Home OPINION COMMENTARY History Of US-Iran Relations, By Idrees Devries

History Of US-Iran Relations, By Idrees Devries

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Persia, as Iran was known at the start of the 20th century, was occupied militarily by Great-Britain in 1918. In 1921 the British appointed the head of the Cossack Brigade of the Iranian army, a certain Reza Khan, as ruler of the country. In 1925 he crowned himself to “Shah Reza Pahlavi of Persia” and he gave the British everything they wanted in Iran, including total control over Iranian oil production, refining and marketing. This is one of the reasons why Iran was the most important source of fuel for the British army before the start of World War II.

After Nazi Germany’s invasion of Russia in 1941 Iran grew in geopolitical importance. In the face of a common enemy Great-Britain and the Soviet Union quickly partnered up and Iran became part of their mutual supply line. On the 25th of August 1941 Britain and Russia therefore sent armies into Iran, to bring the country under their direct control and ensure a stable and secure Iran that could fully support the allied war effort. Shah Reza Pahlavi was seen as an obstacle to achieving this aim, since he was deeply despised by his people because of the tyranny of his rule. The British therefore removed him from his position and replaced him with his son Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. Britain wanted to keep Iranian rule in the Pahlavi family as they feared that otherwise the British hand behind the tyranny of Pahlavi the elder might be exposed.
In 1942 America joined the allied camp. As one of the main suppliers of Russia it too sent troops into Iran. The Americans deeply despised the Pahlavi family because they had kept American oil companies out of Iran for decades despite immense American pressure on them to open up the Iranian oil industry to “international competition”. Nevertheless, because the war effort required it America entered into various agreements with Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi to organize the American involvement in Iran. The Americans were hopeful, also, that longer term these agreements would be helpful in removing the Shah from power, or at least weaken his influence in the country. These treaties put the Iranian army, police, internal security service and public finances under control of American advisors. In a letter addressed to the then American president Franklin D. Roosevelt, Wallace Murray, advisor to the American president for international relations, wrote: “The obvious fact is that we shall soon be in the position of actually ‘running’ Iran through an impressive body of American advisers”.
The American mission with the responsibility of organizing Iran’s internal security organization the Royal Gendarmerie operated under the code-name GENMISH. It was headed by Colonel Norman H. Schwarzkopf [5] whose main objective was to build an institution that could ensure stability and security in Iran, such that the country would no longer need allied soldiers for these purposes. The Americans therefore turned the Royal Gendarmerie into a military organization. After World War II the relationship between America and the Royal Gendarmerie was maintained and in 1950 it was even further expanded through the signing of the United Security Pact by Iran and America. Following this Treaty the Royal Gendarmerie grew in size, from approximately 35.000 men to over 70.000, and officers were sent to America for training. The Gendarmerie then took responsibility for stability and security in over 80% of Iran, mostly the rural areas outside of the cities.
All this made Colonel Schwarzkopf a powerful and influential man in Iran, especially amongst the traditional tribal elders. In a telegram to the American ambassador in Iran, John C. Wiley, Schwarzkopf claimed that 88 members of the Iranian parliament (Majlis) obeyed his commands.
Mossadeq, America’s agent in Iran
After World War II the British tried hard to maintain their control over the Iranian oil industry through the Anglo-Persian oil company (later British Petroleum). Anglo-Persian controlled the production, refining and marketing of Iranian oil. From 1945 to 1950 this earned it over 250 million pounds sterling. Over the same period Iran made just 90 million pounds on its oil, even less than what the British government made from taxes on Anglo-Persian.
Because of the Iranian oil, but also because of the influence that could be projected over the Middle East from Iran, both the Soviet Union and America worked to take over the “Persian Prize” from Great-Britain.
