Verlede Amerikaanse inwonings in Iran en Irak

Verlede Amerikaanse inwonings in Iran en Irak


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As ek reg onthou dat die VSA op 'n stadium van kant tot kant gekruis het tussen Irak en Iran as gevolg van 'n Koue Oorlog -rede. Dus is my vraag: het die VSA die bemagtiging van beide die Sjah van Iran en Saddam Hussein ondersteun?


Die VSA en Iran was oorspronklik bondgenote toe die sjah wat hulle ondersteun het aan bewind was. die gyselaarskrisis in Iran en die daaropvolgende rewolusie het dit verander deur die sjah van die mag te verwyder en die ayatolla te installeer as die nuwe leier van Iran wat sterk anti -amerikaans was.

Irak word deur die Sowjette ondersteun, maar die Iran-Irak-oorlog het tydens die agteruitgang van die USSR plaasgevind, en Saddam het dus minder steun van sy Sowjet-bondgenote gesien en die oorlog verloor, so hy wou graag van kant verander en die VSA was bereid om te help om Iran te “straf” omdat hy die pro -Amerikaanse regime verdryf het.

Ja, die VSA ondersteun albei, hoewel dit op verskillende tye was, maar die Sjah van Iran is ondersteun tydens die koue oorlog voor die 1980's toe hy die mag verloor, en Saddam is in die middel van die 80's deur die VSA ondersteun.


Irak en Viëtnam - Verskille en ooreenkomste

Hierdie week is die vyfde herdenking van die begin van die oorlog in Irak. Die vroeë maande van 2008 is ook die veertigste herdenking van die My Lai -slagting en die Tet -offensief tydens die Viëtnam -oorlog - gebeure wat die Verenigde State uiteindelik gedwing het om sy betrokkenheid by die konflik te beëindig.

Die naasstelling van hierdie twee herdenkings herinner ons daaraan dat dit nie altyd moontlik is om die ware betekenis en effek van gebeure te verstaan ​​nie, behalwe vanuit die perspektief van etlike dekades van die daaropvolgende geskiedenis.

Byvoorbeeld, toe die laaste helikopter die laaste Amerikaners in 1975 uit die dak van die Amerikaanse ambassade in Saigon ontruim het, lyk die vooruitsigte vir Viëtnam baie onheilspellender as nou. Op daardie April -dag was die aanname dat die mense van Viëtnam gedoem was tot 'n harde bestaan ​​onder 'n verstikkende outoritêre kommunistiese politieke en ekonomiese stelsel.

In werklikheid het Vietnam baie anders gelyk. Wie sou kon dink dat Vietnam 33 jaar na die vernederende ontruiming 'n bloeiende kapitalistiese ekonomie sou hê met vyfster-luukse hotelle, woonstelle met 'n miljoen dollar op China Beach, fynproewersrestaurante en kampioenskap-gholfbane wat hordes vakansiegangers en huweliksreisigers lok.

Dit wil nie sê dat die kommunistiese party nog nie die politieke stelsel in Viëtnam streng beheer nie. Maar selfs dit raak ietwat los. Politieke liberalisering volg dikwels op ekonomiese liberalisering.

Die uiteindelike uitkoms in Irak is nou onbekend.

Op kort termyn, as die Verenigde State aansienlike getalle van hul troepe onttrek voordat Irakse politici en militêre leiers die volle verantwoordelikheid vir veiligheid, politieke hervorming en instellingsbou wil aanvaar, kan die land in chaos, sektariese geweld en oorheersing neerkom. deur militante Islamitiese magte wat Amerika vyandig is.

Dit sou soortgelyk wees aan wat in Viëtnam gebeur het ná die Amerikaanse onttrekking, toe honderdduisende Viëtnamese as vyande van die nuwe Kommunistiese regering beskou is, gevange geneem of tereggestel is.


1990 - Irak val Koeweit binne en annekseer dit, wat die eerste Golfoorlog genoem word. 'N Massiewe militêre veldtog onder leiding van die VSA dwing Irak om in Februarie 1991 terug te trek.

1991 April - Irak het 'n wapeninspeksieprogram ondergaan.

1991 Middel Maart/vroeg in April - Suid -Sjiïete en Noord -Koerdiese bevolkings - aangemoedig deur die nederlaag van Irak in Koeweit - rebelleer, wat 'n wrede onderdrukking veroorsaak.

1991 April - VN -goedgekeurde toevlugsoord gevestig in Noord -Irak om die Koerde te beskerm. Irak het beveel om alle militêre aktiwiteite in die gebied te beëindig.

1992 Augustus - In die suide van Irak word 'n vliegvrye gebied opgerig waarheen Irakse vliegtuie nie mag ingaan nie.

1995 April-VN laat gedeeltelike hervatting van Irak se olie-uitvoer toe om voedsel en medisyne te koop in 'n olie-vir-voedsel-program.

1996 September - die VSA strek die noordelike grens van die suidelike vliegsone tot suid van Bagdad.

1998 Oktober - Irak beëindig die samewerking met die VN se spesiale kommissie om toesig te hou oor die vernietiging van Irak se wapens van massavernietiging.


NOMMER VAN AMERIKAAN Burgers INGEMOORD IRANSE AANVALLE OP DIE VSA = 0
NOMMER VAN IRANSE BURGERS INGEMOORD VSA AANVALLE OP IRAN = 290
  • Iran Air Flight 655 was 'n burgerlike vliegtuig wat op 3 Julie 1988 oor die Straat van Hormuz deur die Amerikaanse missiele neergeskiet is, teen die einde van die oorlog tussen Iran en Irak. Die vliegtuig, 'n Airbus A300B2-203 wat deur Iran Air bestuur word, vlieg van Bandar Abbas, Iran, na Dubai, Verenigde Arabiese Emirate, oor die territoriale waters van Iran in die Persiese Golf op sy gewone vlugpad toe dit deur die Verenigde State vernietig is State Navy-missielkruiser USS Vincennes (CG-49), wat alle 290 passasiers en bemanning aan boord doodgemaak het.
  • Die Amerikaanse regering het berou oor die verlies van menselewens uitgereik en in 1996 vergoeding betaal vir die afhandeling van 'n saak wat by die Internasionale Geregshof ingedien is oor die voorval, maar die Verenigde State het nooit 'n verskoning of erkenning van wangedrag uitgereik nie. In Augustus 1988 Nuusweek het vise -president George H. W. Bush aangehaal en gesê: 'Ek sal nooit verskoning vra vir die Verenigde State van Amerika nie. Ooit. Ek gee nie om wat die feite is nie. ”

Burgerlike sterftes (indirekte betrokkenheid)

NOMMER VAN AMERIKAAN Burgers INGEMOORD IRANSEONDERSTEUNDE AANVALLE OP DIE VSA = 0
NOMMER VAN IRANSE burgerlikes INGEMOORD VSAONDERSTEUNDE AANVALLE OP IRAN = TUSSEN 11 000 EN 400 000
  • Die Oorlog tussen Iran en Irak(ook bekend as die Eerste Persiese Golfoorlog en deur verskeie ander name) was 'n gewapende konflik tussen die gewapende magte van Irak en Iran, wat van September 1980 tot Augustus 1988 duur. Die Iranse burgerlike sterftesyfer word oor die algemeen geraam tussen 11,000 en 400,000 vir Iran.
  • Die Verenigde State ondersteun Irak tydens die oorlog tussen Iran en Irak, as 'n teenwicht vir die post-revolusionêre Iran, het ekonomiese hulp van 'n paar miljard dollar ingesluit, die verkoop van tegnologie vir twee gebruike, nie-Amerikaanse wapens, militêre intelligensie, opleiding vir spesiale operasies en direkte betrokkenheid by oorlogvoering teen Iran. Ondersteuning van die VSA vir Irak was nie 'n geheim nie en is gereeld bespreek tydens 'n oop sitting van die senaat en die Huis van Verteenwoordigers. Op 9 Junie 1992 berig Ted Koppel oor ABC ’s NaglynDit word al hoe duideliker dat George Bush, wat gedurende die tagtigerjare grootliks agter die skerms werksaam was, 'n groot deel van die finansiering, intelligensie en militêre hulp wat Saddam se Irak ingebou het, ondersteun en gesteun het in die mag wat dit geword het, en#8221, en “ Regerings-/Bush-administrasies het die vloei van geld, landboukrediete, dubbele gebruikstegnologie, chemikalieë en wapens na Irak toegelaat-en gereeld aangemoedig-”

