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Twinkle twinkle tiny star
Only by random act of kindness or sheer lining of stars may we see a better future for Iran

August 21, 2003
The Iranian

Recently I read All the Shah's Men, a new book by Stephen Kinzer. After I finished reading the book I realized that, similar to many other books written since the overthrow of the Shah, two elements are sadly and noticeably missing.

The author hesitates to take a few steps back in history and a few steps forward. To write about 1953 coup in Iran does not offer anything new beyond what has already been said and discussed since early 1980's, when the files became declassified. If one is to write about the true sequence of events that led to the so-called Revolution, he needs to start from Chief Minister Amir Kabir (1807-1852) and carry on all the way to the current Islamic Monarchists and Shiite Mafiosi and their visionary godfather, Seyyed Ali Khamenei.

By simply focusing on the events of 1953, one truly fails to understand and convey the fact that Mossadegh was not after the Shah and his clan. Instead he was fighting against the chronic illiteracy and corruption that was implemented, encouraged and maintained by the British since a century earlier when they brought down another great Iranian hero Amir Kabir.

One cannot understand the true Iranian tragedy that goes on today without focusing on the nation's loss of its most honorable man, Amir Kabir, who was murdered in 1852 at age 45. The dusted decades of history calcifies the fluidity of our access to the truth and our tendencies lean towards accepting the words of contemporary experts.

Somewhere it was written that each nation offers one great man every 100 years. If for instance we call Abraham Lincoln the greatest American of the 19th century then who would qualify as the greatest man of 20th century America? Certainly not Kennedy or Nixon. You may want to think about it and see how difficult it is for a nation to find just a single true national hero who serves the country with utmost dedication but without spilling blood in other nations or ruining other cultures.

Iran was not an exception. While many of us focus on Mossadegh, the greatest man in Iran's last century, we fail to realize that it was precisely 100 years since Amir Kabir death that Iran produced one and only one other great man who had the courage and the valor to attempt to not only cut the hands of colonialism from his motherland but also to teach his nation tolerance, perseverance and self confidence.

Authors such as Kinzer do a satisfactory job of reminding Americans about a juncture in history and showing them a slide show of an era, but alas they do not walk that last mile to touch the heart of a nation beyond bookstores, and they are content with encore presentations of what has already been known and readily available to the public.

If one needs to truly encapsule what drove Iran to be infested with such abundance of fanatic ideologies that plagued its culture and people, focus on the essentials of how the British robbed an innocent nation not only one of its greatest heroes but sadly two of its best in two centuries.

If one focuses deep enough, he will realize that the imposition of Khomeini and theocracy in Iran was not an act of vengece by Iranians towards the West - as unfortunately everyone tries to portray it to be. The reality is far from such grand misconceptions as America being responsible for Mossadegh's fall.

Close study of Iran's history will prove that it was the British and their spymaster "Monty" Woodhouse who convinced naive and isolationist American politicians to drop their sympathy for Mossadegh and follow the path that they (the British) successfully followed in the Middle East and beyond for two centuries. America was a mere hired muscle for Britain. Just like in WWII when Germans came to their backdoor; Britain pulled America into war.

So in the real sense of the word, Kim Roosevelt and CIA agents were nothing more than field operators in the hands of British masterminds. When Mossadegh cut Britain's hands from Iran's oil industry, America was the only ally that could help London achieve and execute its conspiracy plan. Who better than a trusted grandson of an American president who wanted to make a name for himself?

Future authors of modern Iranian history must begin their research from Amir Kabir to Seyyed Ali Khamenei and beyond to see trends, that in the past 200 years every time Iran attempted to partially cleanse itself from political illiteracy, social apathy, fanatic fatalism, Rumi's narcotic poetry, and ecclesiastical hang ups, the British were there to suppress it and encourage dogmatism, ruin nationalism and belittle loyal nationalists by any and all means available.

The installation of the Pahlavis, incubation of Khomeini in exile, removal of the Shah followed by installation of Khomeini, orchestration of taking Americans hostages to completely and successfully instigate American public opinion against Iran for more than a quarter of a century, were all different components of the British plan to prevent progress in Iran. And all these achievements came while they maintained their embassy in Tehran, and with the full support of the fanatic puppet regime. Britain acted as a satanic nurse and made Iran a haven for the world's terrorists.

The falsely-named revolution of 1979 was not an Iranian answer to America for what was done to Mossadegh. The regime change was indeed a British warning to tell America "hands off Iran" and to make sure the mother country is still in charge. It was also a message to the world -- and to Iranians in particular-- that God will save the Queen at any price.

Close scrutiny of America's attempts to create a stronghold in the Middle East shows pragmatic and empirical deductions of the world of politics and current affairs. Establishing a theorem on the economic advancement of China, gradual unification of Europe and growing need for decreasing sources of energy leave very little for America other than a policy of military expansionism to protect its national interests. Those who own oilfields will call the shots in the decades to come.

America's takeover and control of Iraq's oil fields is in many ways America's slap on Britain's face. It says, "we are not out of the Middle East after all! You may have kept us out of Iran for two decades, but we are back." The phenomenon I like to call "Iranian Squeeze", in many ways may end up becoming the "British Squeeze" as well. But history will show validity of that possibility. The takeover of Afghanistan, the show of muscle on that Caspian Sea and now the take over of Iraq will, for the first time in two decades, limit Britain's inherent all-you-can-take attitude.

For the British one possibility is covert alliance with Russia in order to engage America in a war of attrition like that of Vietnam. Historically whenever there was a three-way competition in the region, Britain made pacts with the Russians. At the same time America will be walking on thin ice considering the emerging rivalries around the Caspian Sea.

