U.S. Aggressiveness towards Iran

What it means to have "all options" on the table

The continued insistence of “all options” on the table; this is the disappointing message which a Nobel Peace Prize laureate dispatches internationally. In his latest interview with CBS news, U.S. President Barack Obama refused to rule out the possibility of a military strike against Iran by harking back to the infamous catchphrase of former U.S. President George W. Bush, with reagard  to Iran’s nuclear program, that “all options are on the table”.

Putting the  “options” aside, the “table” itself is a matter of controversy. Which table is the U.S. President referring to? Who is in the position to decide the destiny of Iran’s nuclear program? What’s wrong with Iran’s nuclear program that a nation of 70-million should be made to endure “crippling sanctions”, continued threats of a military strike, and isolation? What’s the definite answer to the simple question of why the U.S., France, and Israel should possess nuclear weapons? Who is more offensive and violent: Iran, whose nuclear program there is no evidence to suggest has any military purpose, or the adventurous, aggressive trajectory of Washington and its allies?

Robert Parry, an award-winning American investigative journalist, austerely addresses the issue. In an April 2 article in Consortium News, he notes: “if two countries with powerful nuclear arsenals were openly musing about attacking a third country over mere suspicions that it might want to join the nuclear club, we’d tend to sympathize with the non-nuclear underdog as the victim of bullying and possible aggression.”

As Parry notes, the “bomb bomb Iran Parlor Game” has much to do with the regular psychological operations the U.S. government ruthlessly directs against its victims, as has been seen repeatedly, in which the U.S. government resorts to the most ruthless methods of black propaganda to demonize and demoralize its opponents.

In order to thwart Iran’s efforts to achieve a zenith of high technology and prevent the country from becoming an influential player in the Persian Gulf region and beyond, a large number of conservative think-tanks and pundits direct psychological warfare against Iran. Although the New York Times by itself is a leading front for running misleading and untruthful articles, numerous websites, blogs and community portals have also functioned as virtual mouthpieces for Washington so as to regularly disseminate deceptive stories and misrepresent what’s happening in Iran.

Over the past three decades, and especially following the eruption of the nuclear dispute with Iran, the U.S. has vigorously been carrying out media operations to incite anti-Iranian sentiments. Some recent efforts include the establishment of websites such as “United Against Nuclear Iran” and the Hollywood production of movies like “300” and “The Wrestler”. The battle for public perception is not limited to mainstream media outlets, but also involves bloggers who have similarly mobilized to take part in the demonization of Iran.

Above all, carrying out psychological operations is one of the most sensitive and delicate responsibilities of the U.S. Army, the CIA’s Special Activities Division (SAD) and National Clandestine Service (NCS). SAD is in charge of providing the U.S. President with “special” options where diplomacy and military action is likely to fail. The U.S. President has the authority to order the commencement of a new clandestine operation whenever necessary. Covert and intangible intervention in foreign elections is one of the main tasks of SAD. It also carries out missions to undermine or even overthrow a regime which does not comply with the interests of the U.S. administration. SAD has a long history of carrying out paralyzing missions of psychological propaganda against many nations, including Bolivia, Cuba, Vietnam, Laos, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran.

In Iran, where people still remember the bitter memory of U.S.-backed coup d’etat of 1953 that brought down the democratic government of Dr. Mosaddeq and inaugurated the tyranny of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, SAD has accomplished numerous operations, several of which have been revealed by the investigative journalists.

In July 2008, for example, the renowned American journalist Seymour Hersh published an article in the New Yorker and revealed that the Bush administration had taken practical steps, including the authorization of a Presidential Finding to legitimize the illegal entry of paramilitary troops into Iran, through the borders of Iraq, so as to help overthrow the government of Iran. Based on the documents he had obtained, Hersh wrote: “Late last year, Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran…. These operations, for which the President sought up to four hundred million dollars, were described in a Presidential Finding signed by Bush, and are designed to destabilize the country’s religious leadership.”

Hersh cited a Presidential Finding, a highly classified document only available to the Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and the Senate and the ranking members of their respective intelligence committees. This greatly highlighted the significance of his revelation. “The Finding was focused on undermining Iran’s nuclear ambitions and trying to undermine the government through regime change, working with opposition groups and passing money” Hersh quoted an informed, anonymous source as saying.