The Americans had a number of CIA agents stationed in Iran who worked to find potential agents amongst the Iranian political and financial elite. On behalf of the CIA a certain Dr. Taqi Nasr approached crown prince Abdoreza and General Ali Razmara. The latter gave the impression he was willing to work with the Americans to further his own career. Razmara told Dr. Taqi Nasr that if the Americans would support him to become prime-minister of Iran, he would make Dr. Nasr minister of economy, start an anti-corruption campaign to British agents from influential circles in Iran, and break the Anglo-Persian monopoly. In 1950 Washington ordered its ambassador in Iran John C. Wiley to “urge” the Shah to appoint general Razmara as prime-minister. The Shah heeded the advice.
Following his appointment as prime-minister general Razmara indeed implemented far reaching reforms. He fired some 400 high-placed civil servants and signed the “Point Four” agreement with America, which enabled the Americans to buy influence in Iran under the guise of economic support. In the matter of Anglo-Persian, however, Razmara did not do as the American wanted and expected from him. He signed an agreement with Anglo-Persian which legitimized the latter’s control over Iranian oil. Shortly after this, Razmara was murdered.
The Majlis, where Colonal Schwarzkopf was so influential, then pressured the Shah to appoint Mohammed Mossadeq in place of Razmara. Until 1919 Mossadeq had been a very important Iranian politician. Because he was against the British influence in Iran, he was forced to leave the country in that year. In 1921 the British through Reza Khan invited him back to the country, with the aim of utilizing his influence to solidify Khan’s position. Mossadeq accepted the invitation to return to Iranian politics, but when Khan crowned himself Shah in 1925 he argued so strongly against this move that again he was sidelined.
Mossadeq hated Great-Britain because of this, which made the Americans interested in his person. America saw Mossadeq as a person who could help them remove the British influence in Iran, so they kept an eye on him. In 1944 the American consul in Tehran reported back home that Mossadeq was “a very popular man in Iran, and his words carry a great deal of weight”.
Indeed Mossadeq’s first deed after being appointed prime-minister was to nationalize the Iranian oil industry. The British were absolutely furious and developed a plan to have its military invade Iran just as in 1918. When they approached the Americans with this plan to get their endorsement, however, the Americans refused and flatly told the British they would not tolerate any military moves against Iran. America took Mossadeq’s side and forced the British to enter negotiations. This the British refused. Instead, through the United Nations Great-Britain organized a global embargo on Iranian oil and it instructed its agents on the ground in Iran to organize a military coup against Mossadeq. America was displeased with the British initiatives. The oil embargo upset the global oil markets. There was a concern in Washington also that the Soviet Union might try to make use of the instability caused by a military take-over and launch a counter-coup to establish a communist regime in Iran. America’s ability to go against Britain was limited, however, as it needed British support in the Cold War against communism, especially in the Korean Peninsula were America was fighting a war at the time.
Therefore, America began to put pressure on Mossadeq. It wanted him to make a deal with Great-Britain. Mossadeq, however, refused to compromise and in discussions with the British refused to give in on critical subjects. Some within the American administration saw this as betrayal and suspected Mossadeq of working with the Iranian communists. The CIA was therefore ordered to organize a coup against Mossadeq. In 1953 the CIA operation “Ajax” was executed and Mossadeq was removed from power.
America and the Shah
Operation Ajax returned Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi to power. He knew who he had to thank for his position. It is said that in front of Kermit Roosevelt Jr, head of the CIA in Iran, he remarked that he realized he owned his thrown “to God, my people, my army – and you”.
The return of the Shah saw an increase in the American influence in Iran.
The CIA organized for the Shah a new internal security organization named SAVAK. Colonel Schwarzkopf returned to Iran in 1955 to take responsibility for this operation.
America also supported the Shah financially. It gave him $68 million following his return to power, approximately one-third of the oil revenues the Iranian state had missed out on due to the British embargo. During the remainder of the 1950’s America would lend the Shah a further $300 million for economic development, and $600 million to equip his army.
All this firmly established the Shah in his position, to the point that he began dreaming of a future independent from America. His policies began focusing on turning Iran into a regional power, willing to compete with America for influence in the greater Middle East, and he began spending large amounts of money to build the strongest army in his region. America did not like this as it threatened to upset the regional balance of power, which could push Saudi-Arabia back into the hands of Great-Britain.
