Iran: Whoa, is this true?

I was reading the transcript for the adoption of Resolution 1747 regarding sanctions against Iran.
The representative of Iran said some interesting things, that I just can’t believe are true. Here are some excerpts. Can anyone debunk them?

So which is it? Is Iran a rogue nation? Or is it a victim the Western hatred? If its the latter, what is so darned special about Iran? If Iran hasn’t started a war in 200 years, then why would the United States give Saddam weapons to launch a war against them?

  • Honesty

You ever hear about the Iranian revolution? The deposition of the Shah? The Iranian hostage crisis?

Can you really be asking these questions out of ignorance? Or are these rhetorical questions that you already believe you have answers to? Or are you genuinely curious? If so, why not do some reading first? Have you considered Wikipedia as a first step?

I’ll give honesty the benefit of the doubt and assume s/he really doesn’t know the history…

Check this page out - pretty good historical overview of Iran.

I don’t know the ins and outs of all the Iranian claims, but Iran invaded Afghanistan several times in the mid-19th century (roughly 150 years ago) these power grabs eventually led to the British expelling Iran from Afghanistan in the Anglo-Persian War (1856-1857.)

Iran has been fairly silent in terms of aggressive warfare for some time, but after the 18th century or so major world players like Russia and the British Empire were heavily colonizing the region, Iran was lucky to avoid outright annexation/reduction to a vassal state at several points with Russia, which probably explains why Iran was so limited in what sort of aggressive actions it could take. After the early 19th century, every direction from Iran was either Russian territory or a state loosely protected by the British Crown.

The UK certainly invaded Iran in 1941, grabbed the oil and didn’t leave again until the '79 revolution. The first part is understandable (WW2), the second less so.

Somewhere in the mid-50s the UK and USA combined to impose a regime (monarchy in this case) friendly to them and in particular ‘our’ oil related presence . . . the revolution ousted UK/USA influence and nationalised the oil industry.

How times change.
No idea about the UN delay but as Saddam was ‘our’ boy, armed and briefed, the USA/UK would be obliged to delay UN Resolutions in order to allow him to reap the benefit of his surprsie invasion, and secure the ambitions we desired.

It has been very well documented that Saddam used both nerve and mustard gases against the numerically superior Iranian armed forces, and civilians for that matter.

Well, let’s look at this piece by piece:

As has been pointed out, Iran did invade Afghanistan in the 19th century. In fairness, “Afghanistan” at the time was not quite as firm a concept as it is today, and Persia/Iran’s position then - and presumably now - was that the border land they took was properly theirs anyway. So that argument can go either way.

There is also the fact that Iran has contributed money and arms to terrorist organizations, especially in Lebanon, which many (including myself) would consider to be an act of war against target nations, most notably Israel. Iran does not recognize Israel as a legitimate state.

However, it’s true Iran has not just up and invaded anyone recently.

This is true in accordance with the internationally understood definitions of those terms. Iran has, of course, badly mistreated many of its own citizens but I don’t believe that rises to the definition of “genocide” that would apply under existing international treaties. In all fairness, while Iran is not a fantastic place to live, it’s a lot better than pretty much any of its neighbours. Gender equality is better, living conditions aren’t bad, they have elections that are free and open to a point, and everyone has the freedom to get stuck in Tehran traffic jams, universally regarded as some of the world’s worst.

the specifics here are true. However, the implication of the “…so that Iraq…” part is that the Security Council acted as it did for the express purpose of allowing Iraq to take that land. There’s not really any reason to think that is the case, as opposed to just the Security Council not getting a resolution done right away.

This of course is true. Just ask Donald Rumsfeld.

Iran was attacked with chemical weapons, by Iraq, though to limited effect, so this is also true. “Terrorism” I’m not so sure about, depending how you define that word.

This is also true. Iran, under Mohammed Mossadeq, nationalized the entire oil industry in 1951 and was fiercely opposed by the West, who of course stood to lose money on the deal.

So far as I can tell this is also true. The concern with Iran is that while they *say * they don’t plan on building the bomb, they’re not willing to abide by all the requirements of the non-proliferation treaty, thus raising suspicion.

So which is it? Is Iran a rogue nation? Or is it a victim the Western hatred? If its the latter, what is so darned special about Iran? If Iran hasn’t started a war in 200 years, then why would the United States give Saddam weapons to launch a war against them?

  • Honesty

Well, it’s a selective selection of truths. He leaves out that Iran has supported militants in other countries for a while, & that in the revolution the victors slaughtered & terrorized their political rivals (of course, that’s “internal”). But to be fair, Iran’s biggest “crime” in the international arena has been challenging Anglo-American hegemony. That’s the real reason they get flack.

Any country can put together a list of things they have or haven’t done that can make them look swell. A more balanced picture would include the bad with the good, but the bad is completely absent from that list. In other words, it’s pure propaganda.

The bad things Iran has done do not involve genocide, that’s true. It’s also true that Saddam attacked Iran and they suffered greatly in that war. It’s also true that there are terrorist attacks against the regime inside Iran.

However, what’s conspicuously absent from the list is the thing we worry about the most with respect to Iran - their exporting of terrorism. Hezbollah is largely an Iranian proxy army, and they are responsible for many terrorist attacks, including the attack o the Marine barracks in Beirut that killed 241 Americans. Iran is also implicated in the Khobar Towers attack which killed 19 Americans. The U.S. State Department says that Iran is the most active state sponsor of terrorism in the world, and I believe that to be true. Much of their focus has been terrorism aimed at Israel (Iran funds not just Hezbollah, but Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad).