SAD has also carried out significant actions such as preventing the Italian Communist Party (PCI) from winning the parliamentary elections in 1948 and 1960s, overthrowing the government of Guatemala in 1954, and staging the 1957 coup d’etat of Indonesia that removed from power the popular, democratically-elected President Ahmad Sukarno and led to a terrible massacre in which almost 1 million people lost their lives.

History seems to repeat itself once again. Under the decree of someone who won a Nobel Prize of “Peace”, the U.S. has been banging the war drum in the Middle East.

Read the 1st chapter of Obstacle to Peace for free!

Kourosh Ziabari

Kourosh Ziabari is an award-winning Iranian journalist and reporter. He has won three prizes in Iran's National Press Festival. In August 2015, he was named the recipient of the Senior Journalists Seminar  Fellowship by the Hawaii-based East-West Center. In June 2015, he was selected by Deutsche Welle and European Youth Press to be part of a team of 16 young reporters and journos from different countries covering the Global Media Forum 2015 in Bonn, Germany. Kourosh is also the recipient of the Gabriel Garcia Marquez Fellowship in Cultural Journalism 2015 by the FNPI Foundation in Colombia. Kourosh is a staff writer and reporter at Iran Review. He is the Iran correspondent of Fair Observer, an international media corporation based in California. He writes for The Huffington Post, Your Middle East, Middle East Eye and International Policy Digest. Follow him on Twitter at @KZiabari

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  • Jonathan Frame

    I still wonder how people like you can defend a terror regime like the Islamic Republic of Iran.. Are you working as their servant abroad? Surely a man with some conscience and knowledge who also happens to be Iranian cannot defend this country after what they did against their own people openly for the world to see..
    From the day of its birth this country has savaged its people and used methods of terror to gain its goals and survive.. A country that can be so brutal and dishonest against its people cannot be trusted with nuclear material. They are against basic human rights without the bomb, how will they act when they have it? Can we afford to take a chance?
    Isn’t the evidence of their limitless violence and religious persecution enough for you?
    Peace cannot be achieved by dialogue with fanatics, liars, rapist and murderers, so to maintain a safer world for all mankind all options should remain on the table.

    • Jonathan, you’re equating criticism of U.S. policy with “defending” Iran, which is a fallacy.

  • Jay

    Why is it that “a country that can be so brutal and dishonest against its people….” cannot be trusted but a country that is responsible for far worse brutality and violence against a far larger groups of people (Iraqis, Afghans, Nicaraguans, El Salvadorans, Chileans, ….) and the likes of Abu ghraib, Guantanamo, Bagram, ……
    is trustworthy? Is it because some can provide “rational justifications” for it?!

  • majid

    dear misled Jonathan Frame
    I’m terribly sorry to say that your comment doesn’t comply with the facts. as an Iranian student studying in Tabriz university, i saw how the truth had been tampered with throughout the mass media in the USA and other countries.your country is deceiving you and i take pity on your appalling state.i don’t know when you will come to realize the fact that the propaganda machines are working so hard in the USA .so please don’t write stupid comments when you don’t know nothing .

  • Dave

    I truly feel sad for people like Johnathan who are so completely brainwashed and ignorant. May god have pity on sheep like you.

  • I would love for an FP contributor to paint us a picture of a world without Iran from US perspective. Ideally a piece that accurately tabulates the cost of US hostility towards Iran for the past thirty years and future x years to come vis-a-vis the benefits.

    After all, enterprises with smaller budgets produce quarterly financial/progress reports for their stakeholders. I am just asking for a report once in every 30 or so years.

    • Normajean

      How about the picture of a world without the U.S. war-machine…just the people and the territories, no domination, brainwashing, hellish weaponry, torture, spying, rewriting history, etc.
      I paint that in my mind’s eye, and it’s paradise! Imagine the progress the world could have made without the loud ignoramus with the bombs running the show and ruining the planet! We are all “stakeholders”, but nobody will ask us or report to us, the “enterprise” is the strategy of tension, and our opinions are irrelevant

  • Brian

    Well written article Kuroush. At this risk of getting my post removed let me pontificate on why the propaganda system which is to manufacture consent among the gullible populace (Mr. Jonathan Frame is exhibit A)

    The main reason is China. China has the economic and demographic power to overtake the US. The Chinese MIDDLE class outnumber ALL Americans.