When the Shah also began threatening America, his fate was sealed. In an interview with U.S. News and World Magazine in 1976 the Shah said about America’s power and influence in Iran: “But if you try to take an unfriendly attitude toward my country, we can hurt you as badly if not more so than you can hurt us. Not just through oil – we can create trouble for you in the region. If you force us to change our friendly attitude, the repercussions will be immeasurable”. America was furious and decided to remove the Shah from power.
America and Ayatollah Khomeini’s “Islamic Revolution”
American began to search for a party that could take over power from the Shah. Various diplomats and advisors to the American government were sent to Iran under false pretexts, to analyze the domestic Iranian situation and identify alternatives for the Shah that could be acceptable to America. Henry Precht, one of the diplomats involved in Iran at the time, described these missions in the following manner: “To ensure access to Iran’s new political elite and establish a pro-American regime in Iran”. [18] William H. Sullivan, the American ambassador to Iran from 1977 to 1979, said about this period: “But in the spring of 1978 (exactly one year before the Islamic revolution) the situations were changed and we seized the opportunity … our Embassy developed its contact networks within the Iranian dissidents and won their confidence … Most of them were surprised by our opinions and the fact that how much our opinions were close to them … he [the Shah] often asked me, ‘What are your Mullah friends doing?’.”
When the diplomats and advisors returned to Washington a decision was taken to support the Islamic opposition to the Shah. The national opposition was deemed too weak, namely, while the communist opposition was too closely aligned with the Soviet Union. This Islamic opposition was lead by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Khomeini had lived in Najaf, Iraq, for many years, from which he organized his opposition to the Shah. In 1978, however, Saddam Hussein expelled him, following which he took up residence in a suburb of Paris, France, called Neauphle le Chateau.
While in Najaf Khomeini had already been visited by the Americans. Richard Cottam, a member of the CIA organized that had lead the 1953 coup against Mossadeq, had met and discussed with Khomeini in Najaf on behalf of the American government. Cottam had learned at that time that Khomeini was concerned about a communist take-over in Iran, and that hence he wanted to be careful in his attempt to organize a coup against the Shah so as not to give the communist the chance to make use of the situation. Khomeini asked Cottam to communicate to his masters in Washington that he, Khomeini, would be looking to America for support against a communist coup in Iran.
America also sent representatives to Neauphle le Chateau to continue discussions and negotiations with Khomeini and his entourage there. In October of 1978 Khomeini and America reached an official agreement under which Khomeini promised to cooperate with America, if America helped him to topple the Shah and following the revolution would not interfere in domestic Iranian affairs. The Americans agreed to this.
The American president Carter then sent General Robert Huyser to Iran to ensure support for the revolution amongst the Iranian generals.
Huyser arrived in Iran on the 4th of January 1979. His message so the Iranian generals was that if they did not support Khomeini’s revolution, through not interfering, the communists would certainly make use of the situation to make Iran a communist state. On the 18th of March 1979 the Kuwaiti newspaper Al Watan reported: “At the last moment, the United States have explicitly asked the leaders of the army and the generals to take this position, and the American State Department urged its ambassador to convince, as soon as possible, the most prominent generals to not intervene and declare their neutrality in case of political conflicts”.
President Carter, in his memoires, confirmed that Huyser had indeed been sent with this mission: “Huyser was of the opinion that the army had made sufficient plans to protect its equipment and facilities and that it would not come onto the streets. He had dissuaded some of its leaders from the idea of attempting a coup”.
And the Shah understood Huyser’s visit in the exact same manner. In his memoires he said he had been surprised by the arrival in Tehran of Huyser in January of 1979, because Huyser had not informed him of his travel plans. The Shah said that the general “had come to Tehran a number of times, scheduling his visits well in advance to discuss military affairs with me and my generals”.
However this time the Shah was not informed. The Shah further said that about Huyser’s mission: “Huyser succeeded in winning over my last chief of staff, General Ghara-Baghi, whose later behavior leads me to believe that he was a traitor. He asked Ghara-Baghi to arrange a meeting for him with Mehdi Bazargan, the human rights lawyer who became Khomeini’s First Prime Minister. The General informed me of Huyser’s request before I left, but I have no idea of what ensued. I do know that Ghara-Baghi used his authority to prevent military action against Khomeini.
