Some more Iran links to go with Teresa’s recent post:
Wikipedia: Operation Ajax
Much of this Wikipedia entry is mined from Stephen Kinzer’s excellent All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror.
Operation Ajax (1953) (officially TP-AJAX) was a covert operation by the United Kingdom and the United States to remove the democratically elected nationalist cabinet of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh from power, to support the Pahlavi dynasty and consolidate the power of Mohammed Reza Pahlavi in order to preserve the Western control of Iran’s hugely lucrative oil infrastructure.
“A World Without Ahmadinejad?”
You wouldn’t know it from the way western sources talk about him, but the Iranian president is not the commander-in-chief of Iran’s military. The Supreme Leader is, and here he is telling Ahmadinejad to shut up and do his job:
“Our advice to the president is to speak about the nuclear issue only during important national occasions, stop provoking aggressive powers like the United States and concentrate more on the daily needs of the people, those who voted for you on your promises,” wrote the Islamic Republic, a newspaper owned by [Iranian Supreme Leader] Khamenei.
Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, came under fire from domestic critics yesterday for his uncompromising stance on the nuclear issue as the US and Britain launched a new diplomatic effort to agree harsher UN sanctions they hope will force Tehran to halt uranium enrichment.
Unlike Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, modern Iran is not a dictatorship. It’s got its own weird, complicated politics, with multiple factions struggling for control.
But the way Ahmadinejad governed was nothing if not divisive. He undertook the most far-reaching governmental housecleaning since the revolution itself, reportedly replacing as many as 20,000 bureaucrats. And when it came time for the elections last month, he offered his own slates of candidates, disdaining to ally himself with the traditional conservatives or with anyone else. For the Assembly of Experts, Ahmadinejad endorsed a ticket of scholars from what is known as the Haqqani circle, a group of clerics who cleave strongly to the notion of the divine state and disdain popular sovereignty and democracy.
In recent months, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, Israeli officials and some American Jewish communal leaders have urged Iranian Jews to leave. But so far, despite generally being allowed to travel to Israel and emigrate abroad, Iranian Jews have stayed put.
“‘Wiped Off The Map’ — The Rumor of the Century”
Remember back in 1956 when Khrushchev told western diplomats “My vas pokhoronim” (“We will bury you”), and the US press went nuts and claimed this as a belligerent statement, when it actually meant something more like “We will outlast you; we will be present at your funeral”? Something similar seems to have happened with a statement Ahmadinejad made about Israel.
“As the Soviet Union disappeared, the Zionist regime will also vanish and humanity will be liberated”.
I’m not meaning to argue, here, that Ahmadinejad is not hostile towards Israel, or that Iran is a great place for Jews, or that there isn’t a lot of antisemitism in Iranian culture. Just that the actual situation is more complicated, and probably less grim, than the media portrayal of it. Israel and Iran are not going to have friendly relations any time soon. But war isn’t inevitable.
“Stop the Iran War Before It Starts”
Scott Ritter suggests passing something like the Boland Amendment that limited government aid to Nicaragua in the 1980s. Ironic, since it was that limitation that led to Reagan’s cronies financing the Nicaraguan Contras by selling weapons to Iran.
Democrats in Congress have the opportunity to nip this looming disaster in the bud. The fact that most of the Democratic members of Congress who enjoy tenure voted in favor of the resolutions giving the President such sweeping authority is moot. Democrats are all capable of pleading that they were acting under the influence of a Republican-controlled body and unable to adequately ascertain through effective oversight the genuine state of affairs. This is no longer the case. The Democrats in Congress are in firm control of their own destiny, and with it the destiny of America. A war with Iran will pale in comparison with the current conflict in Iraq. And if there is a war with Iran, this Congress will be held fully accountable.
“Iranian Typography Now”
Not relevant to the politics, but it’s pretty.
In comparison to Europe and North America calligraphy is a far more popular and practiced form of art in Iran and in most other countries around this area. You can spot at least one piece of calligraphy hung on the walls of most Iranian households.