Thursday, March 22, 2012

Time To Revisit `A People's History of Iran' Again: Conclusion

(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 or 2013. 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 the conclusion of "A People's History of Iran," from a few years ago--bf).

By 1997, young people in Iran composed 25 percent of Iran’s population of 67 million; and the number of university students in Iran had grown from only 160,000 in 1977 to 1.25 million in 1997, as a result of the Iranian government’s increased investment in Iranian higher education.

During the 1990s, however, the Iranian government began to privatize Iran’s economy more by transferring control of state-run enterprises to Islamic clergy-controlled private foundations, thus turning these foundations into powerful business corporations, according to the 2006 Democracy In Iran book.

The size of Iran’s college-educated middle-class also began to increase in the 1990s; and this seemed to lead to increased political support for Iranian electoral candidates who favored more liberalization and more democratization of Iranian society.

The conservative clerical political leadership in Iran, however, responded to the 1990s electoral success of candidates favoring more democratization and liberalization by shutting down 19 pro-reformist newspapers in Iran in May 1999; and by disqualifying 3,600 candidates who favored more democratization, including 80 incumbent candidates, from participating in the 2004 Iranian parliamentary elections.

Although U.S. Secretary of State Clinton’s husband-—former Democratic President Bill Clinton--signed an executive order banning all U.S. trade and investment in Iran in May 1995, European governments have adopted less hostile economic policies in relation to Iran than has the U.S. government, in recent years.

In Iran, “European multinational companies” have “formed business partnerships in various sectors of the economy—including oil and gas, telecommunications, consumer electronics and automotive—especially after a bill in 2002,” passed by Iran’s parliament, “eased some of the restrictions on foreign investments,” according to the Democracy In Iran book.

After the former Mayor of Tehran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was elected president of Iran in June 2005 with 62 percent of the Iranian popular vote, on a platform of pledging to redistribute more of the wealth of Iran to the most impoverished people in Iran, both the Republican Bush Administration and the Israeli government seemed more eager to launch an overt military attack on Iran.

But, as this revisiting of Iran’s history has shown, people in Iran have suffered, historically, as a result of U.S. intervention in Iran’s internal political affairs since World War II. And a U.S. government-supported Israeli military attack against Iran in 2012 or 2013--regardless of which pretext is used by the Obama-Clinton Administration or the Netanyanu Israeli government--will likely create additional suffering for people in Iran.

So it’s not surprising that a February 2007 statement issued by the political committee of The Union of Iranian Socialists in North America declared that “The people of Iran vehemently oppose the intervention of any foreign power in their country” and “any kind of aggressive actions by the U.S. and its allies, either military or economic, should be condemned by progressive anti-war activists.” (end of article)

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