    The only way we can stay “number one” is that we control the rate by which the Chinese economy grows. Currently, US controls or heavily influences the export regime of all Middle Eastern Oil producers, EXCEPT Iran. (it might be worthy to note the only land route standing between a pipeline between China and Iran is Afghanistan)

    For that reason alone, the drumbeats of war are being beaten. Israelis and their US allies also are happily feeding the propaganda to ensure an Israeli military hegemony over all Middle East.

    For those reason we are inching towards war. And no reasonable debate or logical comparison will make a difference. Power projects itself and war is near. The fact that it may happen under our Noble Peace prize winning president is particularly ironic.

  • Quinterius

    Excellent article. Jonathan is brainwashed. There is no hope for people like him. Facts and logic are irrelevant for people like him.

    It is time to abolish the term “all options are on the table.” It is utterly stupid. The nuclear issue is just an excuse since there is no evidence that Iran is building bombs. Even the US military now says that Iran could at best build ONE bomb in about five years. With thousands of nuclear bombs in the US and about 300 in Israel, what imbecile thinks Iran is going to attack either country? They insult people’s intelligence. The goal of the US is to destroy the Iranian economy and to keep the country weak so that the US and Israel will have hegemony in the Middle East.

  • Nima

    Great article from Koroush.Everything that needs to be said has been said by my fellow readers.I have pity in my heart for individuals like Jonathan Frame,they will never change.

  • Although I live in the USA, my heart, soul and thoughts are with my relatives and fellow countrymen in Iran. Until this brutal regime of thugs governs Iran, there is no future for the Iranians, and the peace in the region is just a dream. Whoever believes that the atomic projects in Iran are for peaceful purposes, is totally unfamiliar with the ideology of Islam and its believers. This regime wants to stay in power, destroy unbelievers (Christians, Jews, atheists, agnostics, even Sunni Moslems) and expand its ideology of Islam. The end justifies the means for them. The regime would gladly kill, assassinate, bribe, lie to reach its goal. The crimes and atrocities of the regime, although look bad in civilized countries, but are perfectly legitimate in Islam. You cannot kill another human being in Islam, BUT if he/she is a non-Moslem, it is OK. You cannot steal from others, BUT if it belongs to non-Moslems, it is OK. It is not good to lie in Islam, BUT if it is for the benefit if Islam, it is OK. You cannot torture in Islam, BUT if the subject is a non-Moslem, it is OK. You cannot forcefully possess other people’s wives. BUT if the husband is a non-Moslem, it is OK. A widow can re-marry, BUT if the late husband was the prophet Muhammad, she cannot re-marry. You cannot force anyone to accept Islam, BUT if he/she refrains or discards Islam, his blood is Halal (OK to shed).
    This Mr. Kourosh is either on IRI’s payroll list like hundreds of others, or has no idea what he is talking about.
    There is no peace in the middle east at this moment, thanks to IRI thugs. Wait until they get their hands on just one atomic bomb, the whole world will be sorry, especially my poor fellow countrymen. Please educate yourselves on Islam.
    Islam is not a religion. It is the domination guideline of thugs.

    • “Whoever believes that the atomic projects in Iran are for peaceful purposes, is totally unfamiliar with the ideology of Islam and its believers.”

      That’s just ignorant, as are the rest of your views on Islam.

    • M.T.

      Since you have based your entire argument on the premise that the nuclear research and development program of Islamic Republic of Iran cannot be trusted to be peaceful because it is rooted in the “ideology of Islam and its believers” and you have provided statements to that effect, I think it is important to examine the accuracy and validity of your assumptions and the “evidence” of your argument. In contrast to the doctrines of “pre-emptive wars” [wars of aggression], “all options on the table,” [which deliberately includes us of weapons of mass destruction], “necessity of good wars” [Noble “peace” prize speech], and killing of innocent people as collateral damage, Islam offers the following doctrine with respect to war:

      Quran 2:190 “You shall fight in the cause of God only against those who fight you. But do not aggress for God does not love the aggressors.”

