Monday, April 27, 2009

Iran History Revisited: Part 30

(See parts 1-29 below)

On April 14, 2009, the World Jewish Congress’s website noted that “Israeli president Shimon Peres has warned that military action against Iran would still be needed if U.S. president Barack Obama’s new diplomatic initiative fails” and “warned that if talks do not soften Ahmadnejad’s approach, ` we will strike him.’…”

And an article by Sheera Frenkel that was posted on the London Times website on April 18, 2009 also stated:

“The Israeli military is preparing itself to launch a massive aerial assault on Iran's nuclear facilities within days of being given the go-ahead by its new government.

“Among the steps taken to ready Israeli forces for what would be a risky raid requiring pinpoint aerial strikes are the acquisition of three Airborne Warning and Control (AWAC) aircraft and regional missions to simulate the attack.

“Two nationwide civil defence drills will help to prepare the public for the retaliation that Israel could face.

“`Israel wants to know that if its forces were given the green light they could strike at Iran in a matter of days, even hours. They are making preparations on every level for this eventuality. The message to Iran is that the threat is not just words,’ one senior defence official told The Times

“`We would not make the threat [against Iran] without the force to back it. There has been a recent move, a number of on-the-ground preparations, that indicate Israel's willingness to act,' said another official from Israel's intelligence community.

“He added that it was unlikely that Israel would carry out the attack without receiving at least tacit approval from America...”

Yet much of the hidden history of Iran since the CIA helped the Shah of Iran set up a police state in Iran prior to the 1979 Iranian Revolution still remains unknown to many U.S. voters in 2009.

By 1997, young people in Iran composed 25 percent of Iran’s population of 67 million; and the number of university students in Iran had grown from only 160,000 in 1977 to 1.25 million in 1997, as a result of the Iranian government’s increased investment in Iranian higher education.

During the 1990s, however, the Iranian government began to privatize Iran’s economy more by transferring control of state-run enterprises to Islamic clergy-controlled private foundations, thus turning these foundations into powerful business corporations, according to the 2006 Democracy In Iran book.

The size of Iran’s college-educated middle-class also began to increase in the 1990s; and this seemed to lead to increased political support for Iranian electoral candidates who favored more liberalization and more democratization of Iranian society.

The conservative clerical political leadership in Iran, however, responded to the 1990s electoral success of candidates favoring more democratization and liberalization by shutting down 19 pro-reformist newspapers in Iran in May 1999; and by disqualifying 3,600 candidates who favored more democratization, including 80 incumbent candidates, from participating in the 2004 Iranian parliamentary elections.

Although U.S. Secretary of State Clinton’s husband-—former Democratic President Bill Clinton--signed an executive order banning all U.S. trade and investment in Iran in May 1995, European governments have adopted less hostile economic policies in relation to Iran than has the U.S. government, in recent years.

In Iran, “European multinational companies” have “formed business partnerships in various sectors of the economy—including oil and gas, telecommunications, consumer electronics and automotive—especially after a bill in 2002,” passed by Iran’s parliament, “eased some of the restrictions on foreign investments,” according to the Democracy In Iran book.

After the former Mayor of Tehran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was elected president of Iran in June 2005 with 62 percent of the Iranian popular vote, on a platform of pledging to redistribute more of the wealth of Iran to the most impoverished people in Iran, both the Republican Bush Administration and the Israeli government seemed more eager to launch a military attack on Iran.

But, as this revisiting of Iran’s history has shown, people in Iran have suffered, historically, as a result of U.S. intervention in Iran’s internal political affairs since World War II. And a U.S. government-supported Israeli military attack against Iran in 2009--regardless of which pretext is used by the Obama-Clinton Administration or the Netanyanu Israeli government--will likely create additional suffering for people in Iran.

So it’s not surprising that a February 2007 statement issued by the political committee of The Union of Iranian Socialists in North America declared that “The people of Iran vehemently oppose the intervention of any foreign power in their country” and “any kind of aggressive actions by the U.S. and its allies, either military or economic, should be condemned by progressive anti-war activists.” (end of article)

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