What has really elevated Iran in terms of its being a threat to world peace has to do with the rise of Islamic terrorism out of the Middle East and into Europe, Asia, and the United States. When Iran was primarily focused on opposing Israel and controlling the wheels of power in Lebanon a lot of people could look the other way. But Islamic terrorism is becoming increasingly interconnected and Iran is now adopting the role as a spiritual and financial epicenter of the movement.

That coupled with the rise of an apocalypic Islamic sect to Iranian leadership and Iran’s frantic race to build nuclear weapons is what really has the world’s attention.

None of this has to do with any of the bullet items in the propaganda list, which is of course the whole purpose of such a list - to lie through omission, like when a crooked politician tries to make himself sympathetic by showing he’s a good family man who gives to charity and is kind to puppies. It may be true, but it’s rather beside the point.

Um, yeah, what Sam said. I still think that if they were funding “our” terrorists (they helped fund the Contras in Nicaragua, remember) against states the UK & USA despise, they’d be let slide a bit more.

The US didn’t give Saddam weapons to launch a war against Iran. But late in the war, when it looked like Iran was going to whup Saddam’s butt and spread Komeini’s particulare brand of fanaticism across the Mideast, not only the US but a variety of countries who thought this was a Very Bad Idea™ gave Saddam a variety of weapons.

Realpolitik is a bitch …


The USA also gave massive agricultural credits to enable Iraq to fund arms purchases with the money it now had to spend on other things.

There can be little doubt that Iran has a long list of totally justified grievances against the West, up to and including the ongoing kidnapping of their nationals.

I don’t think that justifies their own tit for tat actions or, IF they are seeking nukes, going nuclear.

However with the lesson on their border of what happens to Axix of Evil countries without nukes I can appreciate their reasoning.

Tagos - Don’t forget ***Sam’s * ** list of valid grievances of the West against Iran - it does go both ways, even if the West kicked the whole cycle off. Iran does support and export terrorism. They do use their terrorist proxies to attack and attempt to destabilize other countries (including Iraq, Israel, and Saudi) in order to promulgate their Shi’a and Islamist philosophy.

I won’t get into the whole nuclear thing or justifying US actions against them, firstly because I think the US administration has been pretty dumb in policy and public statements with regards to Iran but also because I think you might have a bone to pick against the US in general and I won’t get dragged into that particular rat-hole.

I’ve seen precious little evidence that they export terrorism, just allegations. They don’t see Hizbollah and Hamas as terrorists, but nationalists defending their homelands against a western sponsored aggressor who invaded and occupied their territories. And we are today arming and training terrorists in Iran and flying drones in their airspace.

We overthrew a democratic govt and imposed a murderous tyrant on them. After that we used Saddam as our attack dog, causung millions of deaths and that pretty much trumps everything.

Maybe we should just try minding our own friggin’ business for a change.

Read here about Iran sponsoring terrorism:

Of course if you think Hamas and Hizbollah, not to mention Iraqi “insurgents” targeting civilians of different faith and cutting off heads of infidels, are freedom fighters, then I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree.

And, just by the bye, let one of the only true Democracies in the ME get destroyed and have all of it’s citizens killed. That is after all the stated goal of Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran with regards to Israel.

Minding our own business is no longer an option, because they won’t let us. They won’t let us withdraw, they would take the war to us. They’ve done so before.

Cite please?

Read the news. If you want to participate in a debate it’s up to you to know the basic facts. Try the MEK for starters and then follow up with the downed drones in Iran. i’ve cited the relevant articles repeatedly in these debates.

Hell, I’m sick to death of people who feel they can spout off without having made any effort to keep apprised of the basic facts.

Quote from the wiki article. Feel free to follow up the references.

From CBS

And while we are here:

Why the sky is blue

Hyperbolic bullshit. Israel’s existence is not in any danger. We are the people with a track record of opposing democracy in the Middle East and propping up tyrants. A policy we continue to this day.

There is no evidence in your first two links about supporting terrorism, just funding for Hamas, which is the democratically elected government. Given that track record I didn’t bother with the rest.

Your problem is that you can only see the world through western eyes. It’s all black and white.

I think Hamas carries out terrorist acts and I think the Isreali government is an oppressive occupier who regularly engages in acts of state terrorism.

Both sides should cut the shit out and when we stop supporting terrorists in Iran and cheering on Israeli aggression with the arms we provide them then I’ll join you on your high horse. As it is you want one side to just surrender.

We (West & Israel) invade, we arm terrorists, we occupy Lebanon for years, we colonise Palestine, we imprison without trial and torture, we kill Palestinians by the truck load, yet somehow it’s Iran that has to unilaterally bow to our wishes.

Iraq Intensifies Efforts to Expel Iranian Group Though Labeled Terrorist, MEK Has Updated U.S. on Tehran’s Nuclear Program

Plenty more where that came from. Unless you want to do your own research. Just type “MEK + terrorism + USA” into Google.

Cites for that? Or are you just parroting a right-wing-US-and-Israeli talking point? Because what I see is you conflating Sunni terrorist activities (al Qaeda) with Iran’s Shi’a regime. As you certainly know, “radical Islam” is not a monolithic entity, and foreign policy is more complicated than “us” versus some cartoonishly demonized “them.”

Also, if anything, it is my understanding that Islamic terrorism is becoming less centralized, and more a product of independent groups and individuals.