      Quran 2: 191 “You may kill them if they attack you [right to self defense] and evict them whence they evicted you [against occupation]. Oppression is worse than murder. Do not fight them at the Sacred Mosque unless they attack you therein. If they attack you, then you may kill them and this will be their just retribution.”

      Quran 2:192 “However, if they refrain [end occupation and aggression], then God is forgiver and merciful.”

      Quran 2:193 “You may fight them to prevent oppression and to practice God’s religion in complete freedom. Once they refrain, there shall be no aggression except against chaos.”

      If the above doctrine is the framework within which Islamic Republic of Iran operates, let’s examine the evidence to see if, in fact, IRI has genuinely followed the principles:

      Since its inception in Feb. 11, 1979, has not attacked a single country or nation in the world. To date, all allegations operations by Islamic Republic of Iran in any country has been proven either false and fabricated or has continued without valid, reliable, and verifiable evidence by those who have alleged the charges. Islamic Republic of Iran has been the subject of the most intrusive investigation and inspection by the IAEA since the founding of the agency, more than any other nation in the world. Not a single credible evidence has been found to point to any diversion from her obligations. Within its capacity and its responsibilities as a member of the United Nation, IRI has systematically condemned and taken a stance against the occupation, aggression, and oppression of all nations and people that include: Palestinians, Afghanis, Iraqis, Nicaraguans, Bolivians, Lebanese, Pakistanis, and many more.

      As recent as today, in a message to the international nuclear disarmament conference in Tehran, ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Vali Faghih, wrote [direct translation of an excerpt from the Farsi text]:
      “The necessity of eradicating nuclear weapons become very clear right at the moment of the explosion of the first nuclear weapons used by the United States in Hiroshima and Nagasaki that created a catastrophe with unprecedented dimensions in the entire human history threatening the security of all humanity. The use of nuclear weapon not only caused mass killing and destruction but also did not distinguish between military and non-military, young and old, woman, man, and infant beyond the boundaries of time and geography that even several generations after that have been suffering and continue to suffer into an unforeseeable future. Therefore, the use or even threat to use this weapon is the most serious crime against humanity, human laws, and is a war crime. There is no doubt that there will not be any victory for anyone in a nuclear war and such a war is against humanity and human wisdom.”

      Last sentence reads: “we believe the “karbord” [= use, utilization, purpose, ] use of these weapons to be “haram” [i.e. absolutely forbidden in Islam] and believe it is the responsibility of everyone to struggle to rid the humanity of this great calamity.”

      Therefore, I believe it is Islam that has prevented the Iranian government from working to acquire nuclear weapons. Otherwise, it would have followed the footsteps of “human-right-loving” nations such as the United States of America and Israel who have used and continue to use (depleted uranium ) nuclear weapons.

  • Boh

    Give me a break people. Jonathan is brain washed??!!!! You people know nothing about what is going on in Iran.

    Kouroush Ziabari is clearly a mouthpiece for the Iranian government, as a quick browse of his articles cleary indicate.

    And Majid, how can anyone who is well informed take comments like your seriously. I also live in Iran, and have family around the country, and the situation in Iran is absolutely horrible and the basij and sepah as bad if not worst than they have been depicted. Did you miss the video of the Tehran University attacked and the separate video of the rape victims which were released in the last couple of months???!!! How can you honestly say that none of this is happening and expect people to beleive you.

    I am personally against an attack on Iran (although I do not want Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon as they cannot be trusted). The ruling powers in Iran are currupt, violent and backward and I canno weight the day until they are removed from power so that we can see some level of justice, freedom and prosperity in the country. I want the Iranian regime remove, but not at the expense of thousands of Iranian lives.

    • Actually, everyone, though Boh says “I also live in Iran”, Boh’s IP Address is from Australia.

      For y’all’s information: I get a lot of these guys in FPJ in the comments section, touting the “green revolution” propaganda and calling for regime change, saying they’re Iranians living in Iran, but they’re typing their comments from the U.S. or U.K. or Australia, etc.

