sovereign state in Western Asia
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Iran, formerly known as Persia, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), is a country in southwestern Eurasia. It is bordered to the northwest by Armenia, the de facto independent​Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, and Azerbaijan; with Kazakhstan and Russia across the Caspian Sea; to the northeast by Turkmenistan; to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan; to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman; and to the west by Turkey and Iraq. Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), it is the second-largest nation in the Middle East and the 18th-largest in the world; with 78.4 million inhabitants, Iran is the world's 17th most populous nation. It is the only country that has both a Caspian Sea and Indian Ocean coastline. Iran has long been of geostrategic importance because of its central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz.
Over the past two years, the UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), issued 15 reports confirming Iran’s full compliance with the terms and conditions of the JCPOA. What did the United States do in return? Not only it did not fulfill its commitments to lift nuclear related sanctions and facilitate normal business with Iran but it withdrew from the deal and rewarded Iran’s goodwill by imposing stringent new economic sanctions and unleashing a torrent of hostile rhetoric. ~Hossein Mousavian
The Islamic Republic of Iran is presenting in good faith its proposal for constructive interaction and a just dialogue. However, if some try to impose their will on the Iranian people through resort to a language of force and threat with Iran, we will reconsider our entire approach to the nuclear issue. ~President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
I would also remind President Trump that there is no congressional authorization for a war with Iran... A unilateral U.S. attack on Iran would be illegal and unconstitutional. ~Bernie Sanders
The Persian Constitutional Revolution of 1906 established the nation's first parliament, which operated within a constitutional monarchy. Following a coup d'état by the U.K. and the U.S. in 1953, Iran gradually became autocratic. Growing dissent against foreign influence and political repression culminated in the Iranian Revolution, which led to the end of the Imperial State of Iran and the establishment of an Islamic republic on 1 April 1979. Tehran is the capital and largest city, serving as the cultural, commercial, and industrial center of the nation.
Iran's civilization and culture has become imbued and infused with humanitarianism, respect for the life, belief and faith of others, propagation of tolerance and compromise and avoidance of violence, bloodshed and war. The luminaries of Iranian literature, in particular our Gnostic literature, from Hafiz, Mowlavi [better known in the West as Rumi] and Attar to Saadi, Sanaei, Naser Khosrow and Nezami, are emissaries of this humanitarian culture.~Shirin Ebadi
I found that many Americans did not even know that a country named Iran existed, let alone what it was like. ~Ashraf Pahlavi
Without the early Persian poets, Iranians might have ended up like so many other nations in the Middle East who lost their native languages and became Arabic speakers. ~Amir Taheri
I want the Iranians to know that if I'm the president, we will attack Iran [if it attacks Israel]... they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them. ~Hillary Clinton
Iranians are liars. ~Lindsey Graham
Deep is the primitive belief that it is the Anglo-Saxons who are the puppet masters of everything that happens in Iran. ~ Christopher Hitchens
H.E. Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Address to the United Nations General Assembly (17 September 2005)
(Full text)
In the Name of the God of Mercy, Compassion, Peace, Freedom and Justice. Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Today we have gathered here to exchange views about the world, its futureand our common responsibilities towards it.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is born out of a movement, based on the pure primordial nature of a people who rose up to regain their dignity, esteem and human rights. The Islamic Revolution toppled a regime which had been put inplace through a coup, and supported by those who claim to be advocates of democracy and human rights thwarted the aspirations of the nation for development and progress for 25 years through intimidation and torture of the populace and submission and subservience to outsiders.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is the manifestation of true democracy in the region. The discourse of the Iranian nation is focused on respect for the rights of human beings and a quest for tranquility, peace, justice and development for allthrough monotheism
The Islamic Republic of Iran is a symbol of true democracy. All officials including the Leader, President, members of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, city and village councils are elected through the vote of the citizens. The Islamic Republic of Iran has held 27 national elections in 27 years.
The Islamic Republic of Iran will continue to provide full and comprehensive support to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan and their elected governments, and will actively help them in the establishment of order and security.
