Monday, April 6, 2009

Iran History Revisited: Part 14

(See parts 1-13 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 early 1953, the UK imperialist government, the British oil corporation whose property had been nationalized by the Mossadegh government and the Eisenhower Administration’s CIA--in alliance with the Shah of Iran--continued to work for the overthrow of the democratically-elected Mossadegh government.

At the same time, the Tudeh Party attempted to push for a more radical democratization of Iranian society by making the following demands of Mossadegh’s National Front government in 1953: legalize the Tudeh Party; release all Iranian political prisoners; end martial law in Iran’s southern oilfields; expel the U.S. military mission in Iran; reject all foreign military aid to Iran; annul a 1947 U.S.-Iranian agreement; and nationalize the U.S. corporation-owned Bahrein fields in Iran.

To commemorate the first anniversary of the 1952 Iranian uprising which restored the democratically-elected Mossadegh to power, a mass demonstration was then held in Tehran on July 21, 1953 in which 50,000 members and sympathizers of the still formally illegal Tudeh Party participated. The demonstrators supported the call of the National Front regime for a referendum to dissolve the Iranian parliament in early August 1953 and hold more fully democratic elections. Dr. Mossadegh’s National Front government then also demanded in mid-August 1953 that all U.S. government special influence in Iran’s internal political affairs be eliminated and that a democratic republic be established in Iran.

In response, the CIA arranged for a group of pro-Shah Iranian army officers--led by General Zahedi--to pull a coup that overthrew the democratically-elected, anti-imperialist, nationalist government of Mossadegh on August 26, 1953 and restored absolute political power to the Shah of Iran’s monarchical regime. As Mark Zepezauer observed in his 1994 book The CIA’s Greatest Hits, in August 1953 “the CIA” also “paid for pro-Shah street demonstrators, who seized a radio station” and “it took a nine-hour battle in the streets of Tehran, killing hundreds, to remove Mossadegh.” (end of part 14)