He alone knows what decisions were made and the price paid. It is perhaps significant that although all my generals were executed, only General Ghara-Baghi was spared. His savior was Behdi Bazargan.”.
On the 14th of January 1979 the American ambassador then organized a meeting between Ebrahim Yazedi, an assistant of Khomeini, and representatives from the American State Department. Yazedi had lived in America for a long time. In 1961 he had been forced to flee Iran because of his opposition to the Shah, after which he resettled in America.
There he had developed close ties with the CIA and the American State Department. Eventually he had even become an American national. During the meeting Warren Zimmerman, on behalf of the American State Department, told Yazedi to communicate a message to Khomeini: Khomeini had to wait and not return to Iran until Huyser had made the necessary arrangements with the Iranian generals.
Then on the 26th of January the American diplomat Ramsey Clark met with Khomeini in Neauphle le Chateau. After the meeting Clark told journalists: “I have a great hope that this revolution will bring social justice to the Iranian people”. [27] In other words, the revolution had been arranged and was ready to be executed.
On the 1st of February Khomeini then boarded a chartered Air France plane that took him from Paris to Tehran. The Shah was outside of Iran at that moment, according to official statement on “on vacation”. It was clear, however, that he knew what was coming and had fled Iran knowing that he was unable to stop it. On the 4th of February Khomeini took formal control of Iran and appointed an interim-government. At the head of this government he placed Mehdi Bazargan
Bazargan had been one of Iranian America’s informants during 1978. On behalf of the American government John Stempel, Henry Precht, Warren Zimmerman en Richard Cottam all had had meetings with the Iranian Freedom Movement which was lead by Bazargan. Through this Freedom Movement America remained in close contact with Bazargan during the first months of the revolution.
On the 14th of February Bazargan appointed the other members of his cabinet. The important posts of second prime-minister and foreign minister went to Abbas Amir-Entezam and Karim Sanjabi. Amir-Entezam was appointed second prime-minister. He had lived in America for 20 years and had been in contact with the CIA since the days of Mossadeq. He had actually been a resource for the CIA during the coup against Mossadeq.
Sanjabi was appointed foreign minister. He had been in regular contact with the American embassy in Tehran.  In total, five people in Bazargan’s cabinet held dual Iranian-American citizenship.
The Bazargan government drafted a new constitution for Iran for which he used the French constitution as starting point. Consequently, the Bazargan-constitution is nationalistic (Article 15: “The official language and script of Iran, the lingua franca of its people, is Persian.
Official documents, correspondence, and texts, as well as text-books, must be in this language and script.”; Article 41 “Iranian citizenship is the indisputable right of every Iranian”; Article 78: “All changes in the boundaries of the country are forbidden”; Article 115: “The President must be elected from among religious and political personalities possessing the following qualifications: Iranian origin; Iranian nationality …”). Following the French example Bazargan also gave made the people of Iran the source of legislation (Article 6: “In the Islamic Republic of Iran, the affairs of the country must be administered on the basis of public opinion expressed by the means of elections”; Article 177: “Revision of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, whenever needed by the circumstances, will be done in the following manner … The decisions of the Council, after the confirmation and signatures of the Leader, shall be valid if approved by an absolute majority vote in a national referendum.”).
Islam was no more than decoration in Bazargan proposal, in other words. Nevertheless a referendum on the 24th of October chose it as the new constitution for Iran.
In his memoires American president Carter said about Bazargan’s government: “He and his predominantly Western-educated cabinet members cooperated with us. They protected our embassy, provided safe travel for General Philip C. Gast, who had replaced Huyser, and sent us a series of friendly messages. Bazargan announced publicly his eagerness to have good relations with the United States, and said that Iran would soon resume normal oil shipments to all its customers.”
So clearly, the anti-American rhetoric during Khomeini’s revolution was not an expression of the relationship between Khomeini’s revolutionary regime and the Americans, but a political strategy to ensure support for the revolution amongst the populace of Iran.