Militêre sterftes

Nommer van Amerikaanse TROOPS Ingemoor IraansOndersteunde aanvalle in die VSA = tussen 0 en 4,715

  • Daar is geen Amerikaners in die VSA deur Iran doodgemaak nie. Amerikaners is in Irak dood. Daar is baie bewerings van die Pentagon en die Amerikaanse media dat Iran wapens aan opstandelinge in Irak verskaf het. Daar is egter geen bewyse gelewer wat bewys dat burgers van Iran nie, wat nog te sê dat die Iraanse regering skuldig is vir hierdie sterftes.
  • 23 Oktober 1983, Beiroet, Libanon. 'N Vragmotor gelaai met 'n bom het in die voorportaal van die Amerikaanse mariniers se hoofkwartier in Beiroet neergestort en 241 soldate doodgemaak en 81 gewond. Sommige ontleders meen dat die Islamitiese Republiek Iran sterk betrokke was en dat dit 'n belangrike faktor was wat aan die aanvalle op die barakke was die steun van Amerika vir Irak tydens die Iran-Irak-oorlog en die verlenging van $ 2,5 miljard aan handelskrediet na Irak, terwyl die wapentransport na Iran gestaak is. In 2001 het die voormalige minister van verdediging ten tyde van die bombardement, Caspar Weinberger, gesê: 'Maar ons het nog steeds nie die werklike kennis van wie die bombardement van die mariene kaserne op die Beiroet -lughawe gedoen het nie, en ons het beslis nie #8217t dan. ”
Nommer van Iraanse troepe Ingemoor VSAOndersteunde aanvalle op Iran = tussen 300,000 en 1,000,000
  1. Die Oorlog tussen Iran en Irak(ook bekend as die Eerste Persiese Golfoorlog en deur verskeie ander name) was 'n gewapende konflik tussen die gewapende magte van Irak en Iran, wat van September 1980 tot Augustus 1988 geduur het.

Regering omverwerping

Aantal kere Iran het die VSA‘s Demokraties Verkose Regering = 0
Aantal kere die VSA omgegooi het Iran‘s Demokraties Verkose Regering = 1
  1. Die 1953 Iraanse staatsgreep d ’état (in Iran bekend as die 28 Mordad -staatsgreep) was die omverwerping van die demokraties verkose regering van die Iraanse premier Mohammad Mosaddegh op 19 Augustus 1953, georkestreer deur die intelligensie -agentskappe van die Verenigde Koninkryk en die Verenigde State onder die naam TPAJAX Projek. Met die staatsgreep het die oorgang van Mohammad-Rezā Shāh Pahlavi oorgegaan van 'n konstitusionele monarg na 'n outoritêre een wat sterk staatgemaak het op die steun van die Verenigde State om aan die bewind te bly tot sy eie omverwerping in Februarie 1979.

RONDE 5: Militêre invalle – VS WEN.

Aantal lande gebombardeer deur Iran Sedert WWII = 0
Aantal lande wat deur die VSA Sedert WWII = 32
  1. China 1945-46
  2. Korea 1950-53
  3. China 1950-53
  4. Guatemala 1954
  5. Indonesië 1958
  6. Kuba 1959-60
  7. Guatemala 1960
  8. Belgiese Kongo 1964
  9. Guatemala 1964
  10. Die Dominikaanse Republiek 1965-66
  11. Peru 1965
  12. Laos 1964-73
  13. Viëtnam 1961-73
  14. Kambodja 1969-70
  15. Guatemala 1967-69
  16. Libanon 1982-84
  17. Grenada 1983-84
  18. Libië 1986
  19. El Salvador 1981-92
  20. Nicaragua 1981-90
  21. Iran 1987-88
  22. Libië 1989
  23. Panama 1989-90
  24. Irak 1991
  25. Koeweit 1991
  26. Somalië 1992-94
  27. Bosnië 1995
  28. Iran 1998
  29. Soedan 1998
  30. Afghanistan 1998
  31. Joegoslavië – Serwië 1999
  32. Afghanistan 2001
  33. Libië 2011

Die VSA stort Demokratiese Iraanse regering omver

Op bevel van president Eisenhower het die CIA 'n militêre staatsgreep georganiseer wat Iran se demokraties verkose premier Mohammed Mossadegh omvergewerp het. Brittanje, ontevrede dat Iran sy oliebedryf genasionaliseer het, het op die idee vir die staatsgreep gekom en die Verenigde State aangespoor om 'n gesamentlike operasie te begin om Mossadeqh te verwyder.

1953 tot 1979

Na die staatsgreep het die VSA Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi geïnstalleer, en die florerende demokrasie wat in Iran bestaan, is verpletter. Die Shah het 25 jaar lank tiranniese heerskappy gelei (ondersteun deur die CIA) wat gelei het tot die dood van duisende Iraniërs wat die Amerikaanse marionetregering gekant het. Op ekonomiese gebied het die Shah die olie -industrie van Iran gedesentraliseer, waarvan 60% aan Amerikaanse ondernemings gegaan het.


'N Eeu van Amerikaanse betrokkenheid by Irak 14:38

Namate die Verenigde State en sy koalisie lugaanvalle teen ISIS in sowel Sirië as Irak uitbrei, sal die Amerikaanse weermag na verwagting 'n operasionele hoofkwartier in Irak oprig en die eerste keer sedert die Amerikaanse troepe in 2011 vertrek het.

President Obama het gesê dat hy nie weer 'n grondoorlog sal voer nie, maar ongeveer 1600 Amerikaanse soldate is reeds in Irak.

Met ISIS in beheer van ongeveer een derde van die land, Peter Hahn, 'n historikus aan die Ohio State University, sluit hierby aan Hier en nou 's Jeremy Hobson om te bespreek hoe die VSA by hierdie huidige tydstip in Irak gekom het.

Die vroeë 20ste eeu

Terwyl Amerikaanse oliekorporasies onder die eerste Amerikaanse entiteite was wat in Irak belang gestel het, het die Britte in die vroeë deel van die 20ste eeu regeer. Teen die einde van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog en mdash, toe die oppergesag van Brittanje afneem en die VSA opkom

Die praktiese benadering het verander toe Saddam Hussein in 1979 die bewind van Irak oorgeneem het en dieselfde jaar Ayatollah Khomeini die Iraanse rewolusie geloods het.

Die Saddam -jare

'Khomeini was baie anti-Amerikaans vanweë die erfenis van geheime Amerikaanse bedrywighede in sy land,' het Hahn gesê. "Sy revolusie was idealisties, dit was kragtig, dit beloof om sy vorm van Islam oor die hele gebied te versprei. Die gyselaarskrisis het Amerikaanse passies teen Iran aangevuur."

Hahn sê die VSA onder die Reagan -administrasie het Irak gesteun toe Saddam Iran in 1980 binnegeval het net omdat die twee nasies Iran as 'n gemeenskaplike vyand gehad het.

Daar was vrees dat as Saddam toegelaat sou word om weg te kom met die verowering van Koeweit, hy onmiddellik na Saoedi -Arabië sou trek en verder sou wys. Hy kan binnekort in beheer wees van 'n meerderheid van die wêreld se bewese oliereserwes.

Peter Hahn

"Nie omdat [die Reagan -administrasie] van Irak gehou het nie, nie omdat dit goeie waardes gehad het nie, nie omdat hulle Saddam vertrou het nie, maar omdat Saddam in die pad gestaan ​​het van 'n moontlike ontploffing van Iraanse invloed in die hele gebied," het Hahn gesê.

