Monday, February 20, 2012

Time to Revisit `A People's History of Iran' Again: Part 14

(All the 2012 GOP and Democratic presidential candidates in the USA—except for Ron Paul—apparently support the U.S. government’s current policy of waging economic warfare and covert war against people in Iran and threatening people in Iran with an overt US/Israeli military attack in 2012. Yet most people in the United States know little about the history of people in Iran since foreign imperialist powers began undemocratically and illegally intervening in its internal political and economic affairs in the late 19th century. But here's part 14 of "A People's History of Iran," from a few years ago--bf).

In early 1953, the UK imperialist government, the British oil corporation whose property had been nationalized by the Mossadegh government and the Eisenhower Administration’s CIA--in alliance with the Shah of Iran--continued to work for the overthrow of the democratically-elected Mossadegh government.

At the same time, the Tudeh Party attempted to push for a more radical democratization of Iranian society by making the following demands of Mossadegh’s National Front government in 1953: legalize the Tudeh Party; release all Iranian political prisoners; end martial law in Iran’s southern oilfields; expel the U.S. military mission in Iran; reject all foreign military aid to Iran; annul a 1947 U.S.-Iranian agreement; and nationalize the U.S. corporation-owned Bahrein fields in Iran.

To commemorate the first anniversary of the 1952 Iranian uprising which restored the democratically-elected Mossadegh to power, a mass demonstration was then held in Tehran on July 21, 1953 in which 50,000 members and sympathizers of the still formally illegal Tudeh Party participated. The demonstrators supported the call of the National Front regime for a referendum to dissolve the Iranian parliament in early August 1953 and hold more fully democratic elections. Dr. Mossadegh’s National Front government then also demanded in mid-August 1953 that all U.S. government special influence in Iran’s internal political affairs be eliminated and that a democratic republic be established in Iran.

In response, the CIA arranged for a group of pro-Shah Iranian army officers--led by General Zahedi--to pull a coup that overthrew the democratically-elected, anti-imperialist, nationalist government of Mossadegh on August 26, 1953 and restored absolute political power to the Shah of Iran’s monarchical regime. As Mark Zepezauer observed in his 1994 book The CIA’s Greatest Hits, in August 1953 “the CIA” also “paid for pro-Shah street demonstrators, who seized a radio station” and “it took a nine-hour battle in the streets of Tehran, killing hundreds, to remove Mossadegh.” (end of part 14)

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