The Iranian people were well aware of America’s many years of support for the Shah and therefore held America partly responsible for the oppression and tyranny during this era. This left Khomeini no other choice but to publicly denounce America, although behind closed doors he and his people worked closely with the Americans.
With this reality in mind the case of the occupation of the American embassy in Tehran, which lasted from 1979 to 1981, should be reviewed and studied. Towards the end of 1979 it became apparent that Khomeini’s revolution was stalling and was in need of a new push. The Bazargan government had not been able to immediately improve the living conditions of most Iranians, namely, and the people began to question whether Khomeini would ever be able to. In addition, the intellectual elite, raised during the time of the Shah, had issues with many articles in the new constitution while some in the clergy did not feel comfortable with Khomeini’s political activities.
On the 1st of November 1979 Bazargan met president Carter’s head of the National Security Agency (NSA), Zbigniew Brzezinski, in Algiers. Shortly after this meeting America gave the Shah permission to travel to America for medical treatment. The two events infuriated the Iranian public and were presented in the Iranian media as American efforts to return the Shah back to power. In response Iranian students entered the compound of the American embassy in Tehran on the 4th of November and took the embassy personnel hostage. During February of the same year a similar event had taken place. That time Khomeini had immediately ordered the students to return home.
This time, however, all leaders in Khomeini’s revolution expressed support for the action of the students. On the 5th of November Khomeini, Ayatollah Behesti and Ayatollah Montazeri all expressed support for the occupation, separately but at roughly the same time. An indication that the hostage taking was part of a plan. Consequently, the Iranian public’s attention was moved from domestic issue to the “Great Satan” America.
Two days into the hostage taking prime-minister Bazargan resigned. In January 1980 the Iranian people then elected a new prime-minister: Abul Hassan Bani Sadr. Bani Sadr had been in contact with the Americans since Khomeini’s stay in Paris. His contact at the CIA was Guy Rutherford.
Many years later Bani Sadr would confirm that the Iranian hostage crisis had been part of an American plan, the objective of which had been to strengthen Khomeini’s position domestically and give his regime a valid reason to meet America for discussions.
The hostage crisis came to an end exactly the day Ronald Reagan entered the White House as president of the United States. The release of the American hostages was part of a treaty between Iran and America that became known as the Algiers Treaty. In addition to the release of the hostages through this treaty the two countries also agreed that America would not interfere in Iran’s domestic affairs, that the relations between the two countries would be managed through appointment of a third country intermediate, and that Iran would be returned some $12 billion of Iranian assets in America that America had confiscated following the revolution against the Shah.
The Iran – Iraq War
Shared interests had brought America and Khomeini together. After the success of the revolution America began work to ensure it would remain in Khomeini’s interest to work with America. For this reason America supported a number of clients from the regime of the Shah who had fled their country following Khomeini’s revolution. It used these people to exert pressure on the Khomeini regime. Amongst these people was Gholam Ali Oveisi who had set up base in Iraq and worked from there against the new power in Iran. Another was Shapour Bakhtiar, the last prime-minister of the Shah. Both these men regularly flew to Washington to meet representatives from the American government.
When on the 22nd of September 1980 Iraq attacked Iran, America had what it really wanted. It immediately pressured Saudi-Arabia to increase oil production and make the oil price collapse. The combination of war and low oil prices destroyed public finances in both Iraq and Iran.
Initially, the element of surprise seemed to work in support of Iraq as it quickly moved forward. Iran seemed destined for defeat. At that exact moment America began supplying Iran with weapons and desperately needed spare parts for its military equipment. During January of 1981 American supplies worth billions of dollars were sent to Iran through the Zionist occupation state, which enabled Iran to counter the Iraqi offensive. Within a year thereafter it was Iraq that was close to collapse. During spring of 1982 Iran threated to win the war and at that point America began sending supplies worth billions of dollars through the Zionist occupation state to Iraq.