Die oorlog het agt jaar geduur en was katastrofies vir beide lande. Die VSA het wapens, geld, intelligensie aan Irak voorsien en selfs betrokke geraak by die vlootaanval op Iran.

Die raad het egter weer verander toe Saddam tydens die eerste Bush -administrasie Koeweit binnegeval het.

"Saddam se aanval op Iran is geduld en selfs ondersteun," het Hahn gesê. "Sy inval in Koeweit word as heeltemal onwettig beskou en iets wat gestop moet word."

Hahn het gesê dat die kommer oor Koeweit ideologies en ekonomies is.

'Almal regoor die wêreld was idealisties, dat noudat die Koue Oorlog skynbaar verby was, ons 'n nuwe internasionale orde kon bou wat gebaseer was op vrede en stabiliteit en state wat as goeie bure met mekaar leef, en Saddam onmiddellik as die eerste deelnemer daarteen verskyn het nuwe wêreldorde, ”het Hahn gesê. "Daar was ook baie tasbare kommer, materiële kommer, soos die beheer van olie. Daar was vrees dat as Saddam toegelaat sou word om weg te kom met die verowering van Koeweit, hy onmiddellik na Saoedi -Arabië sou trek en verder sou wys. Hy kan binnekort in beheer oor 'n meerderheid van die wêreld se beproefde oliereserwes. En die idee dat 'n man soos Saddam Hussein soveel mag oor Westerse ekonomieë het, was iets wat president Bush net nie kon ontstel nie. "

Is die VSA verantwoordelik vir die opkoms van ISIS?

Na Koeweit was die beleid van die VSA om Irak beperk te hou, wat duur tot die tweede inval in Irak in 2003. Dit het die weg gebaan vir vandag en die opkoms van ISIS.

Hahn sê die vraag "wie is die skuld?" is moeilik om te antwoord.

As 'n barbaarse regime soos ISIS sou bewys dat dit grondgebied kan regeer en 'n staatskaping kan vestig soos dit verklaar het - sonder erkenning deur die wêreld - kan dit 'n doring in die sy van die streek word.

Peter Hahn

'Daar is baie verantwoordelikheid, en tot 'n sekere mate kan die VSA die skuld kry omdat dit die orde van Saddam Hussein se Irak in 2003 ontstel het, en sy pogings om die daaropvolgende te beheer en 'n nuwe Irak te bou op 'n demokratiese model en mdash het tot niet gekom, ”het Hahn gesê. 'Aan die ander kant, was die Soenniete verenig agter [voormalige Irakse premier] Maliki, of agter die regering van Bagdad onder 'n ander soort leiding en mdash soos op die oomblik dat die VSA die land verlaat het, op die oomblik toe die Die oplewing het in 2008 geëindig -miskien sou ISIS nie toestande kon benut en so vinnig en dramaties beweeg as wat hulle gedoen het nie. "

Maar Hahn sê dit is logies dat die VSA teruggetrek word in Irak.

"Irak het steeds 'n strategiese belang vir die VSA en vir die internasionale gemeenskap in die algemeen en om dieselfde rede, soos olie, maar ook as gevolg van die simboliek daar," het Hahn gesê. 'As 'n barbaarse regime soos ISIS sou bewys dat dit grondgebied kan regeer en 'n staatskaping kan vestig soos dit verklaar het dat dit nie deur die wêreld erken kan word nie, kan dit nog lank 'n doring in die kant van die streek word en destabiliseer in internasionale aangeleenthede. "

Terwyl Hahn dink ISIS is gevaarlik, dink hy nie dat die groep 'eksistensieel gevaarlik' is nie.


Iran en die Verenigde State in die Koue Oorlog

Terwyl die nuutste golf van revolusionêre onsekerheid oor die Midde -Ooste spoel, bly Iran een van die grootste vraagtekens in die streek. Die Islamitiese regime wat die Groen Beweging tydelik verpletter het na die omstrede presidentsverkiesings van Iran in 2009, staan ​​steeds voor ernstige interne uitdagings vir sy mag, sonder dat daar 'n duidelike aanduiding is van hoe die gebeure gaan uitloop.

Min lande buite het meer op die spel in die ontwikkeling van die politieke situasie van Iran as die Verenigde State, wat al meer as drie dekades lank in 'n staat van openlike vyandskap met die Islamitiese Republiek verkeer. Bedreigings met Iran-gesteunde terrorisme, die oënskynlike kernambisies van Teheran en die oogmerk daarvan om Amerikaanse bondgenote-veral Israel-te destabiliseer, is voortdurend hoog op die lys van Amerikaanse kommer in die streek. Waarom is Iran so belangrik vir die VSA? Wat verklaar die volgehoue ​​vyandigheid tussen die twee lande? Antwoorde op hierdie en ander vrae oor die posisie van die Verenigde State in die streek vandag kan gevind word deur terug te kyk na die Koue Oorlog.

Buitelandse belangstelling in Iran strek eintlik baie verder terug in die tyd as die Koue Oorlog. Eeue lank trek Persië, soos die land eens bekend was, die aandag van mededingende groot moondhede van die antieke Grieke tot die Mongole en van die Arabiere tot by die Ottomane. In die laat negentiende eeu het Rusland en Brittanje gesukkel om invloed. Die ligging aan die hoof van die Persiese Golf bied die hele jaar deur toegang tot warm waters vir die Russiese vloot, wat gedurende die wintermaande oor die algemeen deur ysige noordelike seë ingesink is. Vir die Britte was Persië 'n poort en 'n verdedigingsbuffer vir gewaardeerde besittings en hulpbronne in Indië en die Ooste. Iran het vroeg in die twintigste eeu 'n nog groter aanwins geword toe die Britte, uiteindelik danksy 'n besluit van die Eerste Heer van die Admiraliteit Winston Churchill, oorgegaan het van die gebruik van steenkool na petroleum om hul vloot aan te dryf.

Albei hierdie omstandighede - die ligging van Iran tussen die USSR en die Persiese Golf, en die teenwoordigheid van groot oliereserwes - het die land se belangrikheid tydens die Koue Oorlog gewaarborg. Boonop het 'n derde faktor ter sprake gekom: die ontstaan, selfs voor die einde van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog, van die wêreldwye militêre en ideologiese mededinging tussen die Verenigde State en die Sowjetunie. Vrees vir die verlies van invloed in 'n lewensbelangrike deel van die wêreld aan die kommunisme onder leiding van die Sowjet, het baie van die Amerikaanse buitelandse beleid vir die volgende dekades gemotiveer. Die Amerikaanse sentiment oor mededinging en demokrasie is, in byna Bybelse terme, in konseptuele dokumente soos NSC-68 en in talle beleidsdokumente deur die jare uitgespel.

In twee belangrike voorvalle in Iran uit die naoorlogse tydperk was hierdie voorskrifte duidelik duidelik en het dit gevolge gehad vir die Verenigde State wat op 'n manier heeltemal onverwags was. Op ander oomblikke later in die Koue Oorlog, wat verder hieronder beskryf word, het Washington se bevestiging van die Sowjet -bedreiging dit onvoorbereid gelaat om krisisse van plaaslike oorsprong te hanteer wat net so belangrik was vir die posisie van Amerika in die streek.

Die eerste van hierdie vroeëre episodes het aan die einde van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog ontvou toe die USSR gedreig het om sy ooreenkoms met Brittanje en Iran op te skort om sy groot troepegesigtheid binne ses maande na die staking van vyandelikhede uit die noordelike provinsie van Azerbeidjan te verwyder. Joseph Stalin was bekommerd om 'n oliekonsessie te verkry wat die bevoorregte toegang van Brittanje in die suide van die land sou balanseer, sowel as om 'n buffersone in 'n kwesbare grensgebied te skep, en was van plan om die Sowjet -invloed in die suidelike Kaukasus -gebied te versterk - miskien selfs om te annekseer 'n deel van die Azerbeidjan -provinsie, volgens Sowjet -argiefrekords - maar het verrassende weerstand ondervind deur president Harry Truman, wat 'n reeks steun aan die jong Sjah van Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, verleen het. Stalin het uiteindelik besluit om hom aan die einde van 1946 uit die land te onttrek. Die optrede van die Verenigde State word beskou as 'n teken van opregte respek vir die regte van soewereine state - baie ongewoon vir 'n groot moondheid - en het 'n kragtige indruk op die Iraanse volk gemaak. Tot op hede is die krisis in Azerbeidjan verantwoordelik vir sommige van die positiewe sienings wat baie nog oor die Verenigde State het.