In Palestine, a durable peace will be possible through justice, an end to discrimination and the occupation of Palestinian land, the return of all Palestinian refugees, and the establishment of a democratic Palestinian state
Those hegemonic powers, who consider scientific and technological progress of independent and free nations as a challenge to their monopoly on these important instruments of power and who do not want to see such achievements in other countries, have misrepresented Iran's healthy and fully safeguarded technological endeavors in the nuclear field as pursuit of nuclear weapons. This is nothing but a propaganda ploy.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is presenting in good faith its proposal for constructive interaction and a just dialogue. However, if some try to impose their will on the Iranian people through resort to a language of force and threat with Iran, we will reconsider our entire approach to the nuclear issue.
From the beginning of time, humanity has longed for the day when justice, peace, equality and compassion envelop the world. All of us can contribute to the establishment of such a world. When that day comes, the ultimate promise of all Divine religions will be fulfilled with the emergence of a perfect human being who is heir to all prophets and pious men. He will lead the world to justice and absolute peace.
End of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Address to the United Nations General Assembly (17 September 2005)

Don’t Latin Americans have the right to ask why their elected governments are being opposed and coup leaders supported? Or, Why must they constantly be threatened and live in fear? The people of Africa are hardworking, creative and talented... Don’t they have the right to ask why their enormous wealth – including minerals – is being looted, despite the fact that they need it more than others? Again, do such actions correspond to the teachings of Christ and the tenets of human rights?
The brave and faithful people of Iran too have many questions and grievances, including: the coup d’etat of 1953 and the subsequent toppling of the legal government of the day, opposition to the Islamic revolution, transformation of an Embassy into a headquarters supporting the activities of those opposing the Islamic Republic (many thousands of pages of documents corroborate this claim), support for Saddam in the war waged against Iran, the shooting down of the Iranian passenger plane, freezing the assets of the Iranian nation, increasing threats, anger and displeasure vis-à-vis the scientific and nuclear progress of the Iranian nation (just when all Iranians are jubilant and celebrating their country’s progress), and many other grievances that I will not refer to in this letter.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Ahmadinejad's Letter to George W. Bush 2006, (8 May 2006)
If all of you gather – and also invite your ancestors from hell – you will not be able to stop the Iranian nation.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad quoted in Big Six Spank Iran, New York Post, (16 March 2007)
The period and era of using nuclear weapons is over ... Nuclear bombs are not anymore helpful and those who are stockpiling nuclear weapons, politically they are backward, and they are mentally retarded...The Iranian nation is not seeking an atomic bomb, nor do they need to build an atomic bomb ... For defending ourselves we do not need a nuclear weapon
Iran's Ahmadinejad says anyone stockpiling atom bombs "retarded", Reuters, (8 Nov 2012)
They accuse Iran, like all nations that seek to rapidly find their way out of the current domination. We don't need an atom bomb. ... And besides, it is not atom bombs that threaten the world, but Western morals and culture declining in values... Colonialist thinking has not yet disappeared. Only the method has changed, but the system is still there. To save their economy, they impose war everywhere to cover their failure, the failure of the capitalist system. We are a sovereign state and will deal with who we want... Our uranium, our oil, we are going to sell them to who we want.
Iran does not need nuclear bomb, says Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Telegraph UK, (15 April 2013)
In America, there’s a reverence for soldiers. One is constantly reminded of their courage, their sacrifice. Soldiers have an implied halo of selflessness, they move with a dignified bearing. Flight attendants upgrade uniformed soldiers to first class, restaurants offer veteran discounts, strangers shake their hands and say: “Thank you for your service.”
In Iran every able-bodied male between the ages of 18-35 who isn’t rich or crafty enough to get out of it serves in the army at some point. It’s treated not as a noble calling, but as an annoyance.
Anonymous, "How I learned to stop worrying and love the Iranian army", The Guardian (23 July 2015).