In addition to weapons the CIA also supplied both sides in the war with intelligence. During 1986 the CIA met with representatives from the Iranian government for this purpose on various occasions. This further American interference caused mass casualties on both sides of the conflict. For example, America had warned Iran that Iraq was preparing an attack on the massive Majnoon oil field. This enabled the Iranians to prepare and inflict heavy damages on the Iraqi’s. When Iraq learned about this, they realized that the American objective behind their “support” was to make the war between Iraq and Iran last as long as possible.
Richard Murphy, deputy Foreign Secretary from 1983 to 1989, summarized this American policy in the following manner: “(The) administrations basic position in the war between Iran and Iraq was that a ‘victory by either side is neither military achievable nor strategically desirable’.”
In other words, America was out to weaken both Saddam Hussein and Ayatollah Khomeini, with the ultimate aim of bringing Iraq into the American realm of influence and keeping Iran there.
Lastly, during the Iraq – Iran war America kept the Khomeini regime informed of the movements, plans and actions of Soviet spies in Iran. This American effort to protect Khomeini’s regime is proof that America never intended to destroy it, but only to weaken it.
Iran and the American colonization of Iraq
Shortly after invading Iraq, on the 20th of March 2003, America installed in the country a transitional government. This so-called Iraqi Governing Council (IGC) was organized along ethnic lines with 13 representatives from Iraq’s Shia community, 5 from the Sunni community, 5 Kurds, 1 Turkmen and 1 Assyrian, allegedly to ensure all the Iraqi communities were represented, and was fully controlled by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) lead by the American L. Paul Bremmer.
Iran was the first country in the world that recognized the IGC as an independent government, although it was obvious from the very beginning that it was no more than a dog on an American leash. The Iranian president at that time, Mohammed Khatami, said concerning the IGC on the 17th of November 2003: “We recognize the Iraqi Governing Council and we believe it is capable, with the Iraqi people, of managing the affairs of the country and taking measures leading toward independence.”
Analysts from STRATFOR saw in this declaration a proof that “common geopolitical interests have forced both sides to collaborate with one another”.
The first foreign trip of the IGC was also to Iran, on the 19th of November 2003. Jalal Talabani, who lead the IGC delegation, said the Iranians agreed with the opinion that the Iraqi resistance against Americans was not “resistance against occupation but the work of indiscriminate killers”. During the visit the IGC and Iran also signed a number of treaties under which Iran promised to help improve “stability” in Iraq, “support” the rebuilding efforts, and help Iraq sell its oil on the world markets.
In other words, Iran committed to supporting the plans to bring Iraq under American control.
And Iran kept its promise.
On the 10th of April 2004 president Khatami responded to Moqtada as Sadr’s refusal to obey the Americans in the following manner: “’Iran considers any policy that would intensify the crisis in Iraq and jeopardize the establishment of security harmful for Shiites and Islam.”
Then on the 14th of April Iran sent an official delegation to Iraq to support the Americans and British in bringing Iraq under control.
This delegation was headed by Hussein Sadeqi from the Iranian ministry of foreign affairs and one of its tasks was to reign in Moqtada as Sadr and his Sadr-army. In an official declaration the Americans said Sadeqi had been invited by the British. They also said, however, that they had agreed to this British initiative, meaning that America had been involved in this plan from the very beginning. The Iranian minister of foreign affairs Kamal Kharrazi said regarding Sadeqi’s mission: “There has been a lot of correspondence with the US about Iraq and the Swiss embassy in Tehran, which represents US diplomatic interests in the Islamic republic, played a mediating role in the recent exchanges”.
John Abizaid, the head of American military in the Gulf region at the time, also confirmed the Iranian support for bringing Moqtada as Sadr under control. Gary Sick, Iran-advisor to president Carter, explained this in the following manner: “There have always been two strains to US policy.
Just as Iran often seems to follow policies where the one part of the government seems to differ from what the other part of the government is doing, we see the same thing in the United States very much.
We have, from the beginning, in fact, relied on Iran and its assistance, especially in the south and its relations with the Shi’ite, to maintain peace and order and to lend support to a more moderate perspective in Iraqi politics. At the same time, almost without stop, we have been criticizing Iran’s activities in Iraq”.
