by Stephen Lendman
February 11, 2012 marked the 33rd anniversary of Iran's 1979 revolution. It ended a generation of repressive rule under Washington's installed Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi.
In 1953, CIA operative Kermit Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt's grandson and Franklin's cousin, engineered the Agency's first coup. Democratically elected Mohammad Mossadeq was ousted. The New York Times called him Iran's "most popular politician."
As late as 1977, Jimmy Carter declared Iran an "oasis of stability." He ignored years of brutal Shah repression. In January 1979, he fled the country. Ayatollah Khomeini returned. He proclaimed the Islamic Republic with overwhelming public support.
US officials thought they could control him. They thought wrong. Iran was free from Western dominance and didn't look back. Tensions escalated. Washington planned regime change. It remains US policy.
In 1975, Iran and Iraq negotiated the Algiers Agreement. It settled border disputes between the two countries. In March 1980, Saddam Hussein unilaterally abrogated it. Carter officials encouraged him.
Journalist/historian Dilip Hiro noted:
"According to the Iranian president, Bani-Sadr, in early August 1980 his government had purchased secret documents containing a detailed account of the conversations in France between several deposed Iranian generals and politicians, Iraqi representatives, and American and Israeli military experts."
"If so, the administration of President James Carter had an inkling of Iraqi plans. By supplying secret information, which exaggerated Iran's military weakness, to Saudi Arabia for onward transmission to Baghdad, Washington encouraged Iraq to attack Iran."
Saddam was supported by CIA-sponsored Iranian military officers given refuge in Iraq. Soviet Russia feared revolutionary Islam spreading to central Asia.
Saddam saw his chance to wage war and win. He hoped to defeat a regional rival, annex parts of Iran, and strengthen his regional position.
Washington wanted its own regional influence enhanced. The Carter Doctrine pledged Middle East military intervention if US interests were threatened.
According to columnist Jack Anderson, he considered invading Iran, seizing its oil fields, and boosting his electoral prospects, he hoped. Soviet Russia threatened intervention if he followed through.
Carter abandoned his plans. At the same time, his administration remained hostile to Ayatollah Khomeini's government.
Reagan escalated Carter policies short of committing US forces in combat. Saddam got US backing. America pretended neutrality. It proves repeatedly it can't be trusted.
Support for the Shah was a key element of US regional policy. Iran's 1979 revolution changed things. Saddam became Washington's weapon to defeat a government it opposed.
On September 22, 1980, Iraq invaded Iran. Border clashes preceded all-out conflict. Nearly eight years of war followed. Over a million died, including civilians. America and other Western countries call it the Iran/Iraq war.
Saddam hoped it would be a "whirlwind war." He renamed it Qadisiyyad Saddam. It was an emotive reference to Arabs defeating Persians in 636. Tehran calls it the "Sacred Defense" or "imposed war."
On September 21, Press TV headlined "Iran marks (32nd) anniversary of Iraq imposed war with military parades," saying:
Ceremonies opened "Sacred Defense Week." They began symbolically at Ayatollah Khomeini's Tehran mausoleum. Planned events include parades, commemorative concerts, and photo exhibits.
Commemorating the occasion, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered a nationally televised address, saying:
"Our sacred defense was not defending a territory, a nation or a school of thought alone. It was well beyond that. It was defending human dignity, the rights of all nations and those of the oppressed people of the world."
Iran will "stand and defend its rights," he asserted. He called the blasphemous anti-Muslim film inciting violence an Israeli plot "to divide (Muslims) and spark sectarian conflict."
He and Ayatollah Khamenei days earlier noted Western hypocrisy. Condemn Washington, other NATO allies, or Israeli crimes and be denounced. At the same time, insulting Islam is called free expression.
He criticized nations backing Saddam's invasion. They revealed their imperial regional aims. They're also fake human rights advocates. They say one thing and do another. Scoundrels operate that way.
Iranian officials turned out in force. High-ranking military ones were present. Iran's latest military hardware was showcased. On display was its new domestically made air defense system.