  • This writer represents only himself and BY NO MEANS WHATSOEVER, the opinion or the feelings of a huge majority of Iranians. He is clearly someone who does not see it from the Iranian point of view but someone who panders to apologists and naive and stubborn westerners who refuse to see the forest for the trees. His comments are laden in ideology that’s only sexy to those who have the luxury of living in the comforts of the west, not having to deal with the day to day realities on the ground in Iran. He’s nothing more than an embarrassment to us Iranians.

    • … writes Banafsheh from his computer in the United States, helping to illustrate Kourosh’s point.

      Kourosh, dear FPJ readers, unlike some people, actually lives in Iran.

  • Jeremy R. Hammond,
    You are indeed full of it.
    To begin with, how do you know where the e-mails comes from in order to decipher the IP address? Has it slipped your mind that the posts are written to the web page and are not e-mails. Unless you are the admin of the website and log the sessions, you cannot know where the posts come from.
    Besides, what difference does it make where the person lives.
    If this Kourosh guy lives in Iran, does it make him a more credible person than the one in Australia? For your information, 99% of the regime thugs do live inside Iran.
    Moreover, the penalty to contact foreign media for Iranians inside Iran is not less than two years of prison, unless you are a thug yourself and act as the mouthpiece of the thugs’ regime.
    May I repeat myself: Islam is not a religion, it is the domination guideline of thugs.

    • Bahman, I am the owner of Foreign Policy Journal.

      So I guess there goes your argument for why I am “full of it”.

      • Wow! Jeremy, you are indeed the owner of FPJ. Why don’t you mention it in your posts then? Not revealing your identity is like wall street insider trading.
        People do it, but it is unethical. Especially revealing the information that has been confide to you is absolutely unethical.
        Thousands over thousands of websites are filtered by the regime of Iran and are not accessible inside Iran. Much to my amusement, your site is NOT filtered and is freely accessible in Iran.
        I know why now.

        • Why, all my comments are clearly identified as being from “Jeremy R. Hammond!”

          You silly!

          • Nice try to evade my point.
            Of course you put your name on your posts, but what you do not mention is that:
            1- You are the owner of the site
            2- You inspect the hidden parts of the message to find out the IP address and the location of the sender.
            3- You divulge such information confide to you at your own discretion.
            Good that you put your name on your posts. Thus, the Mullahs know to whom to send their checks.

          • I wasn’t “evading” your point, Bahman, I was ridiculing it.

            Oh, and everyone whose country of residence I noted was using a public IP address to access the internet.

            It is your privilege and not your right to post comments on my website, and by doing so you agree to my terms of use. If people abuse that privilege, such as by trying to mislead others about their country of residence, I reserve the right to inform other readers of the truth.

            If you don’t agree to those terms, don’t post comments here.

          • M.T.

            Good article. Mr. Hammond, thank you for providing a transparent and reasonable platform for meaningful dialogue.

          • You’re welcome. Thanks for commenting.

  • It’s true that America sees the current Iranian establishment as its enemy number one due to its hostility with Israel and its nuclear programme even though if it is for peaceful purposes. What I don’t understand is that why the Iranian regime has to rely on strict political censorship, filtering of public media, arrests of legitimate opposition activists and many other forms of repression of its own people. Many of my Iranian friends say they can’t access basic internet websites like YouTube, Twitter or Facebook. What direction is this ‘Guardian of the faithful’ government taking its people to? I do admit that Iranian regime has faced hostile attitude from day 1 since it swept to power however censorships, repression, aggression and neglect of its own people makes me believe that one dictatorship (that of Reza Shah) was replaced by another (Khomeini’s). I really feel sorry for the proud Iranian people and cringe at the treatment they meet by the hands of foreign powers as well as their own rulers. Advocating for the Islamic regime in Tehran won’t help the cause of Iranian people at all. Wrong is wrong and both Americans as well as Islamic regime are responsible for the exploitation and killing of the Iranian nation.

    • M.T.