Minder as 'n dekade later het 'n tweede groot voorval egter baie Iraniërs se mening oor die Verenigde State dramaties verander. In 1951 het die onlangs gekose premier van Iran, Mohammed Mosaddeq, die land se petroleumbedryf genasionaliseer, lank die domein van die Britse oorheersende Anglo-Iraanse oliemaatskappy (AIOC). Die stap het die twee regerings in 'n bitter politieke stryd teen mekaar gestamp, wat die Verenigde State weer die tussenganger laat speel het. Terwyl die Truman -administrasie met albei kante probeer saamwerk het, het president Dwight Eisenhower en sy adviseurs vinnig tot die gevolgtrekking gekom dat Mosaddeq die probleem eerder as die oplossing vir die krisis verteenwoordig. Op grond van berekeninge van die Koue Oorlog, het Eisenhower 'n voorkomende, geheime operasie gemagtig om Mosaddeq te verdryf voordat Moskou die geleentheid sou kry. Die staatsgreep in Augustus 1953 is op aandrang van die VSA en die Britse regering uitgevoer, maar het op die uiteindelike sukses van 'n verskeidenheid Iraanse groepe en individue staatgemaak.

Die omverwerping het die onmiddellike doelwit bereik om die Shah, wat tydens die onrus uit die land gevlug het, op die troon te herstel en Mosaddeq te vervang met 'n meer aangename figuur. Gedurende die volgende vyf-en-twintig jaar het Mohammad Reza Shah aan die bewind gebly en beduidende bydraes gelewer tot die belange van sy grootmoeder-beskermheer. Maar alhoewel die staatsgreep destyds die steun van belangrike dele van die Iraanse samelewing gehad het, het dit deur baie Iraniërs as 'n seeverandering in Amerikaanse optrede beskou - van 'n wonderlike beskermer van kleiner lande tot 'n argetipiese groot mag wat sy eie belange nastreef, ongeag van die wense van die plaaslike bevolking. Hierdie siening van die Verenigde State het in die loop van die Shah se bewind munt in Iran gekry terwyl hy meer en meer arbitrêre en diktatoriale mag uitoefen ten koste van sy onderdane met min sigbare poging om te weerhou van Washington. Eintlik het presidente Eisenhower, Kennedy en Johnson herhaaldelik op die Shah gedruk om hervormings in te stel, maar die strategie het effektief geëindig met die bewering van die Nixon -leerstelling in 1969. Weerspieël die hewige druk op Amerikaanse militêre hulpbronne wat veroorsaak is deur die Viëtnam -oorlog, die nuwe Die leerstelling het op plaaslike magte staatgemaak om as die eerste verdedigingslinie teen potensiële Sowjet -ekspansionisme op te tree. Vir die komende jare het die Shah nie net toegang tot gesofistikeerde Amerikaanse wapens gekry wat hy al lank begeer het nie, maar ook stilswyende toestemming van die Withuis gekry om enige ernstige pogings tot hervorming te laat vaar.

Teen die sewentigerjare het toestande in Iran wat slegs van plaaslike oorsprong was-sonder 'n verband met die Koue Oorlog-begin ontstaan ​​wat die Verenigde State nie goed toegerus was om aan te spreek nie. Interne wrok teen die politieke en ekonomiese beleid van die Shah was besig om 'n hoogtepunt te bereik (en strek tot by sy Amerikaanse borge), maar die diepte van die probleem ontgaan die kennis van Amerikaanse besluitnemers. Onder leiding van Ayatollah Khomeini, 'n kwaai openbare kritikus van Iran se afhanklikheid van Amerikaanse steun wat jare lank vir sy standpunte verban is, het Iran se groeiende anti-Shah-gevoelens in 1978-1979 in 'n oop rewolusie uitgebars. Na Khomeini se seëvierende terugkeer na Iran vroeg in 1979, was dit slegs 'n kwessie van maande voordat die rewolusie in die vorm van 'n teokratiese staat gelê het, wat nie verbasend gekenmerk word deur beduidende anti-Amerikaanse boventone nie.

In die konteks van die Koue Oorlog het die revolusie aan baie Amerikaners verskyn om die 'verlies' van Iran aan die Sowjet -invloed aan te dui, 'n verlies wat vergroot is deur die inval van die USSR in Afghanistan in Desember 1979. Moskou kon trouens nooit wen nie 'n vastrapplek in Iran as gevolg van die diep verdenking van die Islamitiese Republiek oor Rusland se geskiedenis van aggressiewe gedrag en die antipatie van die godsdienstige leierskap vir amptelike Sowjet -ateïsme. Dit was egter nie noodwendig goed vir Washington nie. In plaas daarvan was dit 'n teken van die opkoms van 'n ander faktor in die internasionale politiek wat implikasies sou hê buite die Koue Oorlog: Moslem -fundamentalisme, wat nie net die konsep van nasionale soewereiniteit bevat nie (verwoord in die frase "nóg Oos nóg Wes"), maar Die kern daarvan word geanimeer deur die ambisie om 'n teokratiese staat te skep en Islam oor die hele streek te versprei.

Hand aan hand met die rewolusie het 'n ander gebeurtenis plaasgevind met groot gevolge vir die betrekkinge tussen die VSA en Iran: die storm van die Amerikaanse ambassade in Teheran en die inbeslagneming van Amerikaanse gyselaars in November 1979. Iraanse verslae dui aan dat die land se leierskap aanvanklik nie bewus was van die studente- het 'n plan gelei om die ambassade aan te val (wat volgens die studente 'n reaksie was op jare lange vermeende Amerikaanse teenstrydigheid wat dateer uit die staatsgreep van 1953), maar Khomeini was vinnig besig om die stap te aanvaar om binnelandse politieke redes. Hoewel dit gehelp het om die radikale heerskappy oor die land te konsolideer, het die oorname egter ook 'n politieke krisis vir Iran veroorsaak, wat dit in langtermyn diplomatieke isolasie beland en buitengewone vyandskap van Washington veroorsaak het. Die bitterheid van die gyselaarskrisis vergiftig steeds die amptelike Amerikaanse houding teenoor die Islamitiese regime.

Een ander episode uit hierdie tydperk was van kritieke belang in die vorming van die huidige antagonistiese verhouding tussen Iran en die Verenigde State. Van 1980 tot 1988 het Iran en Irak 'n gruwelike oorlog gevoer wat deur Saddam Hussein se opportunisme begin is, maar onder meer aangevuur deur historiese vyandigheid. Terugskouend is die rekord duidelik dat die Verenigde State hom met Bagdad (as die minste van twee euwels) geskaar het, wat politieke, ekonomiese en selfs militêre steun verleen het vir Saddam se oorlogspoging, insluitend stilswyende instemming met Irak se gebruik van chemiese wapens en raketaanvalle op Iran stede. Teen die einde van die konflik het Amerikaanse magte elemente van Iran se vloot en rewolusionêre wagte direk betrek, en in Julie 1988 het 'n Amerikaanse vlootskip per ongeluk 'n Iraanse burgervliegtuig neergeskiet en al 290 aan boord doodgemaak. Ironies genoeg het hierdie ontmoetings tot 'n skietstilstand gelei deur die leiers van Iran te oorreed dat Amerika niks sou stop om hulle te verslaan nie.