Iran is home to a diverse range of wildlife, from bears and gazelles to Caspian seals and rare snakes. But the country's wildlife is under severe strain. Urban development and hunting have all but destroyed some of the rare species that once roamed Iran. As many as 120 Iranian breeds are on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species. Most famous of these are the Iranian cheetah, of which only 50 still survive, and the Persian leopard, now numbering about 5,000.
Siavash Ardalan, "The big business of trophy hunting in Iran", BBC Persian (11 August 2015).
We must understand these are not Muslims, they are the son of the Magi and their hostility towards Muslims is an old one, especially with the People of the Tradition (Sunnis).
Abdul-Azeez ibn Abdullaah Aal ash-Shaikh, about Iranians [1] (6 September 2016)
NEW: Interview with Head of the National Iranian American Council @tparsi . He told us it would be "political suicide" for any Iranian politician to meet with Trump as long as Bolton/Pompeo are around. @esaagar ... #rising #sanctions #Iran #iranwar
Krystal Ball in Twitter Post, (24 June 2019)
The reason most of my countrymen would tell you that they carry a grudge against the United States is that the U.S. government has given its unconditional support to a monarch who has terrorized a whole nation, plundered its wealth and bought billions of dollars' worth of military equipment which neither he nor our nation knows how to use.
Reza Baraheni (1977) The Crowned Cannibals: Writings on Repression in Iran, p. 10
The growing confrontation in the Gulf between the US and its Saudi-led allies on one side and Iran and its proxies... which have been blamed by the US on Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. This is a standoff that has been coming... Iran’s actions can hardly be said to have occurred in a vacuum... it has been the recent policy of “maximum pressure” on Tehran under the incoherent foreign policy of the Trump administration that has exacerbated the current tensions... the Trump administration has withdrawn unilaterally from the internationally agreed – and successful – Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) of 2015, whose purpose was to ease sanctions on Iran in exchange for verifiable limits on the country’s nuclear programme... In April, Washington designated one of the country’s most significant (if troubling) security institutions – the politically influential Revolutionary Guards – a terrorist organisation. It also introduced new economic sanctions that have further stressed Iran’s badly frayed economy....
Peter Beaumont in Trump’s fanned the flames in Iran, now the fire risks getting out of control, The Guardian, (14 June 2019)
In tandem with the US moves, Saudi Arabia – one of the countries seen as pushing US policy – has increased its oil production to sell to former buyers of Iranian oil, while at the same time vocally supporting moves to strangle Iranian exports. It is not hard, then, to see how these moves might be viewed in Tehran: as part of an escalating offensive from multiple sources threatening its own home front in a campaign of economic warfare designed to weaken the regime. The depth of the US stake in this increasingly dangerous game is far harder to judge, given the usual confusion of Trump’s flip-flopping and the machinations of Bolton... All of which leaves us to contemplate the most frightening element of all in a complex crisis: that the current occupant of the White House lacks any of the skills required to successfully defuse it.
Peter Beaumont (journalist) in Trump’s fanned the flames in Iran, now the fire risks getting out of control, The Guardian, (14 June 2019)
We got a leader in Iran who has announced that he wants to destroy Israel. So I've told people that if you're interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.
George W. Bush, Press conference (17 October 2007).
Where will it [Iran] drop it [the future nuclear bomb], this bomb? On Israel? It would not have gone off 200 meters into the atmosphere before Tehran would be razed to the ground.
Jacques Chirac, as quoted in "Chirac goes nuclear", Headline Junky, (2 February 2007)
Iran today is, in a sense, the only country where progressive ideas enjoy a vast constituency. It is there that the ideas that I subscribe to are defended by a majority.
Bill Clinton, World Economic Forum in Davos (2005).
Iran is the only country in the world, the only one with elections, including the United States, including Israel, including you name it, where the liberals, or the progressives, have won two-thirds to 70 percent of the vote in six elections: two for president; two for the Parliament, the Majlis; two for the mayoralties. In every single election, the guys I identify with got two-thirds to 70 percent of the vote. There is no other country in the world I can say that about, certainly not my own.
Bill Clinton, interview with Charlie Rose (2005).
