The new release of the spooky Wikileaks files on Sunday (it’s reported that 3rd installment is due to be released in the near future) – how the US and its allies have been discussing military attacks and covert activities to bring a pro-Israel regime-change in Tehran.
On November 4, 1979 – a group of Iranian students stormed the US Embassy in Tehran and detained its occupants for allegedly conspiring against the Iranian nation under Reza Shah’s regime and to undo the Islamic Revolution (1979) against the former pro-USrael regime. After two weeks, the students released all the non-American, female and staff-members belonging to US minorities – calling them fellow victims of US imperialism. However, 52 US embassy staff members were kept hold-in inside the Embassy building. Later, Canadian Ambassador in Iran, Kenneth Taylor (a CIA operative) smuggled six of those captive Americans on faked Canadian passports.
The so-called “hostage” saga began when Jimmy Carter’s administration allowed the deposed Shah to seek assylum in the US on ‘medical reasons’. The ‘hostage’ affair became a national pride on both sides when Jimmy Carter after failing to get the American release after usual military threats and UNSC resolution – ordered a disastrous military rescue, code name, Operation Eagle Claw, on April 24, 1980, in which ten US military personnel died as result of desert storm even without the knowledge of Iranian airforce.
Two Zionists who campaigned for sheltering the deposed Shah of Iran and reinstate him for the second time (first Shah was reinstated by a CIA-funded ‘Green Revolution’ in 1953) – were billionaire David Rockefeller and Jewish US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
After. 444 days all the Americans inside the embassy were released on US President Ronald Reagan’s promise to Algerian negotiators that he will release US$14 billion frozen assests in exchange – a promise which remains to be fulfilled till today.
We are still living with the consequences, when wages declined, unions were broken, and military spending escalated. Reagan invaded Grenada and Beirut where the killings of hundreds of US soldiers sparked what we now label a War on Terror and which Iranians see as a “Clash of Civilizations.
The despotic Shah, our faithful servant for so many years, was driven from power by a popular revolt with the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini soon becoming the man we loved to hate.
Now, thirty plus years later, I am standing in front of what was once our Embassy surrounded today by well-kept lawns as it was then.
It is as if the past is never past, with so many ghosts still around.
The tragedy is that polarization between our two countries remains symbolized by what is now a very politicized museum with photos of the activists who crawled through a basement window and tunnel to take it over. They were demanding the return of the Shah to stand trial. They were protesting US interference in their internal affairs.
I didn’t remember that eight hostages -women and black employees — were released by Khomeini as a gesture. He urged the black men to return home and carry on the work of our most famous Muslim martyr, Molcom X. Malcolm was one of the Americans they admired.
The students found a secret document with a floor plan of the Ayatollah’s residence and other artifacts of CIA espionage including guns and coding machines.
As the students muscled their way into the Embassy back then, US officials were busy destroying documents, burning them in the basement, throwing them into chemical vats that turned paper into powder, and feeding them into huge industrial-strength shredders. I saw the machines.
They managed to keep the activists at bay for three hours while destroying sensitive and potentially embarrassing data before surrendering.
What they didn’t count on was that scores of students would spend weeks patiently and systematically piecing the shreds together, literally ironing and weaving the fragments into readable prose. They reconstructed the destroyed documents and published them in scores of books that topped the best-seller list in Iran, if there was one.
The late Bill Worthy, a legendary African American journalist, brought some of the books back to Boston in 1980 only to have them confiscated at the airport where he was threatened with prosecution.
Most Americans know little of Iran’s 2500 year history, its proud culture or the role played by the CIA in toppling the democratically elected the Mosaddegh government in l953 that wanted to nationalize the country’s oil instead of being forced to allow the West to exploit it. (The Ayatollah Khomeini referenced this event when he told the US: “You have no right to complain, because you took our whole country hostage in 1953.”) There is no evidence that the Ayatollah organized the Embassy takeover.
We are doing all we can to block Iranian nuclear ambitions. There are legitimate non-fiction fears of a new war against Iran, another no-win conflict that will cause more death and sap more treasure. The neo-cons are busy at work lobbying for just such a war, eager to replicate their “heroic victory” over Iraq. They are playing the fear card with lots of covert lobbying from Israel that claims Iran represents an “existential” threat.
To me, the arrogant right-wing politicians and propagandists in Israel are a far more dangerous threat to any prospects for peace. Successive American Administrations, like the current one, shovels sheckels at them, appeasing their contempt and occupation of Palestinians.
The world mocks dogmatic believers in the Koran while fanatical Torah worshippers have a free pass to practice hatred.
Talk about hypocrisy.