State Sponsored Terror
From Jagjit Singh, Los Altos, CA
While lawmakers are seeking credit for declassifying U.S. state secrets (ref. letter to N.Y.T. by Nancy Pelosi) what is sorely missing is why lawmakers remained silent while our government went on a rampage targeting democracies around the world such as Iran and Chile.
What is profoundly disturbing is President Biden’s recent security pact with Saudi Arabia and the broader Middle East, especially given the atrocities committed by Saudi Arabia in Yemen and the role played by the United States and the United Kingdom in radicalizing Iran through the 1953 coup against Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh.
August 19th marked the 70th anniversary of the overthrow of Mohammad Mosaddegh, the first democratically elected prime minister of Iran. It is a somber reminder of the United States’ involvement in orchestrating coups and regime changes around the world. While this grim anniversary received little attention in the United States, the attempted coup against the peaceful transfer of power on January 6th, 2021, by then-President Donald Trump, was widely covered. The violence on that day, however, pales in comparison to the bloodshed resulting from numerous U.S. sponsored interventions globally.
President Dwight Eisenhower’s administration was directly involved in the overthrow of Mosaddegh, but the British spy agency, MI6, played a significant role. The documentary “Coup 53” by Taghi Amirani uncovered the long-concealed direction of the coup by MI6 operative Norman Darbyshire. This revelation sheds light on the extent of MI6’s partnership with the CIA in Mossadegh’s ouster.
It is essential to remember that the U.S. and Britain installed a puppet, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, as the Shah of Iran, who ruled for a quarter century with the support of the CIA and its creation, SAVAK, a brutal state security apparatus that terrorized and killed Iranians who dared to speak out. The consequences of these actions continue to affect Iran and the region today.
Documents obtained by the National Security Archives in Washington, DC, confirm that the coup in Iran was carried out under CIA direction as an act of U.S. foreign policy, conceived and approved at the highest levels of government. This coup was just one in a long list of U.S.-sponsored interventions and coups that have left lasting scars on affected nations, from Guatemala to Chile, from Vietnam to the Middle East.
As we contemplate President Biden’s security pact with Saudi Arabia, a country that has committed appalling crimes in Yemen using U.S. weapons, we must reflect on our nation’s history of intervening in the affairs of other nations. It is disheartening to see our government align with a regime that has caused immense suffering in Yemen and played a role in destabilizing the region.
Confronting the attempted coup on January 6th, 2021, and holding those responsible accountable is essential, but it should also serve as a catalyst for a broader reckoning with our nation’s history of violent interventions abroad. On the 70th anniversary of the coup in Iran, it is high time for self-reflection and a renewed commitment to diplomacy and respect for the sovereignty of other nations.
(This submission is not edited.)