Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Iran Flexing Its Muscle, Wants U.S. Apology

Iran launched its first ever satellite yesterday, an achievement which has many western nations fearing the military capability that could ensue. The timing coincides with Iran's 1979 revolution which overthrew the U.S. backed Shah. It also comes as Barack Obama is attempting to foster diplomatic negotiations in an attempt to halt Iran's alleged nuclear ambitions.

Obama, as he stated during his campaign, is willing to engage Iran in direct talks. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is quoted as saying, "We are reaching out a hand, but the fist has to unclench". Iran however is apparently insisting that the United States, often referred to as the "Great Satan", must first apologize for past wrongs.

What wrongs has the U.S. committed against the people of Iran? A good starting point might be the overthrow of democratically elected Prime Minister Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh

Mossadegh had nationalized Iranian oilfields, which resulted in the British and American governments conspiring to overthrow the democratically elected PM in a plot code named Operation Ajax. After the successful coup the hated Shah of Iran was installed as a western friendly dictator. Mohammad Rezā Shāh Pahlavi, better known as the Shah Of Iran, was a much for the U.S. promoting democracy. Anyone who did not join his Rastakiz Party was a traitor.

To quote 'The Shah' directly:

"A person who does not enter the new political party and does not believe in the three cardinal principles will have only two choices. He is either an individual who belongs to an illegal organization, or is related to the outlawed Tudeh Party, or in other words a traitor. Such an individual belongs to an Iranian prison, or if he desires he can leave the country tomorrow, without even paying exit fees; he can go anywhere he likes, because he is not Iranian, he has no nation, and his activities are illegal and punishable according to the law”

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If that's not sufficient then there's the U.S. backing of Saddam Hussein when he launched an invasion against neighbouring Iran. The result was an 8 year war which is said to have killed 500,000 soldiers and civilians. There was a time when Iraq had weapons of mass destruction as well as chemical warfare agents like mustard gas, they'd been supplied by the Americans to be used against Iran.

It would seem there's plenty the U.S. should apologize for, but doing so would probably be political suicide for America's new President. Obama though could point to the apology already offered back in 2000 by then US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright during the first Clinton administration wherein she called Operation Ajax. "a setback for democratic government".

Obviously the Iranians are not about to be bullied by the west, they've already been down that road and I doubt they want to go back. They've opened their own Oil Exchange or Oil Bourse, which refuses to deal in U.S. dollars, something Iraq did just prior to being invaded.

Obviously the launch of a satellite is of concern, there are only 9 countries which have accomplished the feat. And of those 9 only Japan has not later developed missile technology.

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