Called Raad, or Thunder, it's more advanced than its Russian predecessor. It's designed to confront jet aircraft, cruise missiles, smart bombs, helicopters, and drones.
Its capability ranges up to 30 miles. It can strike targets high as 75,000 feet. It's a formidable defense against attack.
"Sacred Defense Week" commemorates Iran's commitment to deter aggressors and remain free.
Western and Israeli long knives remain threatening. Tensions are especially high. Netanyahu's bluster aside, longstanding Washington plans call for regime change.
Iran's peaceful nuclear program is red herring cover used as pretext. If not that, something else would substitute. Excuses are easy to fabricate. Western media scoundrels regurgitate them ad nauseam.
Fear is generated. Other false charges follow. America is hell bent for war. It has a willing partner in Israel provided Washington plays the lead role.
Potentially catastrophic consequences are ignored. Apparently, so is opposition expressed by current and past high-ranking military and government officials in both countries. Updated war plans are ready to be implemented unless cooler heads go all out to prevent it.
Iran is falsely called an existential threat. Netanyahu and Israeli hardliners claim it constantly. Washington does it on and off. It's wearing thin but take it seriously. One day crying wolf won't be bluster or bluffing.
On September 20, Haaretz reported the latest outburst. It headlined "US warns Iran: Time is running out on diplomacy over nuclear program."
This time UN envoy Susan Rice issued the warning. She gives diplomacy a bad name. She's one of America's worst ever ambassadors. Her style is belligerent, arrogant, and offensive.
Addressing the Security Council, she said:
"We believe there is still time and space for diplomacy," but not much.
"(T)he onus is on Iran to respond constructively." She added that Washington seeks a "clear, united resolution" regarding Tehran's nuclear enrichment program.
Her comments were a clear warning. At the same time, she and other US officials know Iran's nuclear program is peaceful. So do others in Israel, European nations and elsewhere.
Nonetheless, warnings persist. This one comes as Washington, Britain, France, Saudi Arabia, and other US allies stage large-scale Gulf naval drills. Doing so is provocative. It heightens tensions. Make no mistake. Provocation is Washington policy.
This one is codenamed IMCMEX-12. It involves minesweeping and other measures to keep the Strait of Hormuz open if Iran blocks it defensively. It warned about doing it if attacked.
In September, Tehran plans its own drills. It knows the risks and stands ready to confront them.
So do Israelis wanting no part of war. A mid-August Haaretz article headlined "We'll all pay on doomsday," saying:
Attacking Iran is madness. It means sharply higher oil prices, deeper global recession, and Israel becoming "even less popular in Europe and the United States than we already are."
The Bank of Israel and Finance Ministry predict attacking Iran will cause "serious economic damage." They're concerned about bankruptcies, mass layoffs, potential panic, and other protracted effects.
World condemnation will follow. Countries, companies, labor organizations, and consumer groups already boycott Israel for good reason. Attacking Iran will intensify their ire.
When "rockets fall on Tel Aviv," expect investors to flee. Financial assets will suffer. Tax revenues will drop. Deficits will rise.
Iran's response will be far more robust than anything Israel previously experienced. "You can't live a normal life under a daily threat like that."
Israelis will be fearful. They'll hunker down. Normal activities will be curtailed. Business will suffer. Tourists won't come. International airlines will cancel flights. Ports will be "paralyzed."
The shekel will drop sharply. Inflation will rise. Goods will become scarce. The only good news is that unaffordable housing prices will fall. Who'll buy property vulnerable to destruction?
Haaretz omitted what's most important. How many millions of Iranian and Israeli lives will be lost? Bombing nuclear facilities in both countries assures widespread irradiation.
Immediate casualties will be huge in both countries. Longer-term ones will be catastrophically high. War on Iran assures all sides lose. Regional countries will be affected. So will most others from economic fallout.
Haaretz is right saying "We'll all pay on doomsday." Assuring it doesn't happen is the only sensible policy. It's not rocket science. It's common sense.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.