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A Defining Moment: The Historical Legacy of the 1953 Iran Coup

Ervand Abrahamian, The Coup: 1953, the CIA, and the Roots of Modern U.S.-Iranian Relations (New York: New Press, 2012), 304 pages, $26.95, hardback.

The Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States began in earnest as soon as the Second World War ended, shaping most of the remainder of the twentieth century. The U.S. doctrine of “containment” required confronting the Soviets at every point of contact, accompanied by the claim that lasting peace could be reached only through the establishment of an international order based on national states which enjoyed a U.S.-defined political liberty and a capitalist economic order. The Soviets bolstered their security through providing support to countries seen as friendly and close to their borders. Therefore, maintaining influence in Iran was a goal of Soviet foreign policy in the Middle East. U.S. foreign policy was shaped by its own state interests and ideology and driven by the American postwar, worldwide systems of military bases.… It is this turbulent period of geopolitical maneuvering that Ervand Abrahamian’s The Coup revisits. Yet, unlike other books on the 1953 events in Iran, Abrahamian locates the U.S.-backed coup less in the Cold War ideological confrontation between East and West than in the conflicts which opposed imperialism and nationalism; between the center of world capitalism and the underdeveloped economies heavily dependent on exporting raw natural resources.… | more |

Genocidal Cynicism (Part 2)

TO give some idea of the potential of the USSR in its efforts to maintain parity with the United States in this sphere, suffice it to note that when its disintegration came about in 1991, there were 81 nuclear warheads in Byelorussia, 1,400 in Kazakhstan, and approximately 5,000 in Ukraine, which were passed on to the Russian Federation, the only state capable of sustaining their immense cost in order to maintain its independence.

By virtue of the START and SORT treaties related to the reduction of offensive weapons between the two major nuclear powers, the number of those warheads was reduced to several thousand.

In 2010 a new treaty of this type was signed between the two powers.

Since then the greatest efforts have been dedicated to improving the direction, reach, precision of nuclear missiles and their deception of the enemy defense. Vast sums are invested in the military sphere.

Very few people in the world, except for a handful of thinkers and scientists, have realized and are warning that the explosion of 100 strategic nuclear weapons would be enough to end human existence on the planet. The vast majority would have an end as inexorable as it would be horrific, as a consequence of the nuclear winter which would be generated.

The number of countries which possess nuclear weapons at this moment has risen to eight. Five of them are members of the Security Council: the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France and China. India and Pakistan acquired the nature of countries possessing nuclear weapons in 1974 and 1998, respectively. The seven countries mentioned acknowledge that nature.

On the other hand, Israel has never acknowledged its nature as a nuclear country. Nevertheless, it is calculated that it possesses 200 to 500 weapons of this type, without that being acknowledged at a time when the world is concerned about the extremely grave problems that would be provoked by the outbreak of a war in the region where a large part of the energy which moves the planet’s industry and agriculture is produced.

It is thanks to the possession of weapons of mass destruction that Israel has been able to fulfill its role as the instrument of imperialism and colonialism in that region of the Middle East.

It is not about the legitimate right of the Israeli people to live and work in peace and freedom; it is precisely about the right of the other peoples in the region to freedom and peace.

While Israel was rapidly creating a nuclear arsenal, it attacked and destroyed, in 1981, the Iraqi nuclear reactor in Osirak. It did exactly the same to the Syrian reactor in Dayr az-Zawr in 2007, an action of which world opinion was strangely not informed. The United Nations and the IAEA were fully aware of what had occurred. Such actions had the support of the United States and the Atlantic Alliance.

There is nothing at all strange about Israel’s highest authorities now announcing their intention to do the same to Iran. This country, immensely rich in oil and gas, had been the victim of the conspiracies of Britain and the United States, whose oil companies were plundering its resources. Its armed forces were equipped with the most modern armaments from the United States’ military industry.

Shah Reza Pahlevi also aspired to acquiring nuclear weapons. Nobody attacked his research centers. The Israeli war was against the Muslim Arabs. It was not against those of Iran, because they had become a NATO bulwark pointing at the heart of the USSR.

Under the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini, the masses of that nation, profoundly religious and defying the power of those weapons, removed the Shah from the throne and disarmed one of the best equipped armies in the world without firing a shot.

Given its fighting capacity, number of inhabitants and the country’s extension, an aggression against Iran would bear no resemblance to Israel’s military adventures in Iraq and Syria. A bloody war would invariably be unleashed. There should be absolutely no doubt about that.