I want the Iranians to know that if I'm the president, we will attack Iran [if it attacks Israel]. In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them. That's a terrible thing to say but those people who run Iran need to understand that because that perhaps will deter them from doing something that would be reckless, foolish and tragic.
Hilary Clinton, Clinton says U.S. could "totally obliterate" Iran, Reuters (April 22, 2008)
It is unlikely that Iran is involved – but the unpredictability of US and Saudi foreign policy has exacerbated the danger of military action... Saudi Arabia’s claim that two of its oil tankers have been sabotaged off the coast of the UAE is vague in detail – but could create a crisis that spins out of control and into military action... Although the US is militarily superior to Iran by a wide margin, the Iranians as a last resort could fire rockets or otherwise attack Saudi and UAE oil facilities. Such apocalyptic events are unlikely – but powerful figures in Washington, such as the national security adviser John Bolton and secretary of state Mike Pompeo, appear prepared to take the risk of a war breaking out... Bolton and Pompeo are reported to have used some mortar rounds landing near the US embassy in Baghdad in February as an excuse to get a reluctant Pentagon to prepare a list of military options against Iran... the US and Saudi Arabia have been talking up war against Iran just as economic sanctions are seriously biting. Iranian oil exports have dropped from 2.8 to 1.3 million barrels a day... Promises by the EU, UK, France and Germany to enable the Islamic republic to avoid sanctions on its oil trade and banking have not been fulfilled. Commercial enterprises are too frightened of being targeted by the US treasury to risk breaching sanctions.
Patrick Cockburn, in The mysterious ‘sabotage’ of Saudi oil tankers is a dangerous moment in Trump’s pumped up feud with Iran, The Independent, (13 May 2019)
China and Iran have drafted a “sweeping economic and security partnership,” according to The New York Times... This “strategic partnership” is the result of Donald Trump’s punishing sanctions against Iran... If China and Iran conclude their partnership agreement, Trump would presumably be less likely to use military force against Iran. If he did, he would have to be willing to take on China as well. That would be most unwise.
Marjorie Cohn, Trump’s Harsh Sanctions Lead to Iran-China Partnership, Truthout (13 July 2020)
The precise reason for Hitchens’ theft and publication of my private mail is that I object to the characterization of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as having “threatened to wipe Israel off the map.” I object to this translation of what he said on two grounds. First, it gives the impression that he wants to play Hitler to Israel’s Poland, mobilizing an armored corps to move in and kill people. But the actual quote, which comes from an old speech of Khomeini, does not imply military action, or killing anyone at all. The second reason is that it is just an inexact translation. The phrase is almost metaphysical. He quoted Khomeini that “the occupation regime over Jerusalem should vanish from the page of time.” It is in fact probably a reference to some phrase in a medieval Persian poem. It is not about tanks.
Juan Cole in Hitchens Hacker And Hitchens (3 May 2006)
Saudi Arabia is one of the only three countries in the world known to maintain the death penalty for people who allegedly committed crimes as children, along with Sudan and Iran.
Adam Coogle, CNN (25 September 2015).
The fifth century BCE historian Herodotus claimed not only that the Persians were very fond of wine, but that they routinely made important decisions while drunk on it. According to Herodotus, the day after such a drunken deliberation, the Persians would reconsider their decision and if they still approved, adopt it. This is, to put it mildly, a highly unlikely image of a group of people who were able to carve out one of the largest empires in antiquity and sustain it for two centuries. Are we to think that they just got lucky over and over again when they were drunk out of their minds? This is certainly the view that the Greeks promoted and Iranian irrationality remains a topos in Western culture... But if one looks at the internal Iranian evidence, for example Zoroastrian texts, a new image of the importance of wine in classical Iran emerges. The most interesting of these texts is one called The Spirit of Wisdom from the sixth century CE. One chapter discusses how wine can bring one's good and bad dispositions, and argues that those who drink it in moderation benefit in enhanced awareness and intellectual facility: "this that is forgotten will be remembered and goodness will take place in thought and it will increase the sight of the eye and hearing of the ear and the speech of the tongue, and doing work and managing will proceed faster." Relative temperance, however, is emphasized. "But anyone who drinks wine must be conscious to drink in moderation, since through moderate drinking of wine this much goodness will come to him, because food will be digested and kindle fire [of the body], and increase intelligence and the mind and seed and blood, and reject torment."