Die oorlog tussen Iran en Irak het tydens die Koue Oorlog plaasgevind, maar dit het feitlik niks met die Oos-Wes-konflik te doen nie; dit was 'n plaaslike geskil wat veroorsaak is deur inheemse faktore. Washington se optrede het egter gegroei uit die Amerikaanse ingesteldheid van daardie era: 'n begeerte om die vloei van olie uit die Persiese Golf te beskerm en 'n vasberadenheid om die Sowjets te verhinder om invloed uit te oefen in die streek. Ongeag die bedoeling van elke kant, het die oorlog 'n aantal blywende resultate opgelewer. Die een was dat die leiers van die revolusie van Iran hul saak kon koppel aan die voortbestaan ​​van die land self. 'N Ander punt was die verhoging van die status van die rewolusionêre wagte, wat uiteindelik selfs die mag van die geestelike leierskap teenstrydig was. (Die huidige strydende president van die land, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, was 'n lid tydens die oorlog.) Nog 'n uitkoms, wat direk van belang was vir die Amerikaanse posisie in die streek, was die versterking van die opvatting onder die hardkoppiges van Washington as 'n onversoenbare vyand van die Islamitiese Republiek.

Alhoewel die Koue Oorlog twintig jaar gelede skynbaar tot 'n einde gekom het, staar die Verenigde State steeds die omstandighede in Iran in die gesig wat gedurende hierdie belangrike tydperk ontstaan ​​het. Sommige is onveranderd - byvoorbeeld die kritieke behoefte aan olie. Ander uitdagings is verander of uit die weg geruim, maar nuwes neem hul plek in. Die kommunistiese bedreiging het byvoorbeeld verdwyn, maar die bedreiging van internasionale terrorisme het versterk. Intussen is sekere Amerikaanse strategiese konsepte wat gewortel is in die ideologiese denke van die Koue Oorlog, tydelik herleef. George W. Bush se leerstuk oor die nasionale veiligheid bevestig die vasberadenheid van Washington in die Koue Oorlog om nie die opkoms van 'n ander mededingende mag (soos die Sowjets, of in 'n vroeëre era, die Nazi's) toe te laat om Amerikaanse belange te bedreig nie, en weerspieël die idee van Eisenhower, wat in Iran werk in 1953, om 'n vermeende bedreiging te voorkom. Alhoewel die huidige Amerikaanse strategie nie meer op sommige van hierdie ambisieuse konsepte fokus nie, kan die impak daarvan gesien word in die geskiedenis van Amerikaanse betrokkenheid in die Midde -Ooste en word dit steeds in die hele gebied gevoel.

Malcolm Byrneis adjunk -direkteur en navorsingsdirekteur by die National Security Archive. Sy publikasies sluit in Die Hongaarse rewolusie van 1956: 'n geskiedenis in dokumente (National Security Archive Cold War Readers), The Iran-Contra Scandal (The New Press, 1993), en Die chronologie: die gedokumenteerde dag-tot-dag verslag van die geheime militêre hulp aan Iran en die kontras (Warner Books, 1987).


Die vroegste argeologiese bevindings uit Persië dateer uit die Paleolitiese era, 100 000 jaar gelede. Teen 5000 vC was Persië gasheer vir gesofistikeerde landbou en vroeë stede.

Kragtige dinastieë het oor Persië geheers, begin met die Achaemenid (559-330 vC), wat deur Kores die Grote gestig is.

Alexander die Grote verower Persië in 300 v.C., en stig die Hellenistiese era (300-250 v.C.). Dit is gevolg deur die inheemse Parthiese dinastie (250 vC - 226 CE) en die Sassanian Dynasty (226 - 651 CE).

In 637 het Moslems van die Arabiese Skiereiland Iran binnegeval en die hele streek oor die volgende 35 jaar verower. Zoroastrianisme het verdwyn namate meer en meer Iraniërs hulle tot Islam bekeer het.

Gedurende die 11de eeu verower die Seljoek -Turke Iran stukkie vir stukkie en vestig 'n Soennitiese ryk. Die Seljuks het groot Persiese kunstenaars, wetenskaplikes en digters geborg, waaronder Omar Khayyam.

In 1219 het Genghis Khan en die Mongole Persië binnegeval, deur die hele land verwoesting gesaai en hele stede geslag. Die Mongoolse bewind eindig in 1335, gevolg deur 'n tydperk van chaos.

In 1381 verskyn 'n nuwe oorwinnaar: Timur the Lame of Tamerlane. Na net 70 jaar het hy ook die hele stad verwoes; sy opvolgers is deur die Turkmeens uit Persië verdryf.

In 1501 het die Safavid -dinastie Shi'a Islam na Persië gebring. Die etnies Azeri/Koerdiese Safavids regeer tot 1736, wat dikwels bots met die magtige Ottomaanse Turkse Ryk in die weste. Die Safavids was gedurende die 18de eeu in en uit die krag, met die opstand van die voormalige slaaf Nadir Shah en die totstandkoming van die Zand -dinastie.

Persiese politiek normaliseer weer met die stigting van die Qajar-dinastie (1795-1925) en Pahlavi-dinastie (1925-1979).

In 1921 het die Iraanse weermagoffisier Reza Khan beheer oor die regering oorgeneem. Vier jaar later het hy die laaste Qajar -heerser verdryf en homself Shah genoem. Dit was die oorsprong van die Pahlavis, Iran se laaste dinastie.

Reza Shah het probeer om Iran vinnig te moderniseer, maar is ná 15 jaar deur die westerse moondhede uit sy amp gedwing weens sy bande met die Nazi -regime in Duitsland. Sy seun, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, het in 1941 die troon ingeneem.

Die nuwe sjah het regeer tot 1979 toe hy in die Iraanse rewolusie omvergewerp is deur 'n koalisie wat gekant was teen sy brutale en outokratiese bewind. Binnekort het die sji -geestelikes beheer geneem oor die land, onder leiding van die Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Khomeini het Iran tot 'n teokrasie verklaar, met homself as die opperste leier. Hy regeer die land tot met sy dood in 1989 word hy opgevolg deur Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.


“Wie het Iran verloor? ”

Iran’s abrupt transformation from a reliable U.S. security partner and hub for American investment to a seethingly anti-American regime led by an ascetic cleric confounded Washington. “How could Iran, with its oil and its strategic situation between the Soviet Union and the Persian Gulf, between Europe and the Middle East, fall under the sway of a holy man out of the mists of the 13th century?” a New York Times columnist beseeched in March 1979. “How could the shah, a monarch who commanded more tanks than the British Army, more helicopters than the United States First Cavalry in Vietnam, be pressured so neatly out of power?”

The highly charged battle cry of “who lost Iran?” echoed through the American establishment in the aftermath of 1979. Some blamed the State Department, which had few Persian speakers stationed in Tehran prior to the revolution and discouraged U.S. diplomats from engaging with opponents of the shah. Others blamed the intelligence community, which infamously reported to Carter in August 1978 that “Iran is not in a revolutionary or even a ‘pre-revolutionary’ situation.” Some blamed Carter, who repeatedly gave public reassurances that the monarchy would stand but failed to provide clear and effective guidance to the shah as he clearly lost the capability to manage the situation. Within Iran, conspiracy theories abounded, continuing to this day, many suspecting it was all somehow a British plot. For his part, the shah died convinced that his success in wresting control of Iran’s oil sector away from the international oil companies had precipitated a scheme to unseat him.

None of these narratives are entirely accurate. American intelligence, diplomacy, and leadership each exhibited shortcomings, but as a study published in the CIA’s in-house journal acknowledged, insufficient information did not cause the fiasco of U.S. policy toward Tehran in 1978-79. In fact, the study notes, “the US compiled a substantial amount of accurate information and analysis about major events, particularly the demonstrations and riots.” And recently declassified information has documented the Carter administration’s efforts to broker a peaceful transition directly with Khomeini after the shah had left.

Where Washington failed on Iran and with other black swan developments arose from a failure of political imagination, to borrow a phrase from my colleague Bruce Riedel. The presumption of the shah’s durability was so deeply engrained that alternative trajectories seemed inconceivable, especially the unprecedented prospect of a religious caste taking control. No one in Washington was prepared to indulge in “thinking the unthinkable,” as the last U.S. ambassador to Tehran described the prospect of the shah’s overthrow, until it was essentially too late to alter the course of history. And ultimately, as Carter himself acknowledged repeatedly in the aftermath, “Iran was not ours to lose in the first place. We don’t own Iran, and we have never had any intention nor ability to control the internal affairs of Iran.”