Israel has a large number of nuclear weapons with the capacity to reach any point in Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania. I ask myself: Does the IAEA have the moral right to sanction and asphyxiate a country if it attempts to do in its own defense what Israel did in the heart of the Middle East?

What I really think is that no country in the world should possess nuclear weapons, and that this energy should be placed at the service of the human species. Without that spirit of cooperation, humanity is inexorably advancing toward its own destruction. Among Israeli citizens themselves, doubtless a hardworking and intelligent people, many will not be in agreement with this crazy and absurd politics which is also taking them to total disaster.

What is being said today in the world about the economic situation?

The international news agencies report that U.S. President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, presented divergent commercial agendas […] highlighting the growing tensions between the two largest economies in the world.

Obama used an address – Reuters affirms – to threaten punitive economic steps against China unless it started ‘playing by the rules…’

These rules are evidently the interests of the United States.

Obama faces a tough 2012 re-election battle, in which Republican opponents accuse him of not being tough enough on China,” the agency states.

News published on Thursday and Friday reflected the realities which we are experiencing much better.

AP, the best informed U.S. news agency communicated, “Iran’s supreme leader warned Israel and the U.S. that Tehran’s response will be tough should its arch-enemies choose a military strike against Iran…”

The German news agency reported that China had stated that, as always, it believed that dialogue and cooperation were the only form of active rapprochement to solve the problem.

Russia was equally opposed to the punitive measures against Iran.

Germany rejected the military option but was in favor of strong sanctions against Iran.

The United Kingdom and France advocated strong and energetic sanctions.

The Russian Federation assured that it would do everything possible to avert a military operation against Iran and criticized the IAEA report.

‘A military operation against Iran could lead to very grave consequences and Russia will have to invest all its efforts in appeasing spirits,'” stated Konstantin Kosachov, head of the Duma’s Foreign Committee,” and, according to EFE, “He criticized ‘affirmations by the United States, France and Israel as to the possible use of force and the fact that the launch of a military operation against Iran is constantly closer.’

Edward Spannaus, editor of the U.S. EIR magazine, stated that an attack on Iran would end in World War III.

After traveling to Israel a few days ago, the United States Defense Secretary himself acknowledged that he could not obtain a commitment from the Israeli government to consult with the United States prior to an attack on Iran. Things have reached this extreme.

The U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs crudely revealed the empire’s dark intentions:

Israel and the U.S. will embark on ‘the largest and most significant joint exercise in the allies’ history,’ said Andrew Shapiro, U.S. assistant secretary for political-military affairs, on Saturday.

…in the […] Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Shapiro spoke about the 5,000 US and Israeli forces who will participate in the exercise to simulate Israel’s ballistic missile defense system.

‘Israeli technology is proving critical to improving our Homeland Security and protecting our troops,’ he added…

Shapiro emphasized the Obama administration’s support for Israel, despite comments by a senior U.S. official on Friday, who expressed concern that Israel would not warn the U.S. before taking military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

‘Our security relationship with Israel is broader, deeper and more intense than ever before.’

‘We support Israel because it is in our national interests to do so […] It is the very strength of Israel’s military which deters potential aggressors and helps foster peace and stability.’

Today, November 13, Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the UN, told the BBC network that the possibility of a military intervention in Iran was not only not off the table, but is a real option which is growing on account of Iran’s behavior.

She insisted that the U.S. administration is reaching the conclusion that it will become necessary to end the current Iranian regime in order to avoid it creating a nuclear arsenal. “I am convinced that regime change is going to be our only option here,” Rice acknowledged.

Not one more word is necessary.

castro signature

Fidel Castro Ruz

November 13, 2011

8:17 p.m.

What Would Einstein Say?

In a Reflection published on August 25, 2010 under the title of “The Opinion of an Expert”, I mentioned a really unusual activity of the United States and its allies which, in my opinion, underlines the risk of a nuclear conflict with Iran. I was referring to a long article by the well-known journalist Jeffrey Goldberg, published in the US journal The Atlantic in September of that year, entitled “The Point of No Return”.

