[News] Iran’s Real Nuclear Revolution

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Feb 21 12:27:08 EST 2014

Weekend Edition February 21-23, 2014

*A Manufactured Crisis*

  Iran’s Real Nuclear Revolution


The nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members 
of the UN Security Council plus Germany) are back this Tuesday in 
Vienna. The stakes couldn’t be higher. It will be a long and winding 
road. Hidden agendas on both sides badly want the talks to fail – and 
will spare no effort towards that goal.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei could be interpreted as a stony 
realist, when he said that the talks will go nowhere. It’s as if the 
Supreme Leader had read /Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the 
Iran Nuclear Scare/ 
<http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1935982338/counterpunchmaga>, a 
crucial book by Martha Gellhorn Prize winner Gareth Porter, which is 
being launched this week in New York. In the book, Porter thoroughly 
debunks the whole narrative of the Iran nuclear dossier as sold to the 
world by the George W Bush administration, assorted neo-cons and the 
Israeli Likud.

And it gets much worse, in terms of prospects for a final deal to be 
reached this year. According to Porter, “the Obama administration has 
introduced the subject of ‘possible military dimensions’ into the 
nuclear negotiations. That means that the United States will be 
demanding an explanation for ‘evidence’ that the book shows was 
fabricated. That is a decision that could threaten the conclusion of a 
final agreement with Iran.”

Meanwhile, on Tuesday last week, millions of people hit the streets in 
Tehran in a massive rally celebrating the 35 years of the Islamic 
revolution. How come?

For all its economic mismanagement, Iran’s illiteracy rate has been 
reduced to near zero. Women are active, participative voters (try even 
raising the issue in the House of Saud’s paradise). There has been 
remarkable scientific progress, even under harsh sanctions. Pursuing a 
civilian nuclear program is a matter of national consensus.

This piece 
– significantly, published by al-Arabiya, which is controlled by the 
House of Saud – at least tries not to sound entirely as cheap Arab 
propaganda, making a valid point about the real threat for the Islamic 
revolution coming from disaffected youth across Iran.

Yet this is not the key point. The Islamic republic won’t disintegrate 
tomorrow. What’s much more crucial is to revisit the key reasons why the 
revolution happened 35 years ago, and why, when it comes to Iranian 
geopolitical independence, it remains somewhat popular.

That may also shed light on why the West – and especially the United 
States – still refuses to normalize its relations with Iran. After all, 
what happened 35 years ago in Iran was never properly understood in the 
US in the first place. In geopolitical terms, this was the real 
“nuclear” revolution – one of the most far-reaching developments of what 
Eric Hobsbawm defined as “the short 20th century”.

And perhaps this is what the Supreme Leader meant about the talks going 
nowhere; certainly the case as long as Washington, especially, refuses 
to abandon the reductionism of Iran as a bunch of fanatics.

*That Kissinger oil shock *

As early as the presidency of Harry Truman, the US supported the Shah of 
Iran’s dictatorship, no holds barred. No wonder those days are sorely 

In 1953, after the CIA coup against Mohammad Mossadegh, the Shah – who 
lived mostly in the French Riviera – was “invited” to rule as a CIA 
puppet (John F Kennedy had met him in wild parties in the French Riviera 
and found him to be a dangerous megalomaniac). In return for 
re-establishing British “rights” to Persian oil, Washington 
self-attributed 55% for the concessions and the Brits got the rest.

The CIA trained the Savak – the Shah’s secret police. It was the best of 
times. The Shah not only excelled in his role of gendarme of 
political/economic US interests in the Persian Gulf; as he did not share 
Arab hatred of Israel, Tel Aviv had access to Persian oil (that ended 
after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini seized power).

The Shah ruthlessly suppressed and persecuted every political party in 
Iran and even massacred Kurds (Saddam Hussein was taking notes.) He 
started to take his own propaganda seriously, including believing in the 
myth of being a new King of Kings. He became the number one cheerleader 
of the 1973 OPEC oil shock, to which he got the green light from none 
other than Henry Kissinger.

In a nutshell, this was a follow-up of the 1972 “Nixon doctrine”, when 
it became clear the US defeat in Vietnam was all but a done deal. That’s 
when Tricky Dicky started to promote gatekeepers all over the “free 
world”. And no region was more crucial than the Persian Gulf.

The Shah loved it. But he was always complaining that he didn’t have 
enough dough to buy all those weapons the industrial-military complex 
was offering him. So Kissinger – a David Rockefeller errand boy – 
squared the circle, with the rise of oil prices by Organization of the 
Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC.

With this move, Kissinger instantly inflated the profits of US Big Oil – 
which at the time accounted for five of the Seven Sisters, and crucially 
boasted three that were Rockefeller-owned (Exxon, Mobil and Socal). At 
the same time, since Japan and then West Germany and the rest of Western 
Europe depended on Persian Gulf oil much more than the US did, Kissinger 
devised the perfect way to torpedo the devastating Japanese and German 
industrial and trade competition.

You won’t find any of this on Kissinger’s turgidly ambitious tomes, or 
on any US corporate media files for that matter. But that explains much 
of the world born out of the “oil shock”.

Like most US puppets – talk about hubris – the Shah never understood 
that he was just a puppet. His corporate multinational economic model as 
applied to Iran had the predictable effects; much like today (even in 
Europe and the US), a tiny minority consuming like there’s no tomorrow 
and a huge majority increasingly miserable, as the Shah bet on cash 
crops instead of an agrarian reform to guarantee the subsistence of 
millions of peasants – many of them illiterate, pious Shi’ites – who had 
been booted out of the countryside by American agribusiness, which 
dismissed them as a superfluous workforce.