No one in Washington was prepared to indulge in “thinking the unthinkable.”


US Role in the Iran-Iraq War and its Negative Implications on US-Iran Relations

Written in 2009, Mr. Jacek argues that the United States’ involvement in the Iran-Iraq War caused irreparable damage to Iran’s perception of the US and continues to shape relations between the two countries.

It would be an understatement to say that since the fall of the shah and the Islamic Revolution in Iran, United States (US)-Iran relations have be frosty, at best. Iranian and US leaders often seem to talk at each other rather than with each other and all parties involved essentially try to demonize the other. Both Iranian and US leaders have ideological, regional, economic and political interests that are often directly opposing each other. Furthermore, there is a tendency in both Iran and the US for leaders to use these apparent differences as reasons to blame the other for the relationship, or lack thereof. What is still more interesting is that fact that the public in both Iran and the US has, in many cases, adopted views and perceptions of the relationship similar to that of their leaders. There are certainly numerous and varied reasons that can explain the reasons for the troubled relations between the US and Iran. Scholars have pointed to the US sponsored coup and overthrow of Muhammad Mossadegh, US support for the shah’s often brutal regime and economic policy, as well as US support for the shah after the Islamic Revolution and the US’ subsequent refusal to recognize and to deal with the new Iranian regime. Other scholars cite reasons such as Iran’s theocratic ideology, the hostage situation of 1979-1981, as well as Iran’s support of terrorism as explanations for the problematic relations. One final issue still remains heavy on the minds of US and Iranian leaders and their populations: the Iran-Iraq war. This was one of a series of turning points in US-Iranian relations, but one that had lasting and expansive influences on not only the US and Iran but the Middle East as a region, as well as globally. The US response to the Iran-Iraq war has had a profoundly negative influence on US-Iran relations. The US’ apparent dismissal of the Iraqi invasion of Iran, the usage by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein of chemical and biological weapons on Iranians, as well as the direct economic and military support that the US provided for Saddam’s regime during the war and the US’ direct involvement in seemingly unilateral anti-Iranian missions have caused Iran to have a deeply negative and adverse reaction to the US and its policies. US behavior in the Iran-Contra affair also flew directly in the face of the Iranian public. Despite these issues, US involvement in the Iran-Iraq war, however unjustified, prompted the Iranian regime to counter by demonizing the US. Unquestionably, US involvement in the Iran-Iraq war has led to, among other things, severely and increasingly paralyzed relations between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

To fully understand the extent of US involvement in the Iran-Iraq war, the roots and causes of the war must be examined because they are important in the discussion of how US involvement and dismissal of the facts at the onset of the war have contributed to continued problematic relations. To examine the US role in the conflict, the war as a primarily Iranian and Iraqi issue must be explored. Causes of the war have been termed “long-term and immediate”. There is certainly factual evidence for a long-term rivalry between those living in the modern day states of Iraq and Iran in the disagreements between the Safavids and Ottomans in the 17th Century. Even before that, some scholars argue that animosities, both political and religious, were ubiquitous. During the colonial period, present day Iraq and Iran were both of interest to the great colonial powers, and when oil was discovered in 1908, colonial powers sought to have control over all that they could in the region. Thus, after World War I, Britain became the mandatory power in Iraq and slowly relinquished its control to a new government there. Despite having a long history of disagreements, after World War II Iran and Iraq seemed to at least de facto recognizing each other. Iran and Iraq even concluded the Algiers Accord that established the boundaries between Iraq and Iran that had been previously disputed. In this agreement, the border between the two nations was drawn down the center of the Shatt al-Arab. Additionally, both Iran and Iraq took part in the establishment of the Middle East Treaty Organization. Despite this apparent progress, Iran and Iraq suffered setbacks especially after the Islamic Revolution in Iran.

The Islamic Revolution had a profound affect on Iran-Iraq relations. Jaded by the shah’s dealings and propping up of the Kurdish separatist groups in Iraq, President Saddam Hussein worried that the new Shi’a regime in Iran would incite Shi’a uprisings in Iraq. The precedent for such an uprising was already present as a few years prior to the Islamic Revolution, the Ba’athist regime experienced Shi’a uprisings in the southern area of the country. Iraq worried that the Islamic Revolution started in Iran would spill over into Iraq thereby toppling the regime and replacing it with a theocracy, while similarly, the new theocratic regime in Tehran worried about the Ba’athist regime’s apparent secular behavior. In addition, Saddam Hussein was concerned that as a result of the new Islamic Republic, the Algiers Accord would be dismantled and not obeyed or adhered to. Saddam saw this is a severe threat to Iraq’s borders and territorial sovereignty. Aside from Iraq’s grievances with Iran, Saddam had domestic troubles that he hoped to alleviate and ease by displacing public attention. A few years before the Islamic Revolution, Saddam had opened the doors to trade liberalization in Iraq. As a result, Iraq was becoming a more populist country, something of a new idea there. As trade liberalization occurred, Saddam was attempting to co-opt his population in an attempt to garner public support. Essentially it was Saddam’s idea that a war against Iran would not only build nationalist sentiments and spirit, but also quell any possibility of a Shi’a uprising or ability for Iran to gain ideological ground in Iraq. Thus, in September of 1980, Saddam Hussein invaded Iran with goals at home and abroad in mind.

Iranians were surprised and shaken by the invasion of Iraq. The regime, new and still attempting to establish itself domestically and internationally was caught off guard as well, just as Saddam Hussein had hoped. It was his intention to topple the Iranian regime while it was still weak and blooming. Despite these facts and initial successes within Iranian territory, the Iraqi army was eventually resisted and pushed back into Iraq, where the Iranian military then decided to continue its own offensive. Although Iraq deliberately attacked Iran without warning or aggression on the side of Iran, the international community and specifically the United States supported Iraq in its military and political ventures into Iran.

One of the greatest paradoxes that Iran still does not understand is why the international community, especially the United States chose to support Iraqi aggression during the Iran-Iraq war. From the outset of the war, the US was supportive of Iraq. When Zbigniew Brzenzinski met with Saddam Hussein in 1980, it was apparently implied that “the United States would tolerate an Iraqi invasion of Iran.” Reagan even met with the Iraqi foreign minister and formally opened relations with Iraq which had been “severed” as a result of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, of which Iraq was a belligerent. Although in retrospect this unconditional support of Iraq was flawed, the US at the time had a litany of reasons for supporting Saddam Hussein. Although US-Iraq relations were indeed hampered at the outset of the war, US-Iran relations were even worse. The invasion of Iran by Iraq occurred very shortly after the end of the hostage crisis in Iran in which American diplomats were contained for 444 days and thus the US government was not in the political mood to deal with Islamic Republic as a completely legitimate and level-headed regime. Already at this point, US public opinion of Iran had been deeply compromised and thus support for Iran, even though it was unilaterally attacked was not necessarily on the US agenda. Furthermore, the US viewed the regime as rogue and thus, had little interest in being diplomatic or supportive of such a regime. Another reason for US support of Iraq and subsequent lack of support for Iran was a function of the fear factor of the Islamic Revolution. Again, the US worried about Iran’s ideology as a theocratic regime, but moreover worried that the Islamic Revolution would be exported throughout the Arab world. Specifically, in 1982, the US was preoccupied with the notion that an Iranian push into Iraq might indeed topple Saddam Hussein’s regime and in its place establish another theocratic Islamic Republic which could serve as a mounting block for the export of the revolution to other nations. Such an occurrence would severely disrupt the balance of power in the region, which would have severe and adverse consequences on US foreign and economic policy.