Following the American – Iranian cooperation to stabilize Iraq, the two countries also cooperated to ensure continued American control over the country. America allowed pro-Iranian political parties to take the positions of leadership in Iraqi politics and these parties, lead by Ibrahim al Jafari and Nouri Al Maliki, have signed various treaties that enable America to continue to control Iraq and use it as a base from which it can project power across the Gulf region.
The Status of Force Agreement (SOFA) from 2008 allows America to keep 30,000 to 50,000 soldiers stationed in Iraq permanently as advisors, with full immunity from Iraqi law. Through the Strategic Framework Agreement the two countries agreed that America would continue to protect Iraq from internal and external enemies, would help Iraq to “democratize” further, and would have full freedom to fight “terror” on Iraqi soil. The Strategic Framework Agreement also locked Iraq into the American plans for the Iraqi economy, international trade, science, and culture.
An example of the far reaching influence America maintains in Iraq is the security arrangement regarding the Al Basra Oil Terminal (ABOT), from which 85% of Iraqi oil is shipped to markets around the world. The American navy manages this security, meaning that America fully controls the flow of oil out of Iraq.
Iran and the American occupation of Afghanistan
The American military operation “Enduring Freedom” removed the Taliban from all positions of power in Afghanistan. Thereafter, through its agent Hamid Karzai – who during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan had worked for the CIA – America installed a new political structure that could be controlled from Washington and would be loyal to the American interests.
One of the first Americans political maneuvers with regard to Afghanistan was the organization of the Bonn Conference during December 2001. Through this conference America wanted to gather support amongst the various local Afghan factions and international players for the Afghan transitional government established by America. According to James Dobbins, the chief American negotiator during this conference, Iran realized for America “the final breakthrough without which the Karzai government might never have been formed”.
Thereafter Iran supported the stabilization of Afghanistan through economic aid. From 2002 until 2007 it spent around $560 million to establish schools, roads, water purification stations and other infrastructure projects.
It has remained an important player on the international scene, participating in all major international conferences on Afghanistan organized by America, such as the London Conference of 2006, the Hague Conference of 2009 and the Bonn Conference of 2011. More recently Iran also supported the American plan to have Karzai negotiate with the Taliban.
The Iranian ambassador to Afghanistan Muhammad Reza Bahrami explained his countries actions: “Our strategy in Afghanistan is based on security, stability and developing a strong central government”. [53] In other words, just as was the case for Iraq, the Iranian policy vis-à-vis Afghanistan too is in perfect alignment with the American policy, to the extent it serves as an extension of the American policy.
The most recent development in the relationship between Afghanistan and America, the so-called Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) which will give America a formal right to maintain thousands of soldiers in Afghanistan on bases scattered across the country, has provided further proof that Iran support the America in Afghanistan. The Iranian ambassador to Afghanistan Muhammad Reza Bahrami said regarding the BSA: “it’s the genuine right of Afghanistan to preserve its national interests and sign an agreement with another country, and we won’t interfere with it, because it’s the internal affairs of Afghanistan”.
His description of the BSA as “the internal affairs of Afghanistan” is an attempt a manipulating public opinion regarding the treaty. The stationing of thousands of American troops in Afghanistan indefinitely, supported by drones, will have far reaching consequence for all countries in the region, namely, because it will give the American military the ability to project power across the region. This is so obvious that the Iranian ambassador’s denial of this fact can only be explained as an attempt to hide it.
The Nuclear Issue
The Zionist occupation state wants to prevent the countries in her surrounding from acquiring nuclear weapons. A Zionist general once explained this pillar of the Zionist policy: “Most Israelis would prefer not to live here; most Jews would prefer not to come here with families, and Israelis who can live abroad will (if a surrounding country would get nuclear weapons)”. [55] Because of this policy the Zionist state has in the past undertaken various military operations in the Muslim world. For example, through Operation Opera on the 7th of June 1981 it attacked Saddam Hussein nuclear facilities in Iraq, and in 2007 it attacked various facilities in Syria.
