Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Iran History Revisited: Part 9

(See parts 1-8 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.

In exchange for the promise by the Shah of Iran’s central government on April 4, 1946 that the Soviet Union would be given an oil concession in the North of Iran, Soviet troops were withdrawn from the northern regions of Iran in May 1946. And on May 1, 1946, 500,000 demonstrators—mainly Tudeh Party members, Iranian trade union members or Tudeh Party sympathizers—also celebrated May Day in Iran and demanded more favorable labor laws, pay raises for Iranian workers and redistribution of Iranian land to Iran’s peasantry.

To block a plot by the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company to destroy the Iranian oil workers union, a general strike was subsequently called in the Khuzistan region of Iran on July 14, 1946, which was suppressed by the Iranian central government, with heavy casualties for the striking Iranian workers. But on August 1, 1946, the Shah of Iran’s regime allowed a new government coalition cabinet to be formed by a Prime Minister named Ghavam, which included 3 Tudeh Party members. It was estimated at this time that the Tudeh Party now had about 50,000 supporters in Tehran and about 50,000 supporters in the rest of the country.

In September 1946, however, the Shah of Iran regime’s Prime Minister Ghavam encouraged a tribal revolt in the southern Iranian province of Fars which demanded both autonomy and the expulsion of Tudeh Party representatives from the Iranian central government’s cabinet. A new cabinet was then formed by Ghavam that excluded Iranian leftists and, in October 1946 an Iranian right-wing offensive against Iranian leftist activists was launched. In November 1946, for example, a strike by Tudeh Party-sponsored unions was again suppressed and hundreds of Tudeh Party members and Iranian labor union members in the southern part of Iran were arrested. To discourage such independent labor militancy in the future, the Shah of Iran’s regime then also set up its own government-sponsored labor unions, established a Ministry of Labor and finally passed a labor code for Iranian workers. (end of part 9)