US Peace Delegation to Iran February 2019 outdoors of Iran’s Overseas Ministry. From CODE PINK.
One of many classes from our current go to to Iran as a Peace Delegation is that Iran is a mature nation. It’s 2,500 years previous, ten occasions as previous as america and one of many world’s oldest steady main civilizations with settlements courting again to 7,000 BC. It was an empire that managed virtually half the Earth for over 1,000 years. It’s onerous to not see the US-Iran relationship as one between an adolescent bully and a mature nation.
The basis explanation for the issues between the USA and Iran just isn’t as a result of Iran has oil, an Islamic authorities, nuclear weapons or Iran’s position within the Center East — it’s as a result of in 1979, Iran ended 26 years of US domination. Overseas Minister Zarif defined to our Peace Delegation:
…the U.S. problem with Iran isn’t due to the area, not due to human rights, not due to weapons, not due to the nuclear situation – it’s simply because we determined to be unbiased – that’s it – that’s our largest crime.
Because the 1979 Revolution, the US has sought to dominate Iran utilizing sanctions and threats of army aggression. Iran has responded by in search of negotiation with the US. The Iran Nuclear Settlement (Joint Complete Plan of Motion, JCPOA), which took over ten years to finalize, was seen by Dr. Zarif as a primary step towards extra agreements.
Though Iran fulfilled its aspect of the nuclear settlement, the US didn’t relieve the sanctions, as promised, and underneath the Trump administration, elevated the sanctions and left the settlement. On our journey, we discovered first hand concerning the impacts of those actions.
Dealing with The Ugly Realities Of US Historical past With Iran
Correcting the connection between the US and Iran begins with an trustworthy evaluate of US coverage since 1953. It’s a document for which the US must be ashamed and exhibits the necessity for a brand new strategy.
Iran Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq
The 1953 Coup
The August 19, 1953 coup was one the US denied for many years however has now been confirmed by paperwork launched by the State Division and the Central Intelligence Company. The British authorities additionally launched paperwork displaying its involvement. Info has been made public over the many years, however even after 65 years, many paperwork about ‘Operation Ajax’ stay categorized.
The coup was led by CIA operative Kermit Roosevelt, the grandson of President Teddy Roosevelt and cousin of President Franklin Roosevelt. The coup not solely impacted Iran however the Center East and was a mannequin for US coups around the globe, which proceed to today. As we write, we’re on our method to Venezuela the place a US-led coup simply failed.
The 1953 coup was preceded by financial sanctions to destabilize the Mossadegh authorities and a Guaido-like pretend Prime Minister. The coup initially failed on August 16 when the Shah fled to Baghdad after which to Rome. Earlier than fleeing, he appointed former Gen. Fazlollah Zahedi as Prime Minister to exchange the elected Prime Minister Mossadegh. Zahedi continued the coup with the army arresting Mossadegh at his house on April 19. When Operation Ajax succeeded, Zahedi turned Prime Minister and the Shah returned to rule as a brutal dictator till 1979. Mossadegh was imprisoned till his dying in 1967.
US Den of Espionage by Barbara Briggs-Letson
Set up Of The Brutal Shah
The Shah turned the enforcer for america within the Center East. His rule coincided with the US conflict in Vietnam when the US targeted its army in Southeast Asia. When President Nixon got here to workplace in 1969, Iran was the single-largest arms purchaser from the US. Nixon inspired a spending spree and by 1972, the Shah bought over $three billion of US arms, a twenty fold improve over 1971’s report.
US weapons shopping for continued all through the last decade dwarfing all US allies together with Israel. The weapons being bought required hundreds of US army help troops in Iran. In 1977, President Carter bought extra arms to Iran than any earlier years. Carter toasted the Shah as “a rock of stability” throughout a go to to Tehran on the finish of 1977.
The steadiness was not as rock strong as Carter imagined. Domestically, a conglomerate of western oil corporations ran the oil business taking fifty % of the income however not permitting Iran to audit the accounts or have members on the board of administrators. The Shah acknowledged Israel and put in place modernization insurance policies that alienated spiritual teams. In 1963, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was arrested for making a speech towards the Shah after a number of days of protests. The Shah’s brutal secret police, the SAVAK, made mass arrests and tortured and killed political prisoners. The Islamic clergy, nonetheless headed by Khomeini dwelling in exile since 1964, turned extra vociferous in its criticisms.
Mass protests and strikes struck Iran in 1978. On November four, 1979, Iranian college students seized the US Embassy and held fifty-two hostages for 444 days till January 1981. Khomeini returned from exile in February 1979. In December, a brand new Structure creating the Islamic Republic was permitted by referendum and Khomeini turned the Supreme Chief.
Graves of martyr’s from the Iraq-Iran Conflict on the central cemetery of Iran’s capital Tehran by Philipp Breu
US Helps Iraq’s Struggle Towards Iran
The Iraq struggle wouldn’t have been potential with out US encouragement and help within the type of cash, naval help and weapons. The US additionally offered Iraq with the components for the chemical weapons in addition to intelligence on the place to make use of them. Multiple million individuals have been killed and greater than 80,000 injured by chemical weapons within the Iraq conflict.