These miserable masses inflated Tehran and other Iranian big cities, 
turning into the mass base for Khomeini’s revolution. And the rest is 

*Nothing is inaccessible *

Then Jimmy Carter – that hick Hamlet – when still campaigning for the 
presidency against Gerald Ford in 1976, admitted in a debate that the 
Shah was a torturer. Two years later, as president, Carter now 
considered him “an island of stability” and “a friend”.

During the 1970s, it was “just” for Iran to carry out a nuclear program, 
among other motives to intimidate revolutionary Arab nationalism. Yet 
now, under an Islamic republic, a civilian nuclear program is an 
“existential threat”.

The Shah’s banker was David Rockefeller, never tired of extolling the 
“patriotism” and “tolerance” of his client, not to mention his 
modernizing drive – everything duly parroted by US corporate media even 
as Amnesty International and the State Department itself had Himalayas 
of documents proving the Shah was one of the top torturers of modern 
history. What mattered is that he brought excellent dividends for then 
Chase Manhattan.

One never lost money underestimating the cluelessness of US corporate 
media. When the Islamic revolution started, US media as a whole told the 
world that the Shah was undefeatable; that Khomeini and his followers 
were a minority of religious fanatics; and that the real motive for the 
revolution was that the Shah was a Great Modernizer (the Rockefeller 
script), rejected by those same Muslim fanatics. It’s fair to say this 
script is still being peddled today.

When the Shah fled Iran, the whole US media bought the fallacy of “going 
for a holiday”. When Khomeini boarded that Air France flight from Paris 
and arrived in Tehran in absolute triumph, no wonder no one in the US 
had a clue what was going on. US media preferred to mock Khomeini’s 
“fanaticism” – which at the time paled compared with Pope John Paul II, 
who considered women to be an inferior species.

The Iranian bourgeoisie – modern, social democrat, inheriting the 
political line of Mossadegh – managed to drive a lot of support from 
progressives in Europe. At a time when Le Monde was still a very good 
newspaper and not the sub-American trash it is today, one just needed to 
read the dispatches by ace correspondent Eric Rouleau to confirm it.

Khomeini, for his part, had the charisma (and that spectral voice on 
cassette tapes), supported by the only political organization tolerated 
by the Shah, the roughly 160,000 mullahs, who duly mobilized those 
wretched masses rendered useless by American agribusiness interests.

Yet, from the beginning, Khomeini negotiated with the bourgeoisie – as 
when he named Mehdi Bazargan as prime minister and Bani Sadr as 
president (a socialist and a Western-style modernizer). Only when the 
Shah system was totally eradicated did Khomeini go into overdrive to 
purge everyone but his religious followers – recreating, on a smaller 
scale, the Shah’s inferno, but in the name of Allah. Well, as Mao said, 
no revolution is a dinner party.

As for Jimmy “Hamlet” Carter, he never officially recognized Khomeini as 
the Iranian leader. Washington didn’t even try to talk to him. A whiff 
of geopolitical intelligence would have the Americans trying to share 
some tea when he was still exiled in Paris. But David Rockefeller and 
his parrot Kissinger would scream, so a cowed Carter retreated into his 
shell. After the Islamic revolution, Washington never returned the 
estimated US$60 billion the Shah, family and cronies stole from Iran.

This catalogue of disinformation during the 1970s and 1980s is now 
mirrored by the disinformation of all these past few years about the 
Iranian nuclear program. No wonder most Americans – and plenty of 
Europeans – remain clueless.

When Khomeini died – and I vividly remember every newspaper in Europe on 
June 5, 1989, sharing the front page between that and Deng Xiaoping 
ordering the Tiananmen massacre – the great philosopher Daryush 
Shayegan, a former professor at the University of Tehran, published a 
superb article in Liberation explaining the Big Picture, from the Shah’s 
“legacy” to Khomeini.

Shayegan wrote that both men, the Shah and the Imam, committed the same 
fatal mistakes and “incarnated, each their own way, two typically 
Iranian traits: cultural schizophrenia and the dream of grandeur”. So 
the whole drama was about two juxtaposed Irans: Imperial Iran and “the 
suffering Iran of the blood of the Martyr”. Both expressed an impossible 
dream and, “like the 12th century mystical poet Ruzbehan from Shiraz 
would say, the same ‘dementia of the inaccessible’.”

Today, 35 years after the Islamic revolution, what Iranians seek is 
hardly inaccessible: the end of Western sanctions and the end of 
sections of the West perennially treating the country as a bunch of 
religious “fanatics”.

Russia, China, Turkey, Pakistan, other Asian nations, all Latin American 
nations, all African nations, all treat Iran as normal. Beyond the clash 
of “heroic flexibility” against American exceptionalism, if only the US 
establishment would finally get over it, and deal – realistically – with 
what happened in Tehran 35 years ago. Only then these talks in Vienna 
will go somewhere, and we may have a final nuclear deal in 2014.

/*Pepe Escobar* is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World 
is Dissolving into Liquid War 
<http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0978813820/simpleproduction/ref=nosim> (Nimble 
Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge 
His new book, just out, is Obama does Globalistan 
<http://www.amazon.com/Obama-Does-Globalistan-Pepe-Escobar/dp/1934840831/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1233698286&sr=8-1> (Nimble 
Books, 2009). //He may be reached at pepeasia at yahoo.com 
<mailto:pepeasia at yahoo.com>. /

//This column originally appeared on Asia Times <http://www.atimes.com/>.//

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