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A brief history of America's
dumb policies towards Iran

Program length - 5:27

 

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In more than 50 years, America's leaders have never
made a move in Iran (or near it) that didn’t lead
to unexpected and unpleasant blowback

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 Alternet.org

These days, with a crisis atmosphere growing in the Persian Gulf, a little history lesson about the U.S. and Iran might be just what the doctor ordered.  Here, then, are a few high- (or low-) lights from their relationship over the last half-century-plus:

Summer 1953: The CIA and British intelligence hatch a plot for a coup that overthrows a democratically elected government in Iran intent on nationalizing that country’s oil industry.  In its place, they put an autocrat, the young Shah of Iran, and his soon-to-be feared secret police.  He runs the country as his repressive fiefdom for a quarter-century, becoming Washington’s “bulwark” in the Persian Gulf -- until overthrown in 1979 by a home-grown revolutionary movement, which ushers in the rule of Ayatollah Khomeini and the mullahs.  While Khomeini & Co. were hardly Washington’s men, thanks to that 1953 coup they were, in a sense, its own political offspring.  In other words, the fatal decision to overthrow a popular democratic government shaped the Iranian world Washington now loathes, and even then oil was at the bottom of things.

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