iran-Iraq war which lasts for eight years. During the war years the US is a major benefactor of Saddam to the tune of billions of dollars for supplies and aid and after years of blood shed the war comes to an end……1988 – Iran accepts a ceasefire agreement with Iraq following negotiations in Geneva under the aegis of the UN.
This is where my history lesson of modern Iran ends (a simple and short history at that)…….it is fairly easy to see why from an Iranian point of view that the US has had its hand in trying to control the destiny of the country and its people…..keep in mind that there are relatively few middle aged Iranians, especially men, because so many had been sacrificed during the 8 years of war with Iraq…….about one million Iranians died fighting Iraq.
It is understandable that the Old Guard recalls the US involvement in their country and still resent us for that interference…..as Americans still resent Iranians for the taking of the hostages in 1979…..
I know this post will change few minds about Iran…..all I hoped to accomplish was to illustrate how the older Iranians see America………
The question was asked and now it has been answered……may not be the answer that some would have wanted…..but it does explain the dislike for the US…….probably will not change any minds but I did what I always do…..try to help people understand a complex issue.
Turn The Page!