Russians and the Americans have alternatively installed troops in that region. The Russians are in Turkmenistan, Baikonur, Kazakhstan, Astrakhan, Georgia, with a naval fleet in the Caspian, Armenia, Sokhami, Georgia and a naval base and airbase in Sevastipol, Ukraine. On the other hand Americans have an airbase in Uzbekistan, an upcoming military base in Azerbaijan, military intructors in Tbilisi, Georgia and at Gyumri, Armenia. For the British, the only solid footing left in the area is Iran. Therefore London will support the current regime by all means but at the same time she is engaged with the incubation of potential replacements that would assure allegiance to the British throne.

Those course of events will not benefit Iran. Many may agree that Iran is in worse shape today since the first Arab invasion 1400 years ago. Back then, Iran was weak, but it was still a world power. Today, on the other hand, Iran is just an isolated, dogmatic, third world society of young zealots who can tilt in one direction or another, between indulging in religion, drugs and kismet. Combine that with a military that is demoralized, a population that is depressed and hopeless and, most importantly, a scattered opposition that is made up of opportunists.

Yes. Perhaps by 2053, a century after Dr. Mossadegh's fall, there will be another great hero. But I'm reminded of the saying, "mourn a nation that needs a hero!" Until Iran finds its next hero it will become the center of rivalries between internal and external forces. The balkanization of Iran, instigation of ethnic demands for autonomy and revolving puppet and corrupt regimes to entertain generations, will be some of the same sad scenarios we have been witnessing since the murder of Amir Kabir in the hands of British cronies.

But if we could offer a simplistic drama, a spark of hope, it would be this:

During the inevitable increase of overt American pressure on Iran's regime, and covert moves to keep British hands off Iran, there may be a distant light at the end of the tunnel. Only by random act of kindness or sheer lining of stars we may have a government come to power that will abolish mixing religion with just about anything outside personal sanctity of one's home and temple. Once religion goes beyond one's heart and takes the form of evangelism it becomes a commodity. The more one pretends to believe the more one gets ahead in religious societies.

Iran is perhaps the only nation in the entire Middle East that can let go of the dogmatic side of religion since deep in their hearts Iranians realize that it was imposed on them; what they have has gone through so much metamorphosis that it has became a substantially adulterated version of a once pure ideology and thought. Just like Native Americans who were forced to recite the Bible, or great cultures of South America and Africa destroyed by Christian missionaries, Iran's fertile land was invaded by Arabs who forced their religion on Iranians. Iran has that potential to someday curb religious fervor and find the kinder and quieter side of personal beliefs, and internalize such tendencies. If Iran does not find such solutions to the satisfaction of the world body, it will soon face hostilities from many sides, including Israel. If Muslim brothers did to Iran what we see happening today, imagine what war with Israel may offer.

The so-called separation of religion and state is no longer a reality and indeed not even working in the United States. We have frequently seen that as far back as Jimmy Carter's administration, religion can seriously influence politics even in the US. Today we witness increasing hostile remarks and insults from the pulpits of religious leaders like Pat Robertson of the Christian Coalition and Rev. Jerry Falwell, a fundamentalist Baptist minister of the so-called Religious Right, who called Mohammad a "terrorist" in an interview with 60-Minutes TV news magazine last October .

According to Philip Jenkins [The Atlantic Monthly, October 2002], Christianity is growing and "mutating" in ways observers in the West tend not to see. "Tumultuous conflicts within Christianity will leave a mark deeper than Islam's on the century ahead. Christianity is moving towards supernaturalism and neo-orthodoxy similar to the views expressed in the New Testament: a vision of Jesus as the embodiment of divine power, who overcomes the evil forces."

Jenkins believes that in regions of the world he collectively calls the Global South -- primarily the Third World -- there lives close to one billion followers of Protectionism or Orthodoxy. The essence of it is that what threatens the world is indeed not Islamic terrorists or Jewish settlers or Arian skinheads. Instead Christian orthodoxy will replace ideology as the prime animating and destructive force in human affairs. Jenkins points out that in many countries and mostly in Africa and South America there are growing apocalyptic and messianic movements that try to bring in the kingdom of God through armed violence.

In conclusion there seems no doubt that a wealthy country like Iran, with close to 25% of the world's natural gas reserves and its substantial share of black gold gushing from the Caspian Sea, has very few options left to prevent an all out squeeze from many sides. Iran must step forward and increase its cooperation to reestablish open dialogue and diplomatic relations with the United States. No form of government in Iran will benefit from hostility with America. Reestablishment of full diplomatic relations with Washington once again will dwarf the present monopoly of the British in Iran.

US-Iranian alliance, along with US military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq will supply America with enough ammunition to fight off any aggression by the Russians or any Russo-British coalition in years to come. This proves that Iran has no choice but to make an alliance with America in order to free itself from the British whose oppressive grip has been stronger than ever since 1979. If the current regime or any future puppet regime loyal to the British fails to establish respectful relations with America, then it will be to the advantage of all nations of the region to see a defeated, weaker and poorer Iran for the sake of peace in the region.

The next decade will bring very interesting changes in the region as the result of Euro-American rivalries on one side and Russo-American ones on the other. Iran is poised in a critical crossroad and must make up its mind fairly soon to prevent two devastating scenarios: an economic implosion and/or a social explosion. The Islamic regime must repent and repent fast or hell shall be let loose upon them with all gates to paradise shut.


Farrokh A. Ashtiani is the founder of

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By Farrokh A. Ashtiani




Book of the day

All the Shah's Men
An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East terror
By Stephen Kinzer

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