      Moigan, your post abounds with unsubstantiated claims. On the issue of accessing “basic internet websites like YouTube, Twitter or Facebook,” it already begs the question whether in fact:
      a) these outlets are as “basic” as it is implied in your statement. For example, does everyone in the world have access to internet (i.e. no digital divide) and therefore any of these outlets? If no (which would be the correct answer), then who really among the population has this access? To get an internet in Iran for the most basic uses (not even high speed), one needs to pay something like 69,000 toman (equivalent to about $70) a month. This is simply beyond the means of about 2/3 of the Iranian people.

      b) how would access to these outlets really benefit (either materially or spiritually) the people of Iran? Would it help improve the quality of life for them? Would it prevent their rivers, lakes, and underground waters to become uncontaminated? Would it foster closer human-to-human contact and closer social bonds (as opposed to virtual bonds) with their loved ones? What sort of messages would they get? Who designed these messages? For what purpose? To what end? Have the content of these outlets helped those with unlimited access to better address unemployment? housing crisis? Air pollution? Water pollution? Public health disasters that are happening one after another?

      Furthermore, advocating for an Islamic regime that upholds the principles of both personal and social justice is, in fact, the wish of the majority of the Iranian people (at least 2/3) and they have shown this repeatedly. The question is are you honest and sincere enough to behave according to what you’re stating or are you just making an emotional appeal based on faulty reasoning.

      • M.T., if you read my article about Iran titled ‘Iran at the intersection’ published on FPJ, you’ll find it as a very balanced and humane piece taking into consideration the situation on the ground rather than what’s going on in politicians’ drawing rooms or corridors of Qom. What really matters is the opinion of the people. Politicians and members of the establishment, who are playing deaf now, will have to listen to it sooner or later. Now let me answer two questions you raised above:

        a) My question was not about internet accessibility at all. The digital divide exists everywhere be it US, UK, China, Korea etc. Thats not the point. As an internet user, it is my right to access the internet as a whole without any censorship. If the governments in the West impose such restrictions then they’re branded as evil and biased whereas if countries East do the same they do it to defend their sovereignty? Don’t be a hypocrite when it comes to fundamental rights. Access to information is our basic human right, you accept it or not. If you think it is not then you have every right to live in a fool’s paradise.

        b) I admit that the problems you mentioned cannot be solved by giving people the access to unrestricted internet. But by restricting it how many problems have they been able to solve? If you really know how to tap the potential of the internet, much of the basic problems you mentioned can be solved, I can assure you! But for people who want to be the goons of the Iranian establishment internet and other tools of information are sources of danger and alarm.

        I really was of the impression that the Islamic regime upheld principles of justice and equality but after learning what they have been doing over the years I feel terribly sorry for the people of Iran. The revolution has created a new class of religious extremists that are rich and powerful and serve the interests of the mullas only. They’re beyond the law and can arrest and execute any individual they deem working against Tehran. There are no rights for Azeris in the north or Balochs in the east not to mention the treatment of Arabs in Khuzestan and Kurds in North West. You have to be a die hard Shia to survive in Iran, admit it!

        I totally oppose western interference in Iran but I also oppose heinous tactics employed by the mullas in Tehran to suppress their own people who would like to have a change. The involvement of Hezbollah in Tehran riots was an extremely shameful act.

        I will always advocate for peace and solving issues through dialogue as human life is more precious than anything in this world. However, I and thousands of people in and outside Iran feel that Iranians were fooled by Khomeini who proved himself more repressive than Reza Shah. The fault lines present in today’s Iranian establishment are a result of decades long nepotism, cronyism and corruption. You must admit that Iran is in a mess and reforms are the only way forward not totalitarian control by Khamenei. Even Ahmedinezhad is powerless in front of the mullas and cannot fulfill his promises and manifesto. He’s an honest guy but forced to make friends with the establishment. Mullas are the problem in Iran not Islam. Mullas are the real enemies of the people of Iran as they’ve been betraying their nation for the last 31 years. The West wants to attack Iran with the help of the mullas. After all, they raised Khomeini in the West for years before unleashing him in 1979.

  • Boh

    Jeremy R. Hammond

    Thank you for that bit of information. Not sure what it is suppose to prove. I came to Australia temporarily last year to finish my studies and will be returning to Iran soon. Having lived 25 of my 27 years in Iran and returning there soon, I would consider myself some one who lives in Iran. In anycase, the widespread use of proxies by Iranians in Iran would mean that you would not be able truely identify their location (if I am not incorrect) , which may explain your experience.

