“Iranian scientists have run computer simulations for a nuclear weapon that would produce more than triple the explosive force of the World War II bomb that destroyed Hiroshima,” according to the Associated Press.
So here we go again: forces at work creating fear based on false data, drumming up public support for a military response to Iran’s nuclear threat. That fabrication is not any different from the “mushroom cloud” metaphor used to garner public support for the invasion of Iraq.
If people know the reasons why the United States and Iran hate each other, it should alert them to the possibility that such a claim may be false. The roots of the U.S.-Iran relationship of hate and mistrust go back some 60 years.
In 1953, the CIA overthrew Iran’s democracy
The United States and Great Britain covertly plotted a military coup that ousted Iran’s democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh and returned the former monarch, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to power.
In 1963, the Iranian Revolution deposed the U.S. installed Pro-American Shah
Shia cleric Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini led an uprising in opposition to the Shah. The Shah shut down the opposition, arrested Khomeini, and forced him into exile.
In 1979, strikes and demonstrations paralyzed Iran, this time forcing the Shah into exile. Khomeini returned to establish an Islamic republic, and became the countries spiritual and political leader.
Soon after the Shah’s exile, with President Jimmy Carter’s approval, he traveled to the U.S. for cancer treatment.
On November 4, 1979, demanding that the Shah be returned to Iran for trial and execution, Islamist overran the U.S. embassy in Tehran. They took 52 hostages and held them for 444 days, which created a major crisis for President Jimmy Carter to the end of his presidency.
In 1981, as Ronald Reagan was reciting his oath of office, the 52 American hostages were released. “The Iranians’ message was blunt and unambiguous: Carter and his administration had been punished for America’s sins against Iran, and Reagan was being offered a conciliatory gesture in anticipation of improved behavior by Washington,” according to the Washington Post.
President Reagan, in collusion with Israel, unlawfully sold weapons to Iran in an arms-for-hostages deal
Known as the Iran-Contra Affair, President Reagan’s administration secretly arranged to finance Nicaraguan contra rebels with funds from profits derived from selling weapons to Iran via Israel. It was an arms-for-hostages deal for the release of American hostages held by pro-Iranian groups in Lebanon.
Throughout President Reagan’s presidency, his administration supported Iraq in their war with Iran
In 1984, Reagan established full diplomatic relations with Saddam Hussein by removing Iraq from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism.
During the war, the Reagan Administration approved the sale of weapons to Iraq, including chemical and biological weapons, which Iraq used against the Iranians.
In 1987 and 1988, Reagan attacked Iran in protection of Kuwaiti shipping during the Iran-Iraq War
In 1987, the U.S. Navy attacked two Iranian oil platforms in the Persian Gulf in response to an Iranian missile attack on a Kuwaiti oil tanker.
Reagan authorized the U.S. Navy to attack the Iranian Navy and gulf observation platforms in 1988 in retaliation for damages to a Navy Ship by an Iranian mine in the Persian Gulf.
In 1988, a Navy guided missile cruiser shot down Iranian Airbus A300B2, a scheduled commercial flight in Iranian airspace, in which 290 civilians, including 66 children, were killed.
In 1953, through President Dwight Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” program, the first nuclear reactors were built in Iran under Shah Pahlavi. President Gerald Ford assisted Iran in building about two dozen nuclear energy plants. With the overthrow of the Shah in 1979, the U.S. stopped cooperating with Iran’s building of nuclear reactors. Today there is a threat of war over the likelihood that Iran’s nuclear energy development will also be used to develop nuclear weapons, a continuation 60 years later of the same nuclear program we helped them initiate in 1953.
Since 1979, Iranian assets have been frozen and economic, scientific, and military sanctions against Iran have increased.
For thirty-four years, the U.S. has been holding a grudge against Iran for their people’s audacity to stand up against America’s puppet government, exile its king (the Shah), occupy its embassy and keep its occupants hostage for 444 days.
This will continue as long as there is no serious attempt at reconciliation and negotiation. It will continue as long as Americans buy without scrutiny what the government, media, and seemingly authoritative and credentialed sources are selling. They will drum up more lies, misinformation, and ways of demonizing Iran to the extent Americans will support the military option, just as they did in Iraq, and at some point the U.S. will eventually attack Iran.
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei said, “We believe that nuclear weapons must be eliminated. We don’t want to build atomic weapons.” In 2005, he proclaimed an edict banning nuclear weapons, which is regarded as binding in Iran.
Iran is not a threat to the U.S. or to world peace. Iran has not been aggressive or started a war in almost 200 years. It would be nice if the United States could make the same claim.