On December 3, 2007 the US intelligence community released an NIE or National Intelligence Estimate on Iran.
A month later, on January 1, 2008, “All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror” by Stephen Kinzer was published.
The first claimed the Iranians stopped their nuclear warhead work in 2003.
The second claimed the American CIA planned a “coup” in 1953 in Iran which brought Shah Pahlavi back to power.
The stories are critical to understand the inability of the US and its allies to successfully end the terrorist regime in Tehran and stop its nuclear ambitions.
In late 2007 and early 2009, the drive-by media and their academic and Hollywood allies were determined to take “Iran” of the table in so far as the forthcoming 2008 Presidential elections. They did not want any unpleasant questions about taking down rogue regimes with nuclear weapons. Done that, did that.
This required a false narrative, or fortune cookie analysis, to cook the books, so to speak, on what US policy should be on Iran.
No nukes, no problem.
Murderous regime, our fault.
Conclusion: do nothing but well, negotiate.
The 2007 NIE was bogus, but in asserting Iran no longer had a threatening nuclear weapons program, there would of course not be questions during the campaign about rogue states and weapons of mass destruction. Can’t have that.
After all, we took down the regime of Saddam Hussein with the partial but important justification that he had chemical weapons and was determined to secure nuclear weapons. And his buddy Chemical Ali (Ali Hassan al-Majid) helped Osama Bin Laden with the development of chemical weapons according to a US Justice Department indictment of Al Qaeda for the 1998 African Embassy Bombings.
No single NIE, says former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, “Ever did more harm to US security interests and diplomatic efforts”.
Why? The NIE was cleverly worded, saying nuclear warhead work was what ended, although implying that other nuclear activity, such as enrichment of nuclear weapons fuel, had also ended, which it had not. The headline fairy tale became the story–Iranian nuclear weapons program was no more.
But the real clincher was Kinzer’s book. It served a parallel purpose as the NIE.
In order to fully “seal the deal” on not intervening in Iranian affairs–whether economically or militarily — Kinzer had to lay out the fairy tale that the emergence of a violent, harsh Islamic regime in Tehran that killed Americans over Lockerbie, in Lebanon, in Iraq and Afghanistan, at the African embassies, Khobar Towers and even the 9-11 World Trade Center attacks– was all the fault of the United States.
He made this bizarre connection with the claim that our support–along with the British–of restoring the 2500 year old monarchy [which started with Cyrus the Great] in Iran was a “coup”.
And as such led to anger among the Iranian people and eventually would culminate in the revolution of 1979 some 56 years later and the emergence of “radical Islam” in the Gulf.
On January 19, 1979, the Shah of Iran fled the country.
On February 11, 1979, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini established the revolutionary Islamic of Iran, with a constitution dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the United States and the further establishment of an Islamic totalitarian regime across the Middle East and the globe.
Being “our fault”, a candidate for the Presidency could logically claim the Mullahs in Iran “served us right” so we simply had to learn to live with them. No action thus was required to deal with Iran. The issue was off the table. Mission accomplished.
This is not just a narrative of just the left.
For example, Congressman Ron Paul, running for President in 2012, said December 15, 2011 that Iran only wanted to destroy us because “we are bombing them”.
Although the narrative of a coup is false, it remains popular among the low information folks. The ten reasons the 1979 revolution occurred and the 1953 restoration was not a coup. Let’s start with 1979.
(10) The Shah granted women suffrage for which the Mullahs were outraged;
(9) The Shah initiated a series of economic, social and political reforms that moved Iran miles away from ever becoming an Islamic state, outraging the mullahs further;
(8) The Shah recognized Israel; (obviously not good!)
(7) The Shah’s secular modernization led to conflicts with the clergy and the bazaari merchant class;
(6) The Carter administration said Khomeini was “a saint” giving his return top-cover;
(5) Academics like Richard Falk of Princeton said Khomeini was going to usher in democracy, giving him more top-cover;
As for 1953…
(4) The seizure by Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossaddegh of private oil resources was illegal, and a key reason he was displaced by the Shah but….
(3) The left likes ripping off private property it seems — we know all privately owned oil companies are immoral — remember Maxine Water’s slip about wanting to nationalize all American oil companies–so what’s wrong with a little confiscation;
(2) The murderous regime that followed in 1979 [marching 9 year old children through land mine fields for example) under the mullahs is apparently justified by the coup myth makers because the Shah in 1953 did not allow Mossaddegh to: (a) suspend the 1906 constitution (under article 46 the Shah had the sole power to hire and fire the Prime Minister); (b) bypass the Parliament and rule by decree; (c) imprison his opponents; (d) steal private oil resources; (e) invite the Tudeh party to operate freely in Iran; and (f) cozy up the Stalin, thereby raising the prospect of Soviet control over Gulf oil resources. In 1946, Moscow had made a grab for the Azeri regions of Iran which the Shah had stopped (what a killjoy!);
And the number one reason there was NOT a coup:
(1) The shah under the Iranian constitution legally dismissed the Prime Minister Mossaddegh … and yes with help from President Eisenhower and Prime Minister Churchill.
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Peter Huessy is the President of Geostrategic Analysis located in Potomac, Maryland outside of Washington, D.C.