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U.S. goal of regime change in Iran

Easier said than done

Published May 26, 2006 6:50 PM

Ardeshir Ommani
WW photo: Lal Roohk

Following are excerpts from a talk by Ardeshir Ommani, co-founder of the American-Iranian Friendship Committee, at the May 13-14 “Preparing for the rebirth of the global struggle for socialism� conference.

As usual, the regime in Washington, with regard to its nuclear dispute with Iran, has not respected the laws governing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and has stubbornly resorted to deceitful procedural mechanisms that could be used to exert pressure on the members of the Inter national Atomic Energy Agency board and that of the United Nations Secu rity Council to consider approving a resolution that would help to isolate Iran internationally and impose economic, political and diplomatic sanctions against it.

After countless meetings of the IAEA and several referrals from the United Nations’ nuclear monitoring agency to the UN Security Council and vice versa, the U.S. and its European Union partners aimed at framing Iran’s nuclear dispute in the context of Chapter VII, meaning that the council’s decision will carry the force of sanctions or even military intervention.

listen Listen to full talk (MP3 audio)

To accomplish their objectives, the U.S.-European Union unsuccessfully tried to either win over the active or tacit support of China and/or Russia for their sanctions policy or at least to neutralize their impact, through abstention, on the final decisions of the Security Council. In this regard the holy alliance of the imperialist powers has failed miserably, since China and Russia have repeatedly stated that Iran’s engagement in the development of civilian nuclear energy is within the rights guaranteed by the NPT to the member states, and should not be regarded as a violation of the treaty.

It is crucial to highlight that this is not the first time Iran has been referred to the UN Security Council.

Almost 54 years ago, when the democratically elected prime minister of Iran, Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh, with the approval of Iran’s consultative assembly and the support of the overwhelming majority of the Iranian people, nationalized the Iranian oil industry, the British Labor government in alliance with the Eisenhower administration declared that nationalization threatened the security of the international community. Using their power of influence in the UN, they were able to impose an embargo on the export of Iranian oil.

Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh, with supporters
in front of Iranian parliament, was elected as
prime minister of Iran in 1951. On Aug. 19, 1953,
the CIA and British intelligence agencies
overthrew his government in an illegal,
bloody coup, replacing him with the hated
Shah of Iran. The 1979 Iranian revolution
forced the Shah into exile in the U.S.

The embargo weakened the economy and made Dr. Mossadegh’s government vulnerable to political volatilities that paved the way for the U.S.-British coup of 1953, which made Iranian oil resources uncontrollably available to the U.S., British, French, and Dutch oil companies that also manipulated Iran’s economic and political system through their agent on the Peacock Throne, the Shah.

The dream of “regime change”

Today, the U.S. administration is making every effort to repeat the scenario of 53 years ago.

To mobilize the forces of reaction inside and outside Iran against the government of Dr. Mossadegh, U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower blamed Mossadegh for the successes of the working-class and communist movements in Iran, led by the Tudeh Party.

Today, similarly, Washington is pursuing a two-pronged tactic: internationally charging the government of Dr. Moham med Ahmadinejad with violating the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and domestically blaming him for all the alleged ills of Iranian society, namely lack of bourgeois democracy and mismanagement of the economy.

The U.S. plan is to use all external and internal forces to destabilize Iran economically and politically, and finally overthrow the current government and establish a puppet regime that would be at the service of the world’s largest corporations.

New era

What makes Washington’s plots against the Iranian people unrealizable is the new condition of the balance of forces, domestically and internationally, in favor of revolution and against counter-revolution.

First and foremost, the government of the Islamic Republic is a product of the 1979 Revolution, and the military force at its disposal is raised and trained from the bottom to the top. In contrast, the military and the police force under the government of Mossadegh primarily were trained by British and the U.S. military advisors, and their allegiance was to the king.

With regard to international conditions, the U.S. corporate government has picked challenges and confrontations with many independent states and progressive movements all at the same time. Right after Sept. 11, 2001, President George W. Bush said that “Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”

This policy of hostility toward many nations simultaneously has met with worldwide resistance. The animosity of the U.S. capitalist system toward Cuba, the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea, Venezuela, Bolivia, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Arma nistan and even China, to name a few, has resulted in its inability to isolate Iran regionally and internationally.

Today, more than ever in the recent past, Iran has developed comprehensive ties with these countries, not to mention amicable relations with revolutionary movements in Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon.

It is my strong conviction that in the current conflict, a relative victory of Iran over the United States and its partners is a serious step toward exhausting U.S. imperialism’s resources and revitalizing the forces of socialism.

Shift in the world balance of forces

There are titanic shifts in the balance of power from West to East and from North to South. Is Washington losing Latin America? An article by Peter Hakim in Foreign Affairs magazine highlights that: “In the past decade, nearly a dozen elected Latin American presidents have been forced from office.”

Hakim chose not to mention that these heads of states had climbed to power during the period in which Washington’s neoliberal economic policies reigned supreme and the burden of colossal national debt condemned the masses of the continent to poverty, destitution and ever-increasing conflicts.

The plans of the IMF, the World Bank and U.S. regional pacts have subjected Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Mexico and Colombia, not to mention Chile and Argen tina, to deep social, ethnic and regional divisions. The gaps between the haves and the have-nots have ever widened.

As far back as in July 2004, James Hoge Jr., in the article “Global Power Shift in the Making” that appeared in Foreign Affairs magazine, wrote: “Global power shifts hap pen rarely and are even less often peaceful. Washington must take heed. Asia is rising fast, with its growing economic power translating into political and military strength.

“The transfer of power from West to East is gathering pace and soon will dramatically change the context for dealing with international challenges. ... Many in the West are already aware of Asia’s growing strength.”

Since then, many changes have taken place, including Russia’s decision to take control of its oil resources and strengthen its domestic security, and helping some of the countries in the Near East to ask the United States to close down its military bases.

It is in this international background that the Iranian government draws its strength to withstand the pressure by the United States and its European imperialist partners.

The possibility of sanctions and war

Should the U.S. ruling class be desperate and adventurous enough to impose illegal embargoes on Iran’s import-export and foreign investment, what will be the depth and the extent of the damage to the Iranian society?

According to Abbas Milani, co-director of the Iran Democracy Project at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute, “Any sanction that does not include oil will not have any serious effect.”

But what if the sanctions go as far as including oil and gas?

According to Milani and other semi-official experts, such inclusions are highly improbable because having the oil prices at $70 a barrel as a base makes the economy vulnerable to stagflation and much lower growth. A strict embargo on Iranian oil will easily send the price of oil well above $100 per barrel, which could plunge the world capitalist economy into a deep and lasting recession.

Iran has been under a U.S.-limited sanction for more than two decades. This has prevented U.S. companies from purchasing oil or investing in the Iranian oil industry. It also prohibits the companies of other countries from investing in Iran’s oil projects.

Since such an embargo does not have the UN’s blessings, U.S. law enforcement agencies have been unable to stop other countries from investing in Iran’s oil and gas industries.

Not a drop

Not too long ago, the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, stated that if Washington tries to carry out aggressive acts against Venezuela, he will not send even a drop of oil to the United States.

The same will be true with Iran’s oil flowing to Europe and Japan. Iran’s line of defense will rest on one basic tenet—not one drop—which means that Iran in the long run will disrupt the flow of oil by destroying American oil installations, pipelines, platforms and shipping facilities as much as possible.

Iran, with the support of the people of Iraq, Afghanistan and Azerbaijan, will cut the world oil supply by one-third, which will send the price of a barrel of the black gold to $350.

George W. Bush said he wants a revolution. Well, here comes an earth-shattering one!