    In any case, this obviously has nothing to do with the point that our dear author here is clearly biased and somewhat of a fraud, as having a read of his previous articles suggest (I do not know what your interst in the matter is as you clearly have no knowledge, at least first hand of Iran, and have done no real research into the subject matter).

    This Kouroush Ziabari’s articles have been slanderous on many occasions to the point of absolute ridiculousness. He has even gone so far as to suggest that Montazeri, a man of rare integrity amongth Iranian “political clerics” over the last 30 years has been involved in corruption (or atleast that accusations of corruption have been made against him and that they may be valid). I only point this particular one false statement out (amongst many), because I found it to be particularly insulting to the legacy of such a good man.

    I suggest you do some reading into the history of modern in iran and use real knowlege rather than idiologicaly inspired location politics to prove your points.

    • I meant no offense, Boh. I was just responding on the basis of the fact that there has been a very noticeable pattern in the comments on articles regarding Iran where people claiming to speak with knowledge of Iran and suggest they live there are writing from the U.S. (or Australia, etc.). The point is that, obviously, members of the exile/expat community are going to have their own perspective on Iran. I just think people should be honest about where they’re coming from, is all, and it seems to me there’s a pattern where people are not. I’m just trying to make sure everyone has their cards on the table so there can be an honest discussion. Nothing personal was meant by it.

      And your point about proxy servers is well taken. But then, a great many, if not most, of the people using proxies in Iran are opponents or critics of the regime and supporters of the “green revolution”. As there has been a great deal of propaganda and misinformation, such as unsupported claims that Ahmadinejad only won by fraud, etc., spread in the name of that movement, I think its fair that commenters here be open and up front about their political persuasions.

      It’s a tendency that’s not unfamiliar. Recall during the build up to war in Iraq how Western media would report about Iraqis’ views of Iraq — but instead of going to people living on the ground who would suffer under the bombs, they went to the exile community, Chalabi’s INC, etc. You’ll forgive me if I’m wary of propaganda and people of false face, but it seems to me there is often reason for skepticism.

  • Boh

    Jeremy R. Hammond

    Fair enough. You seem reasonable, and I do not blame you of being skeptical of US propoganda.

    However, you should also consider how difficult it is for people in Iran (specially those in particularly sensitive situations with access to information) to get news out of the Country (where even those who have been caught sending SMSs to others to participate in protests have been tried as enemies of God and sentenced to die).

    In such situations the skepticism of US propoganda leading to high level of skepticism in relation to news coming out of Iran is very unrealistic and makes the already difficult task of informing people of the atrocities taking place inside the country almost impossible.

    Are you by the way familiar with the two statistical studies of possible fraud in the Iranian election undertaken since (I am assuming that you probably familiar with the Cole piece since that was widely publicised). For me, these two studies, in addition to the behaviour of the ruling regime after the election and the particular movements in Iranian politics over the last 10 years (lets forget my interaction with people inside the country, which perhaps could be selective) give me a reasonable level of certainty that fraud did occur.

    As for rape and torture in prisons, I have personally had friends (whom I trust) whose family members have been treated in this way (although they relate to events in the 80s). Nonetheless, I do not put such treatment beyond the regime, and in light of similiar accusations over the last 20 years and reports recently coming out of the Country, I do not see them as unlikely.

    Personally, I do not want to see a war with Iran by the US as I do not trust their ability to not hit civlian targets and do not agree with their definition of acceptable collateral damage. On the other hand, any sort of support to overthrow the the Iranian regime (although I have doubts about its effectiveness) I would find rather welcome.

    (And now I am paranoid about being arrested on entering the Country for making the above statements)

  • I’ve read all of the comments made by the readers and would like to equally thank those who lauded my stance and those who attacked me. For those who appreciated my viewpoint, I would like to confess that I only write down what I faithfully believe, whether it’s in compliance with the interests of politicians (both domestic and foreign) or not. For those who criticized me and labeled me a pawn who is being paid (bunches of dollars) for what he writes, I would like to confess that I would never (on earth) become a journalist if I were seeking payment! I’m not about to convince those who oppose my idea; correspondingly, I’m not about to encourage those who embrace my idea. Let’s the debate go ahead. I witness and learn :)