The United States Should Apologize to Iran

America's foreign policy toward Iran should be to apologize. Had the United States not meddled in Iranian domestic policy, Iran would hardly be the boiling cauldron that it is today, where secret police and military thugs kill hundreds and arrest thousands of their protesting countrymen. The Iranian people have been more than once within a hair's breadth of enjoying liberty--only to be thwarted with the help of the United States.

If someone did to America what we've done to Iran, you'd want an apology, too.

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I'm not talking about apologizing to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or his bearded overlord. Those men are criminals. What I'm advocating, rather, is an apology directly to the Iranian people for stealing their liberty--for the things the United States did to their country decades ago which, if we hadn't done them, Mr.

I'm not talking about apologizing to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or his bearded overlord. Those men are criminals. What I'm advocating, rather, is an apology directly to the Iranian people for stealing their liberty.

Ahmadinejad would likely today at best be a lower-level executive for the Tehran Department of Transportation.

In 1920, with Iran being on the verge of democratic government, western allied powers helped to install Reza Shah on the throne in Iran in order to ensure another reliable supply of petroleum to the West. Reza ultimately proved too strong-willed for their liking, so they replaced him with his much more pliant son Mohammad Reza in 1941. In 1951, the highly popular Mohammad Mossadegh, who had been elected to Iranian parliament, was appointed Iran's prime minister. In 1953, thinking that Mossadegh was getting too big for his britches, the United States commissioned its Central Intelligence Agency, which successfully engineered a coup that resulted in Mossadegh being deposed and placed under house arrest. The much less popular Mohammed Reza was returned to the throne. For the second time, the United States had helped to thwart democracy in Iran.

During the Iranian revolution that began in the late 1970's, the Shah fled Iran. Rather than return the Shah to Iran for trial for crimes against the Iranian people, the United States gave him asylum. Fearing another coup was in the making, Iranian students took American diplomats hostage for 444 days. (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was somewhat prominent among the student hostage takers. )

Seeing the government of the Ayatollah Khomeini as their only alternative to the repressive rule of the Shah, the Iranians supported Khomeini, only later to discover that the bearded cleric's brand of government was no better than that of the monster he replaced.

It is impossible to know where Iran would be today had the United States not meddled in Iranian political business. But one thing is for sure. Historical facts being what they are, the United States is squarely to blame for the predicament that Iran is in today.

For this, we should apologize.

Only then will we finally have achieved the moral standing that we need in order to get on with helping them achieve the liberty that they should have been enjoying already now for nearly one hundred years.



Comments

  1. I think it's also worth pointing out that Ayatollah Khomeini lost, I believe, two sons in the Shah's crackdowns following the CIA coup. It's hard not to believe that this played some role in Khomeini's rabid anti-westernism.

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