An extremely important issue that US foreign policy makers took into consideration when formulating policy on the Iran-Iraq war was the issue of oil. Some scholars even claim that this issue may have been the primary reason for US support of Iraq during the war. It was in the US’ best interests to have moderate oil prices in order to sustain the economy, however, Iran insisted on slashing production, which caused prices to increase. The US was worried not only that prices would skyrocket, but also that Iran would be able to close or somehow hinder the flow of oil from other Gulf countries.
Politically, the US was still preoccupied with the Soviet Union during the Iran-Iraq war. The two superpowers approached this regional conflict similarly to that of other regional conflicts that had occurred during the cold war. Both sides essentially sought to exert their own interests in the region. With regards to the Iran-Iraq war, the USSR had already been supplying Iraq with arms at the outbreak of the war and the US did not want to lose out on such a deal which prompted it to supply Iraq with weapons as well. Additionally, the US was concerned that the Soviet Union would gain too much influence in the region and essentially upset the balance of power and status quo. Therefore, by helping Iraq, the US saw itself as strengthening its interests regionally and globally vis-à-vis the Soviet Union.
Finally, the Unites States viewed Iran as a supporter of terrorists and terrorist activities in the region, which were inherently opposed to the west and to the United States. The US linked groups such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Hamas in Palestine to Iran and Iranian funding. It is through this mechanism that the US set out to brand Iran as terrorist and terrorist sponsoring. Clearly, terrorists and those that support terrorists could not have the military and political support of the United States.

To support the Iraqi regime in its fight against Iran, and to subsequently deter Iran itself, the United States used a number of tactics throughout the Iraq-Iran war. One of the most important assets that the US provided for Iraq during this period of time was military arms. Once Iraq was taken off the list of countries that supported terrorism, the US sold helicopters and other military equipment to Iraq. The US also encouraged other nations to “bar weapons sales to Tehran” while supplying Iraq with armaments which by this time France was already doing (and the Soviet Union was doing extensively). Additionally, the US approved the sale of Boeing jets to go directly to Iraq. Yet another means that the US used to support Iraq and in turn hurt Iran was an influx of economic aid and trade to Iraq. By 1983, Iraq was receiving approximately $1 billion from the US government. Furthermore, in 1984 the US provided Iran with $1.6 billion in credits. During this time period the US managed to manipulate oil prices such that oil prices fell from $30 a barrel to $9 a barrel in 1985. This drop in prices resulted in a sharp devaluation of Iranian currency by 30 percent. Monetary support for Iraq and sanctions imposed on Iran via the United Nations Security Council crippled and embittered Iran.

An element of US support for Iraq that has never been forgotten in Iranian consciousness is the intelligence support and other military direct and indirect support provided to Iraq during the war. First, US intelligence on Iran was routinely and directly transmitted to Baghdad throughout the course of the Iran-Iraq war. Second, US moved forces directly to the Gulf as a result of a mine incident on a US ship and established a presences there. Iran had attempted to block the Persian Gulf from ship traffic, however, the US and other world powers were determined to not let the Iranians hinder the flow of oil. Kuwait had asked the US to reflag their ships so that they could be protected from Iranian aggression. The US agreed and gave protection to these ships. At the same time, however, the US engaged in actual confrontations directly with Iranian forces such as when a Kuwaiti ship ran into an Iranian mine. US forces retaliated by destroying much of the Iranian navy. As a result of US protection of Kuwaiti and Iraqi interests in the Gulf, Iran could not defend itself against Iraqi naval attacks, an issue that seriously hindered Iran’s performance and strength during the war. The US also supported a variety of Iraqi military missions by providing tactical support. During the battle of al-Fao, the US blocked Iranian radar from working while Iraq launched one of its largest offensives. While US military, political and monetary support for Iraq and stance decidedly against Iran in the Iraq-Iran imbroglio has been a source of animosity for both Iranians and Americans, the Iran-Contra affair that plagued the US’ role in the war is certainly the example par excellence of American involvement in this conflict.

Nearly half-way through the Iran-Iraq war, the Reagan administration realized that both Iran and Iraq had the potential to destroy the situation in the region and thus the US set out to “impair” both sides. Furthermore, the US was increasingly alarmed by the dire situation in Iran and what they perceived to be the possibility for a communist takeover. Concurrently, the US was interested in Iran’s role in the holding of American hostages in Lebanon, and was at this point in the war, willing to begin working with Iran. It worked out well then, that the Reagan administration was also attempting to find some way to support the Contras in Nicaragua who were fighting against the socialist Sandinistas. Thus secret negotiations began in which arms were funneled from the US to Israel and eventually to Iran. The proceeds of these arms sales went to fund the Contras in Nicaragua. In addition, throughout 1986, as these transactions continued, American hostages were released from detention in Lebanon. These secret dealings were eventually leaked to Al Shiraa, a Lebanese newspaper and created a whirlwind of accusations, demonization of the other and severely broken US-Iranian relations.

As demonstrated, the US was highly involved in the Iran-Iraq war. Its actions have indeed deteriorated relations between the two nations because of how each nation has perceived those actions. One of the most important elements of the Iran-Iraq war that still has lasting effects on US-Iran relations was the Iran-Contra scandal. To Iranians, the scandal demonstrated that the US was double handed in everything that it did and would continue to act in this way without any outcry from the international community. Since the Iranian perception of the US was demonic and two-faced, US intentions were to never be trusted. The Iranian regime has used the Iran-Contra scandal to its own advantage by gloating in what it stated was the US having to explain its Janus-like stance to the entire world. The scandal also severely hurt American domestic relations and relations with other countries. Reagan’s credibility was severely compromised in the eyes of his European counterparts because of his secret, back-handed dealings. Moreover, the scandal crippled Reagan’s support at home. This instance has had a profound and lasting influence on American politics and US politics with Iran. Since the backlash was quite heavy against the Reagan administration for its secret dealings with Iran, US presidents since then have worried about mis-stepping with regards to Iranian-US politics. As a result, US presidents have been cautious to engage in dialogue with Iran and have decided that in order to avoid resistance at home, they must be “tough” on Iran. Anything else would be “hazardous.” Despite the fact that the Iran-Contra affair had a negative affect on the US administration, it did not mean that Americans were on the side of the Iranians. In fact, quite to the contrary. Americans perceived the secret sales negatively with regards to the Iranians, and seemingly confirmed their negative preconceived notions about Iran and its government (if one were to not already have a judgment as a result of the hostage crisis). Although some argue that the Iran-Contra case did not necessarily affect the war, it most certainly had an adverse reaction on US-Iran relations.
Both the US and Iran had many other issues to quarrel over during and after the Iran-Iraq war, specifically with regards to the role that the US played in the conflict. Many of the issues that Iran had and has with the United States stem from events and interventions by the United States that occurred during this time.

One fundamental issue that Iran still holds in its memory and cites as a reason why US-Iran relations are so poor is that the US had a hand in placing sanctions on Iran. Iranian leaders have deemed these sanctions as “antagonistic” and as hurtful to the Iranian population instead of actually getting Iran to change any of its foreign policy. Furthermore, this action served as a precedent for President Clinton banning all “trade and investment with Iran” during his term. What is more, the Iranian regime and, maybe more importantly, the Iranian people tend to view the US’ economic support of Iraq during the war as unacceptable. Despite the fact that Iraq attacked Iran, the US still financed Saddam’s regime, thereby overlooking the atrocities that he was committing. For Iranian people and leadership, the question of US economic support for Iraq while the US supported sanctions on Iran demonstrates that the US essentially did not care what became of the Iranian population. Iranians believed that the effects of US policy in the Iran-Iraq war essentially prolonged the war and made it more grave than it would have been without US involvement. In addition, US economic policy against Iran and in favor of Iraq led to the destruction of Iranian resources and denied Iranian access to those resources via naval blockades, which had a very serious and crippling economic effect. The consequences of these economic issues of the Iran-Iraq war are still manifesting themselves in current US-Iranian relations.

