What's with Iran? Is regime change necessary?

Peace activist Mazda Majidi By Michael Monasky Special to EGN On Tuesday Sacramento's Peace Action hosted Mazda Majidi, an Irania...

Peace activist Mazda Majidi

By Michael Monasky
Special to EGN

On Tuesday Sacramento's Peace Action hosted Mazda Majidi, an Iranian-American peace activist from San Francisco. Each year Majidi visits Iran and this time it's the same story: Iran's sovereignty is at stake.

The US and Israel claim that Iran is very close to manufacturing nuclear fuel sufficiently pure to arm warheads. Majidi is not alone in challenging that claim. Is Iran making progress in the arms race, or is the US really interested in regime change to control the region's resources?

Majidi argued that this isn't the first time Iran's resources were pursued by colonial interests. In fact, Iran is the poster child for regime change. The US CIA's first foray into covert operations was with British intelligence in 1951. CIA Director Kermit Roosevelt sent seven million dollars to Tehran to generate propaganda and hire 50 thousand students to riot as communist sympathizers. This was to discredit and remove Iran's democratically elected prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh. He had managed to nationalize Iran's oil resources by seizing them from Great Britain, which had bought them from the Shah in 1913 in the D'Arcy Oil Concession. Winston Churchill negotiated with the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC) to modernize Britain's navy from coal to oil. By the time of the CIA coup in 1953, APOC became British Petroleum (BP). In 1977 President Jimmy Carter declared Iran “an island of stability” in the region. The Shah ruled Iran until a popular uprising in 1979, when American hostages were taken. Millions filled the streets, and the industrial oil strikes finished the deed.

While Iran took control of its oil and Iraq previously nationalized its resources in 1972, a war broke out between the two from 1980-1988. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger famously said “I hope they kill each other.”

Majidi commented that “Washington, D.C. cannot tolerate an independent state.” In 1991 the US invaded Iraq, then imposed sanctions for 12 years. By 2003 the US re-invaded Iraq, keeping troops there until 2011 but maintaining control. This is what Iran fears, Majidi said.

Majidi said that one and a half million people died as a result of sanctions in Iraq, far more than those who died during active invasions. “Sanctions are an act of war,” noted Majidi. The US has imposed sanctions against Iran through SWIFT, an electronic funds transfer mechanism.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspects nuclear enrichment facilities. Although its latest report on Iran claims credible evidence of nuclear production, proof is scant. Majidi said “Iran has signed a non-proliferation treaty,” and is subject to regular nuclear inspections.

Mohammed Al Baradi, head of IAEA until 2009, resisted US-Israeli pressure to publish findings contrary to evidence. Things have been different for his successor, Yukia Amano. Consequently, the US bombs inspected sites. Iran resists nuclear inspections of its military sites because it fears they, too, will be bombed after inspection. Majidi explained that “enrichment rates of 3-5% are used for fuel rods in nuclear power plants; 20% enrichment is used for medical purposes; while bombs require 90% enrichment, none exist in Iran...yet India, China, Pakistan, Russia, Israel, and the US all have nuclear weapons.”

Nuclear physicists have been assassinated periodically. Car bombs, IEDs, shootings have been carried out in a professional manner. There is indirect boasting by Israel which has warned of “unnatural events” said Majidi.

Last year a US drone was recovered by Iran. But other US drones have previously and illegally found their way to Iran, reported Majidi. He said there is no way to predict whether the US would go to war against Iran, but the issue clearly is not its nuclear capabilities. “The goal is regime change, and the tools are sanctions and assassinations to create economic and social instability,” said Majidi.

He had some reassuring words: “Israel will not act alone, not without US approval. Israel gets $3B from the US each year. The US dictates Israeli policy in the Middle East.” Majidi concluded: “Our task is to stop the sanctions and assassinations.”

Post a Comment Default Comments

Follow Us



Elk Grove News Minute

All previous Elk Grove News Minutes, interviews, and Dan Schmitt's Ya' Gotta be Schmittin' Me podcasts are now available on iTunes

Elk Grove News Podcast