Three Decades Ago: US Fueled “Most Repressive Regime in the World”


US Imperialism and the Shah 0464b
US Imperialism and the Shah
31 years ago today, an article published by The Daily Iowan, “US Imperialism and the Shah,” lamented United States-sponsored terrorism against the Iranian people, which was nearing the breaking point. The author, a second-year law student who later became an attorney named Robin B. Potter, who at the time, was a member of the US-based Revolutionary Student Brigade (RSB), explained how the relentlessly brutal dictator, the Shah, acting as a puppet for US government interests, allowed the US economy to reap the harvests of Iran’s oil, while the people of Iran suffered under a torturous, totalitarian leader. Subjected to constant scrutiny, individuals and groups who opposed the Shah’s tyrannical rule drew the attention of the Shah’s secret police, known as SAVAK. They were used to torture political opponents and dissidents while imprisoning more than 100,000 Iranian citizens.
Iranian students attending college in the US in 1977 – the group named “Daneshjouian Irani”- in a letter to the editor carried by The Daily Iowan, wrote, “The CIA created the SAVAK in Iran in 1956 and over the last 25 years has created and controlled the most repressive regime in the world.”
At the same time that the SAVAK wreaked havoc on the free-thinking Iranian population, corporate US business interests, with the CIA’s backing, maintained 30,000 “advisers” in Iran in 1977 and provided millions of dollars in military arms and hardware. I suspect that many young people today in the US have no idea what a jagged, violent and deceitful path US politicians chose to follow in order to either harness Iran’s financial revenues, or seek its total destruction. Most do not know that the US instructed Saddam Hussein, another US puppet, to invade and occupy Iran in the Iran-Iraq War, which left 300,000 Iranian people dead, and they probably don’t know that the US Navy once blasted an Iranian airliner filled with hundreds of people out of the sky and then adamantly refused to accept guilt or accountability for the murderous act.
These are the events that shaped present-day relations between the United States and Iran today. Yes, Iran took many Americans hostage during the infamous “Hostage Crisis” in 1979, but it is also a fact that all were released alive. Still, the chagrin the Americans felt over that incident would be the reason for more unapologetic reprisals. Once US politicians lost the ability to profit from Iran, the country was immediately placed on America’s hit list.
Former US President Dwight D. Eisenhower famously revealed the truth when he said, “Lord knows what we’d do without Iranian oil.” Well Dwight, Americans would have had to live more humbly, they would have needed to drive economy cars like the rest of the world, instead of 6,000 pound beasts twenty feet long with engines often in excess of four liters. Americans would have had to listen to former US President Jimmy Carter when he told the nation on public television that they were living beyond their means; this even before credit card mania overtook Americans, causing them to all become like hamsters in a wheel, unable to get off, constantly worrying about paying off their growing debts.
In “US Imperialism and the Shah,” Potter wrote that the US government, “permits the SAVAK to spy openly on Iranian students and dissidents living in this country. Besides installing the ruthless dictator, the United States has assisted the Shah in building a complete intelligence network for the purpose of monitoring the Persian Gulf movements of foreign powers like the Soviet Union in the area, as well as to police his opposition.”
The same things gripping the state of the world in 2018, were well underway more than three decades ago. The article and attitude among progressive Americans at that time was that, “…the same investments, the same companies and moneybags who have their fingers in the Iranian economy and profit by the oppressive nature of its social system.”
Interestingly, at the time of the article, South Africa was still under full apartheid oppression and Black Africans were considered second-rate citizens as the Palestinians and African migrants are to the Israelis today. It’s as though they just keep trading positions instead of learning from mistakes. Greed, racial and religious superiority absolutely dominate the politics of the US and other oppressive regimes.
The article referenced here is republished on the Website, Mossadegh of course was Iran’s western educated democratically elected Prime Minister, who the US removed from power in a coup d’etat in 1953. Why? Because Mossadegh could read the writing on the wall and after many years of western governments and their corporate allies absolutely ripping Iran off over oil prices, he decided to nationalize oil and oust the Anglo Iranian Oil Company, today known as British Petroleum. This led the British to collaborate with the newly formed US CIA and overthrow Iran’s government, in order to install the Shah.
In fact The Economist reported 8 March, 1975, that the Shah was so oppressive, that he made an announcement about three principles that all Iranians must believe in: those were the monarchy, the constitution, and the Shah’s “white revolution.” He said those who accepted the principles he insisted upon, had to join the Shah’s new party. Those who refused to accept those tenets, the Shah said, should, “leave the country or go to jail.”
That is what the US government did to the Iranian people by forcibly removing their elected leader and installing the Shah. The US has been at odds with Iran since 1979 and while the US remains constantly engaged in unilateral overseas military engagements that claim many lives and brew endless controversy, Iran has not attacked a nation outside of its borders for hundreds of years.

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