In 2003 an Iranian dissident living in America presented information about Iran’s nuclear activities that caused upheaval across the globe. In response, Great-Britain, France and Germany (the “EU-3”) began a political action to make Iran halt all of its nuclear activity. In both 2003 and 2004 the EU-3 and Iran came to agreements on the matter, but on the ground these agreements did not lead to the outcomes desired by the EU-3. In 2006 America therefore offered to support EU-3 in its negotiations with Iran. Thereafter the topic of sanctions came to the table.
At the same time America protected ran against an attack on her nuclear facilities by the Zionist occupation state.
Recently the chief-of-staff of the American military, General Martin Dempsey, and the chief-of-staff of the American air force, General Mark Welch, travelled to the Zionist occupation state to ensure the Zionists would not do anything rash such as a military attack on Iran.
So on the one hand America can be seen to threaten Iran over its nuclear ambitions, while on the other it protects these. The meaning of this is that America wants Iran’s nuclear ambitions to exist under its control, such that these ambitions will serve the American plans for the Middle East. The Iranian “nuclear threat” is keeping the Europeans pre-occupied politically, limiting their ability to develop and execute political actions against America elsewhere.
And it deeply frightens the countries of the Gulf, which makes them more susceptible to America manipulation and motivates them to spend billions of dollars on American weapons and other military supplies.
The current state of affairs
It is very clear, therefore, that over the years Iran has supported the American plans for the “Greater Middle East”.
America considers the situation in Syria as a threat to its interests in the Middle East. Various statements by policy makers and military leaders have made clear that America is concerned over the ideological direction of the resistance against Assad, i.e. their Islamic inclinations and aspirations, as well as its inability to find amongst the resistance fighters potential agents for the American cause. The threat in Syria is deemed so severe that America has instructed all its agents in the region to counter it. America is therefore working to resolve some of Iran’s problems, such that the Iranian focus can be turned to supporting America in Syria and their hands are freed.
According Amir Mohebbian, one of the most influential advisors of the Iranian regime, this is why Hassan Rouhani was elected president of Iran on the 15th of June 2013. Mohebbian said: “It is clear that any international outreach could not be handled by someone like President Ahmadinejad. I think the leader helped bring Mr. Rouhani to power to make the public ready for a policy change”.
After having served two terms as Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmedinejad could not be re-elected, because the Iranian constitution does not allow a person to serve more than two presidential terms, just as the American constitution. During the 2013 elections Ahmedinejad supported the campaign of Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, who ultimately lost to Rouhani.
After announcement of his electoral victory Rouhani said his ultimate aim as president was to “revive ethics and constructive interaction with the world through moderation”. America responded by saying it considered this “potentially hopeful sign”.
Next, after appointing his cabinet during August 2013 Rouhani declared his goal was “threat prevention and alleviation of tensions”. He appointed Javad Zarif as his minister of foreign affairs, who has been educated in the United States and previously served as Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations.
During November 2013 it was then announced that Iran and America had reached a deal about Iran’s nuclear program. Iran’s “pariah status” on the international stage was ended this way and Iran returned to being a respected member of the international community. The deal was brought about by secret negotiations between the two countries, which began in March 2013 Iran and America in Oman. At that time Ayatollah Khamenei had mentioned during one of his speeches that America had approached Iran for talks: “the Americans constantly send us messages, telling us they are sincere”. In his public lectures Khamenei went on to dismiss the American efforts as a propaganda stunt. But clearly, behind the scenes he responded positively.
Khamenei personally appointed Mohammad Javad Zarif to lead the Iranian delegation – the same Mohammad Javad Zarif that was appointed minister of foreign affairs by Rouhani after the negotiations were completed!
After announcement of the agreement on the nuclear issue the Ayatollah Khamenei said: “The nuclear negotiating team deserves to be appreciated and thanked for its achievement”.
The meaning of all this is that the most important internal political developments in Iran during 2013 were closely related to the political developments on the international scene.
Iran’s political actions domestically and internationally were all part of one single, comprehensive plan. Since Iran’s international political policy is shown to support the American agenda, this shows that even Iran’s domestic politics are in support of America.

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