Goldberg was not anti-Israeli, quite the opposite; he is an admirer of Israel and holds double citizenship with the US and also did his military service in that country. (more…)

238 Reasons to be Worried, Part 2

June 21:

AFP: Brazil refused to go on mediating on the Iranian nuclear subject after the US and other powers rejected the agreement for exchange signed in May by Iran and Turkey, as declared this Monday by Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim to The Financial Times. (more…)

238 Reasons to be Worried, Part 1

We are living in an exceptional moment of human history. Starting from a period in which it was divided into Ancient, Medieval, Modern and Contemporary History. Not the history we were studying in school 75 years ago but the history brilliantly described by Karl Marx as Pre-history. That would be the result of the incredible growth of productive forces, with contributions by science and technology, and its impact on the conscience and material life of our species. (more…)

The Opinion of an Expert

If I were to be asked who best knows about Israeli thinking, I would answer that without question it is Jeffrey Goldberg. He is an indefatigable journalist, capable of having dozens of meetings to ascertain how some Israeli leader or intellectual may think.

He is not neutral, of course; he is pro-Israel, without question. When one of them does not agree with the policy of that country that too is not done halfway.

For my aim, it is important to know the thinking that guides the main political and military leaders of that State. (more…)

The origin of wars

I affirmed on July 4 that neither the United States nor Iran would give in; “one, due to the pride of the powerful, and the other, out of resistance to the yoke and the capacity to fight, as has occurred so many times in the history of humanity…”

In almost all wars, one of the parties wishes to avoid them, and sometimes, both. On this occasion, it would come about even though one of the parties does not wish it, as happened in the two World Wars in 1914 and 1939, with only 25 years of distance before the first outbreak and the second. (more…)

Impossible joy

I promised that I would be the “happiest man in the world if I was wrong” but, unfortunately, my happiness was short-lived.

The World Cup has still not ended. There are six days left to go before the final.

What an exceptional opportunity the yanki empire and the fascist state of Israel might miss for keeping the minds of the vast majority of the inhabitants of the planet off their basic problems! (more…)

How I wish I was wrong

WHEN these lines are published tomorrow, Friday, in Granma newspaper, the 26th of July, a date on which we always recall with pride the honor of having resisted the onslaughts of the empire, will still be in the distance, despite it being only 32 days away.

Those who determine every step of the worst enemy of humanity – United States imperialism, a mixture of ignoble material interests, disdain and underestimation for other people inhabiting the planet – have calculated everything with mathematical precision.

In the Reflection of June 16 I wrote: “Diabolical news is filtering little by little between games and games in the World Cup, in a way that nobody is paying much attention to it.” (more…)

The Empire and the War

Two days ago, I said in a few words that imperialism was unable to solve the extremely serious problem of drug abuse, which has become a scourge for the people all over the world. Today, I wish to deal with another issue that I consider of major significance.

The current danger that the United States attacks North Korea, following the recent incident in the territorial waters of the latter, could perhaps be thwarted if the President of the People’s Republic of China decides to exercise the right to veto—a prerogative that country totally dislikes—with respect to the agreements currently under discussion at the UN Security Council. (more…)

Obama Has No Easy Task

I remember that, when I visited the People’s Republic of Poland, during Gierek’s government, I was taken to Osviecim, the most notorious of all concentration camps. There I learned about the horrible crimes committed by the Nazis against Jewish children, women and senior citizens, which resulted from the implementation of the ideas contained in the book Mein Kampf written by Adolph Hitler. Those ideas had been implemented before at the time when the territory of the USSR was invaded in the quest for ‘living space.’ By that time, the governments of London and Paris incited the Nazi chief against the Soviet State.… | more |

April 2006 (Volume 57, Number 11)

April 2006 (Volume 57, Number 11)

Notes from the Editors

As we write this in late February, threats of a U.S. military intervention in Iran are intensifying in response to Washington’s claims that Iran is attempting to develop nuclear weapons capabilities. The International Atomic Energy Agency has voted to take the issue of what it views as Iran’s noncompliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Safeguards Agreement to the United Nations Security Council in early March. Meanwhile, the Bush administration has repeatedly stated that a military strike against Iran by the United States is now “on the table.” Washington’s waving of its big stick coupled with its feeding of misinformation to a U.S. media system that has not hesitated to pass these distortions on to the general public have already had their effect. A Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll taken in January indicated that “57% of Americans favor military intervention if Iran’s Islamic government pursues a program that could enable it to build nuclear arms” (Los Angeles Times, January 27, 2006). A few days later President Bush declared in his State of the Union address that “the Iranian government is defying the world with its nuclear ambitions, and the nations of the world must not permit the Iranian regime to gain nuclear weapons. America will continue to rally the world to confront these threats.”… | more |