One of the most serious reasons for hampered US-Iran relations as a result of the Iran-Iraq war was the US’ involvement militarily in the region on the side of Iraq. To Iranians, it was not enough that the US was financially aiding the Iraqi regime, but additionally, that it was supporting that regime militarily. Iran sees US military support of Iraq during the war as completely contradictory the US labeled Iran as a terrorist regime, but yet supplied Iraq (which definitely had its own dealings with terrorists) with weapons. This opposing behavior has led Iranians to mistrust US foreign policy. What is still worse for Iran is the US’ direct military intervention on the side of Iraq against Iran. Iran felt that US presence and interference in the Gulf compromised Iranian interests severely. First, by affording protection for Arab ships, the US limited the role that the Iranian navy could play in the Gulf and its ability to “respond” to Iraqi naval threats, thereby compromising the Iranian military situation. Second, an accident in involving the USS Stark was blamed on Iran by the US, despite the fact that it was most likely a result of Iraq. Thirdly, and quite possibly most important in the Iranian mind was the US attack of the Iran Air flight 655, a passenger jet, the claimed the life of many Iranians. Although the US claims that the aircraft was shot down as an accident, Iranians are not as sure. Iran claims that the US planned to shoot down the plane, and knew full well that the aircraft was civilian, not military. Incidents like this hurt the Iranian “psyche.” Iran wanted a formal apology from the United States for the incident, but never got one. Instead of an apology, Iran witnessed the US awarding the commander that ordered the strike on the Iran Air flight the medal of valor, a prestigious military distinction. Iran viewed this as a US reward for aggression towards Iran. US President George H. W. Bush even turned the entire ordeal into a problem not of US policy or action, but rather of Iran’s refusal to make peace with Iraq. Furthermore, Iran saw action like this as aggressive acts of war, despite the fact that the US was not formally engaged on either side. Iran calls the support for Iraq and the harm caused to Iran during this time by the US as “callousness.”

What Iran sees as even more callous was what it perceived to be US indifference to the loss of Iranian life. Former President Richard Nixon was even quoted as being less than concerned over the loss of Iranian lives in the war. The US support for Iraq despite its usage of chemical and biological weapons on elements of the Iranian public did not bode well for the US image in Iran. To Iranians, the US knew exactly what Iraq was doing when it used chemical weapons, however made a decision to “look the other way.” This was blatant support for Iraq and an extremely detrimental lackluster approach to human life, according to Iran. The US did not come to the aid of Iran after these attacks, nor did it attempt to dissuade Saddam from using these weapons again. Iran still harbors some resentment over this issue as,
Citing the New York Times and Los Angeles Times reports, the Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran broadcast: “The Bush and Reagan governments allowed [Iraq] to buy goods with double use, including nerve gas and anthrax bacteria in order to prevent Iran’s victory in any way. In November 1983, a US State Department official informed the then Secretary of State George Shultz of the daily use of chemical weapons by Iraq against Iran. But this issue was not important to the United States.”

As a result of such policy, Iran felt abandoned not only by the US, but also by the rest of the world. Since the US was one of the two global hegemons of the time, US action, or inaction, produced a similar response amongst its allies. Not only were Western European countries verbally, economically and militarily supporting Iraq and opposing Iran, but so too were Arab countries. The fact that Iran had very little support, as a result of US wishes, left Iran not only to fend for itself economically and militarily. More importantly it left very little public moral support for Iran such as when Iraq used chemical weapons on Iranians.

US-Iran relations have also been hampered by Iranian relations with terrorist organizations, and perceptions of Iran as a terrorist state by the United States. In the view of the United States, Iran’s role in the Iran-Iraq war as well as the anti-Western attitude the regime has taken before, during and after the revolution, has led the US approach amicable relations with Iran very cautiously, if at all. In some ways, US fears came true in that Iran was able to export the revolution by funding terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, all of which have decidedly anti-Western and anti-American rhetoric. During the war, Iranian backed organizations took American hostages in Lebanon. For US leaders, the war demonstrated the fact that Iran would not change its position on terrorism. From an Iranian leader perspective, the US had failed Iran on several occasions, especially during the Iran-Iraq war and thus such support for these groups is reconcilable. The problem here is circular in that each nation blames the action or inaction of the other as the root cause of the problem, which can then be related to another cause, and so on. What is worse about this issue is the fact that both the Iranian and American people have both become socialized into demonizing the other, which translates directly into perpetually hindered relations.

Since the Islamic Revolution in Iran, both US and Iranian administrations have sought to demonize the other. The Iran-Iraq war and the US involvement in it was not only a cause of anti-Iranian and anti-US sentiment in the US and Iran, respectively, but also the sentiments were causes of US support for Iraq during the war. Not only did the events of the Iran-Iraq war with regards to US-Iran relations stem from this demonization, but also the behavior of both the US and Iran perpetuated and fueled more of the same rhetoric. The influences of this formal rhetoric has sometimes had an affect on the population. For instance, Khomeini used the term “the Great Satan” to refer to the United States. Likewise, television and print media has developed the term “mad mullah[s]” to describe Iran. Reagan is even quoted as calling Iran “this barbaric country.” While Americans consistently see Iranians holding “death to America” signs, Iranians tire of being referred to as terrorists. Finally, partially as a result of the implications of the US involvement in the Iran-Iraq war, both the US and Iran have made it a point to talk at each other rather than to each other. Both use rhetoric and ideas that set out to demonize the other and to advance the thinking that the other nation is some how inferior. They both continuously use methods to demonstrate their own position of superiority vis-à-vis the other nation. Finally, both nations use methodology and symbols that are incomprehensible to the other nation, such as when US diplomats brought a cake in the shape of a key to Iran as a gesture of cooperation during the Iran-Contra affair.

As a result of US involvement in the Iran-Iraq war, already wounded US-Iran relations were essentially worsened. Since the war drove both the US and Iran further and further away from each other, they now understand each other even less than they had before. Both demonize the other with ideological tirades and accusations. It must be cautioned that Iran is not necessarily innocent in this matter it certainly has its fair share of contributions to paralyzed relations between the US and Iran, however, relations were certainly hindered by US intervention. If the question were to be asked, in hindsight, if the United States did not involve itself in the interventionist way that it did against Iran during the Iran-Iraq war, would US-Iran relations be better today, the answer would be nuanced. There would be no way of proving that relations would be better, but the events seem to suggest that what did occur has had a profound affect on relations. Although, relations were already hurt, the fact of the matter is that US actions and mistakes in the support of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein during the war had an impact on the psyche of not only Iranian leaders, but people as well. Furthermore, US action had an affect on how Iran was perceived in US. Both have contributed greatly to relations that have been suffering ever since the end of the Iran-Iraq war. Although the events of US support during the war may be forgotten by both Iranians and Americans (although they may be very engrained still in the minds of some), they have certainly shaped the way that both think about and perceive the other today.


Past US invovlement in Iran and Iraq - History

  • 3500 - The Sumer civilization establishes city-states in southern Mesopotamia.
  • 3300 - Writing is invented by the Sumerians.




Statue of Saddam Torn Down

Brief Overview of the History of Iraq

The land of Iraq is often called the "Cradle of Civilization" because the oldest civilization in the world, the Sumerians, was formed here. The Sumerians invented writing and started the first recorded history. For over 3000 years the Sumerian civilization flourished in the Tigris-Euphrates river valley.

The next great civilization to emerge in the land was the Babylonian Empire in the 1800s BC. The Babylonians would rise to great power in the region until they were defeated and absorbed into the Persian Empire led by Cyrus the Great in the 6th Century BC. Over the next several hundreds of years the land would be conquered by various empires including Greece (Alexander the Great), the Parthians, the Romans, and the Persians again. In the 7th Century the Islamic Empire took control and would rule until the 1500s when the Ottoman Empire came into power.

When World War I ended, the British took over for the Ottoman Empire. Iraq became an independent country in 1932 ruled by a constitutional monarchy. In 1958 the country was declared a republic, but it was really ruled by a series of dictators. The last dictator was Saddam Hussein.

In 1990 Iraq invaded the country of Kuwait. This started the First Gulf War where US-led forces expelled Iraq and forced Iraq to come under UN restrictions regarding weapons and armaments. In 2003, when Iraq refused to comply to earlier agreements, the United States invaded Iraq in what is called the Second Gulf War and removed Saddam Hussein from power.


Kyk die video: Iran in the Bible: The Forgotten Story. Presented by Our Daily Bread Films


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