Animosity between U.S. and Iran goes back before 1979

In a recent Herald, David Ignatius discussed hostilities between the U.S. and Iran, which he claims began in 1979, with the takeover of our embassy there. Shame on you, Mr. Ignatius, for misleading your readers. You, as a journalist, should know better.

The story begins in 1953, when the Iranian people elected Mohammed Mossadegh, a leader who had the audacity to believe that the profits from Iranian oil should belong to the people of that country. This did not set well with American oil companies, so they had our CIA overthrow the democratically elected leader of Iran and install a puppet government led by Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran. He was our boy! Not only did he hand his country’s resources over to American corporations, he set up his own Gestapo to hunt down and “disappear” any citizens who dared to oppose him.

This went on for 26 years, until the Iranians took back their country via the takeover of our embassy and the capture of the Americans who worked there, as well as the expulsion of the hated shah.

Take a look at the situation now. Imagine if the Iranians parked two aircraft carriers and a destroyer in the Caribbean Sea, and built military installations in countries adjacent to ours, and sent drones over our territory to surveil us. Imagine if Iran had the power to cripple our economy as we do theirs, and viciously did so. Would we not respond with hostility? I am a history teacher, and I believe that we should tell the truth. The Iranians did not start this; we did.

Gina Parry


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