Saturday, April 4, 2009

Iran History Revisited: Part 12

(See parts 1-11 below)

In January 2007, the editor-in-chief of the Kuwaiti-based Arab Times, Ahmed Al-Jarallah, reported that “A reliable source said President Bush… held a meeting with Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Robert Gates…and other assistants in the White House where they discussed the plan to attack Iran in minute detail.” Yet in 2009 President Bush’s Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, is still the U.S. Secretary of Defense.

And as Eric Margolis observed in the February 16, 2009 issue of the Khaleeq Times:

“The CIA… funds at least one extremist Pakistani Sunni group that launches raids into Iran, attacking government posts, soldiers and civilians. Further covert American aid goes to armed separatist groups among Iran’s Arab and Azeri minorities…The US Congress has repeatedly voted hundreds of millions for such covert operations.

“The US has also waged a…financial and economic war against…Iran…

“Israeli elections produced a sharp move to the right, increasing chances Israel may make good on threats to attack Iran…”


Yet most U.S. high school social studies departments, ironically, still don’t require their students to study much 20th-century Iranian history.

Although U.S. troops first temporarily appeared on Iranian soil during World War II, it was only in 1946 that the U.S. government began to actively support the build-up of the Shah of Iran’s central government security forces and his Iranian Army. A now de-classified September 11, 1946 dispatch of the Military Attache’ at the British Embassy in Iran, for instance, noted that “The new transport specialist of the United States Advisory Mission to the Persian Army has under consideration a plan for the re-equipment of the army with mechanical transport.”

Despite this U.S. military aid to the Shah of Iran’s regime, however, by 1948 Tudeh Party influence among Iranian university students was also beginning to increase. Around 50 percent of all politically active Iranian students during the 1948-49 academic year, for example, were pro-Tudeh Party in their politics.

In response to the growth of pro-Tudeh Party political activism on campus, Iranian university administrators then issued a decree that banned on-campus political activity by Iranian university students. To protest this decree, Iranian students then went on strike on November 12, 1948 and formed an Anti-Dictatorship Front.

In 1948 and early 1949, the increase in support for the Tudeh Party and for the nationalization of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company continued. A rally at the grave of the Iranian left intellectual Donya magazine founder, Dr. Taghi Erani (who, after being jailed in 1937, had died in prison in 1940 because of prison authority negligence), was scheduled for February 4, 1949.

On February 4, 1949, 30,000 Tudeh Party members and supporters showed up for the rally at Dr. Erani’s grave and peacefully protested in favor of democratization of Iranian society. Elsewhere in Iran at the same time, however, a lone individual who was allegedly a “member” of the Iranian printer’s union attempted to assassinate the Shah of Iran.

This February 4, 1949 attempt on the Shah of Iran’s life was then used as a pretext by the Shah’s regime to proclaim martial law, officially outlaw the Tudeh Party, close leftist newspapers and make mass arrests. Most Tudeh Party and Iranian labor union leaders were imprisoned and tried by the Shah of Iran’s military tribunals. Tudeh Party activists who escaped in the spring of 1949, however, continued to organize underground in support of the political and economic democratization of Iranian society. (end of part 12)

1 comment:

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