Sunday, June 14, 2009

Iran - what a mess and we made it

It's hard to say what will happen with Iran now that Ahmadinejad has declared himself the victor. But a little background history to show the mess we created. Back in 1951 Iran had elected a fairly progressive and popular leader Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh. There was one problem, Mossadegh nationalized the countries oil fields. This was at a time that communism was becoming the evil government that the republicans feared. Britain put an embargo on Iranian oil then invited the U.S. to assist in the overthrow of the elected government in Operation Ajax which was approved by Eisenhower. ( That's a tale of bribery and corruption worth looking into.) After which the Shah was installed. The Shah increased the nations infrastructure over the years but quelled any political opposition. In 1963 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini became a critic of the Shah and was imprisioned for 18 months. Later the Shah exiled him where he landed up in France. In 1978 was the start of the Islamic Revolution. Much to the surprise of the world the country voted for a theocratic constitution in 1979. Just ten days after the Ayatollah returned from exile the Shah was out of power. It was just a few months after that that students took over the U.S. Embassy. They accused the people there of being CIA and held them hostage for some 444 days.
Now I'm sure the U.S. was selling arms to Iran when the Shah was in power. When things changed Rumsfeld was busy selling arms to Sadam to fight the Iranians. But then we have Iran contra affair where they were selling arms to both sides right in the middle of the war. ( aren't these republicans just wonderful people? )

After the Iran- Iraq war Akbar Rafsanjani became president. And things were slowly shifting to a more moderate position. But you must remember Iran is governed not by just the president but a supreme Islamic leader as well along with a rather large elected Islamic council much like a parliment. That was our biggest mistake during the hostage situation. Not realizing that the country was not being run by a secular government but by the Ayatollah at that time under the Islamic revolution.
Presidentially speaking things in the country were shifting to a more progressive open society under Mahammad Katami, Rafsnajani's sucessor. Then there was a shift to the conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. I'm guessing that the clerics were beginning to fear that they would lose more power had a moderate or progressive gained power.

So now we have Mir-Hussein Mousavi who was approved by the Islamic Counsil which is somewhat odd because he was there during the times of the Islamic Revolution in the late 70s early 80s. I'd guess that his positions have shifted with the times to a more moderate and progressive. That makes me wonder what's going on in the background. The U.S. hasn't had relations with Iran since the 70s. We know that their nuclear technology came from Russia and North Korea (That's a strange relationship considering the religious nature of Iran). Again I'd have to say that the clerics were afraid Mousavi was too liberal.

What will happen next at this point is anyones' guess. The Suprime Islamic Leader and counsil still holds most of the power but you have the bulk of the population being very young with high unemployment. Then there's the nuclear issue. Contrary to popular belief Iran will continue to build power plants because their oil is starting to run out and we know it. Remember they've been pumping oil for over 60 years now and their reserves aren't as large as the Saudis. So will there be another revolution in Iran? Hard to say.


BBC said...

Funny that you would post this being as I was dealing with that earlier.

American weapons makers (defense contractors) are at this very minute looking for overseas buyers. Aren’t we just so special?

Well, it isn’t that funny is it?

BBC said...

Hey, gotta keep Boeing going even if others has to die. So how is that garden coming along?

Tom Harper said...

Interesting rundown on Iran's history since the 1950s. People who have no grasp of cause and effect (i.e. conservatives) are always dumbfounded when a country that we've been stepping on for decades "suddenly" turns against us.

To everybody else, it should be crystal clear that when a large country repeatedly walks all over a smaller "backward" country for decades, the smaller country will eventually turn against the colonizer.

Demeur said...

Billy- Boeing got ZERO orders today.

Hey when are you going to get that computer fixed and turn the comments back on?

Demeur said...

Tom - Iran isn't as backwards as they might seem. They also aren't as progressive as we might think either.

The Blog Fodder said...

Iran is a great country, full of great warm friendly people, most of whom do NOT hate Americans. They are run by the 5% of the population who are nutbars (kind of like quite a few other countrie).

pygalgia said...

Good historical analysis, my friend. And a good reminder that meddling often leads to unintended consequences.