The US Shoots Down A Civilian Airliner
The US additionally killed 289 Iranians when a US missile shot down a business Iranian airliner in July 1988. The US has by no means apologized for this mass killing of civilians. Once we have been in Iran, we visited the Tehran Peace Museum and our delegation did what our nation ought to do, apologized.
Forty Years Of US Financial Sanctions
The US has imposed financial sanctions because the Islamic Revolution started. In 1980, the US broke diplomatic relations with Iran and Carter put in place sanctions together with freezing $12 billion in Iranian belongings and banning imports of Iranian oil. Each president since Carter has escalated sanctions towards Iran. In response, Iran has developed a “resistance financial system” the place it has develop into extra self-sufficient and constructed relationships with different nations.
Announcement of the Iran Nuclear Settlement between six world powers and Iran within the Swiss city of Lausanne (Photograph from CBS Information)
US Withdrawal From Nuclear Settlement And Elevated Sanctions
The newest atrocity is the failure to reside as much as the rigorously negotiated nuclear settlement. Iran’s Overseas Minister Zarif painstakingly negotiated the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal between China, France, Russia, the UK, Germany, the US, and the European Union for greater than a decade. Iran complied with all the necessities of the settlement, however the US didn’t carry sanctions, as promised, and exited the deal underneath President Trump, resulting in protests towards the US all through Iran.
The individuals of Iran have been joyous when the JCPOA was finalized because it promised aid; i.e., the discharge of $29 billion in Iranian funds held overseas, permitting US exports of Iranian oil, permitting overseas companies to spend money on Iran and permitting commerce with the remainder of the world via the worldwide banking system.
As an alternative of abiding by the settlement, the US escalated sanctions towards Iran. Trump’s escalation has been harsh because the US seeks “to isolate Iran politically and economically, by blocking its oil gross sales, entry to exhausting currencies and overseas investments, together with extra harsh sanctions and general monetary hardships on the nation.” Sanctions embrace secondary sanctions on non-US firms and nations doing enterprise with Iran, which the Worldwide Felony Courtroom discovered to be unlawful.
These sanctions are having a big human impression. They’re inflicting a speedy devaluation of Iranian foreign money leading to growing prices of primary items, together with a tripling of the price of imported items similar to automobiles. Once we have been in Iran, we heard firsthand concerning the influence sanctions have on individuals’s lives; e.g., the lack to get life-saving medicines, make monetary transactions, use apps or translate books from the US into Farsi. In a restaurant, the menu warned costs will not be as listed due to speedy inflation. We interviewed Dr. Foad Izadi of the College of Tehran on Clearing the FOG concerning the influence of the sanctions and the way US insurance policies are alienating youth.
We hung out on the College of Tehran with college students and school within the American Research division. They have been excited to talk with individuals from the USA, as few individuals from the US are capable of get visas, they usually lamented not being allowed to journey to the US. We discovered that we now have a lot in widespread and consider we might profit from extra exchanges with Iranians.
Ongoing US Destabilization Iran And Threats Of Struggle
Sanctions are designed to destabilize the federal government however are as an alternative uniting individuals towards the USA. If something, US actions will put in place a extra anti-US authorities in upcoming elections. The US has a flawed understanding of Iranian politics and international politics round US unilateral sanctions. The Iran sanctions are more likely to velocity up the de-dollarization of the worldwide financial system and finish US greenback hegemony and are unlawful.
The US can also be fomenting revolt. The Trump administration has been in search of regime change by way of numerous actions together with violence. It created a Mission Middle within the CIA targeted on regime change in Iran and spends tens of millions of dollars to encourage opposition in Iran, working to control protests to help a US agenda. The specter of warfare continues and turns into ever extra doubtless in an administration dominated by Iran hawks, John Bolton and Mike Pompeo.
US army bases round Iran
Creating A Peaceable, Constructive Relationship Between The US And Iran
The historical past of US conduct towards Iran can’t be ethically defended. The US must appraise this historical past and acknowledge it has quite a bit for which to apologize, then it should right its insurance policies.
A gaggle of outstanding Iranian-People just lately despatched an open letter to Secretary Pompeo, writing:
In case you really want to assist the individuals of Iran, carry the journey ban [although no Iranian has ever been involved in a terrorist attack on U.S. soil, Iran is included in Trump’s Muslim ban]adhere to the Iran nuclear deal and supply the individuals of Iran the financial aid they have been promised and have eagerly awaited for 3 years.
Till the US is able to settle for duty for its abhorrent actions, Iran will proceed to construct a resistance financial system and relations with different nations. There’s speak of US-sanctioned nations becoming a member of collectively as a countervailing drive. Such nations embrace Russia, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, Somalia, Belarus, Iraq, quite a lot of African nations and extra, in addition to China with US commerce tariffs. Constructing relationships by way of civil society, academia, skilled societies, and authorities are wanted to create a unified opposition to problem US sanctions.
Our duties within the US are to create alternatives for higher information about and exchanges with Iran. College students on the College of Tehran are desirous about dialogue with college students and professors within the US. Members of the peace delegation reside in areas throughout the US and may converse to teams about Iran. Contact us at [email protected] in case you are serious about any of the above. We should educate our members of Congress about Iran and demand that the sanctions be lifted and that the US rejoin the JCPOA, and we should cease the threats of warfare towards Iran.