Saturday, December 02, 2006

U.S.- Iran history, beyond the fear

"So warm, gracious and welcoming were the people of Iran, in just two days I felt safer walking the streets of Tehran, a city of 16 million, than I did in Albany. Where was this 'axis of evil'?

"The rhetoric of fear and misinformation often promoted by the U.S. government and news media quickly dissolved as our delegation, Academics For Peace, met face to face last year with former President Mohammad Khatami and various officials in Tehran. As we traveled to Esfahan and Shiraz, the depth and beauty of Iranian culture became readily apparent, and we shed any remaining vestiges of fear. I wondered what was a truthful accounting of U.S. foreign policy with Iran as our delegation began to initiate dialogue between the people of Iran and the U.S. with hopes of preventing a war between our two countries.

"In 2003, Stephen Kinzer, a New York Times correspondent, provided a vivid account of the 1953 CIA-led coup against the democratically elected Iranian prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh. In his best-selling, 'All The Shah's Men,' Mr. Kinzer documented how, during the Eisenhower administration, the CIA's Kermit Roosevelt, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and his brother, CIA director Allen Dulles, subverted this fledgling Iranian democracy.

"Prime Minister Mossadegh was replaced by Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, a brutal dictator who ruled for the next 25 years, thus explaining much of Iran's distrust for the U.S. During the shah's reign, the Iranian oil industry previously nationalized by Mossadegh, was "un-nationalized," with U.S. firms reaping a 40 percent interest. During the shah's reign, the United States also encouraged the beginning of Iran's nuclear industry. In 1979, the shah was deposed resulting in the Islamic Republic of Iran headed by Ayatollah Khomeini.

Why is this history important to us?"

-- John Amidon, Albany (NY) Times-Union, 11/17/2006

Find out here or here. But one hint: when George W. Bush tells us to fear, we should only fear him.

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