Touraj Daryaee, "On Iranians, Drinking Wine, and Cultural Stereotyping", PBS (16 December 2012)
Saudi Arabia, Iran, North Korea, and Somalia are the only countries in the world that still execute people in public.
Jeanine Di Giovanni, "When It Comes To Beheadings, ISIS Has Nothing Over Saudi Arabia" (24 October 2014), Newsweek.
The American people have the greatest respect and admiration for the Iranian people. Your Kings from Cyrus and Darius are known among those famous monarchs who have advanced the cause of humanity. Your scientists have contributed to the foundations on which we have built our industrial society. Your philosophers and poets have enriched the culture of the west.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, as quoted in "Toast by the President at a Luncheon Given in His Honor by Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi" (December 14, 1959), as quoted in "Online", by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project.
Iran's civilization and culture has become imbued and infused with humanitarianism, respect for the life, belief and faith of others, propagation of tolerance and compromise and avoidance of violence, bloodshed and war. The luminaries of Iranian literature, in particular our Gnostic literature, from Hafiz, Mowlavi [better known in the West as Rumi] and Attar to Saadi, Sanaei, Naser Khosrow and Nezami, are emissaries of this humanitarian culture.
Shirin Ebadi, in Nobel Lecture, (10 December 2003).
Over 100,000 Jews lived in Iran prior to the 1979 revolution... Many left right afterward, and the population has slowly declined ever since. Jewish leaders estimate there are between 12,000 and 30,000 Jews here today, making Iran's the second-largest Jewish population in the Middle East after Israel. But those who have chosen to stay in Iran have a long history of opposition to hawkish Israeli governments. Many consider themselves Jews but not Zionists. The Islamic Republic of Iran allows freedom of worship for Jews and Christians... [Unlike] some other countries in the region and in Europe, Jewish temples in Iran have not been attacked... But institutional restrictions on Jews remain... They are not able to get certain government jobs reserved for Muslims and are banned from serving as professional soldiers, although they face conscription like other Iranians.
Reese Erlich, "Iran's Jewish community gets behind nuclear deal with U.S.", USA Today (7 August, 2015)
The menacing threat has been repeated endlessly in U.S. corporate media in recent years: Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for Israel to be “wiped off the map.” “Iran,” “Israel” and “wipe” in one form or another occur together in more than 17,000 articles in the Nexis news database over the last seven years. It plays a critical role in the case for pre-emptive war against Iran. There’s just one problem: It never happened.
Lost in Translation: Iran never threatened to wipe Israel off the map, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)(Multiple sources/explanations cited)(1 June 2012)
Where are your valiant warriors and your priests? Where are your hunting parties and your feasts? Where is that warlike mien, and where are those? Great armies that destroyed our country's foes? . . . Count Iran as a ruin, as the lair of lions and leopards! Look now and despair!
Ferdowsi, as quoted by Reza Aslan in "The Epic of Iran", The New York Times (30 April 2006).
Kaiumers first sat upon the throne of Persia, and was master of the world.
Ferdowsi, as quoted in "Persia's crowning glory", BBC (4 June 2000)
Iran has a long history. People of the world can learn much from the portrayal of Iranian civilization by the Iranian arts over such a long period of time.
Paul Sheldon Foote, as quoted in "Iranian culture in the Eyes of Americans" by Moj News Agency (2007).
Most of the cultures of Asia identify with Iran on some level, much as Westerners do with Greece and Rome.
Richard Foltz, as quoted in "From Zoroastrianism to Islam: taking stock of religion in Iran",
The United States, through its assassination of top-ranking Iranian General Qasim Soleimani, has once again opened Pandora’s box in its conduct of foreign policy. How long does Washington think it can enjoy unique monopoly over exercise of these forms of international violence before they are turned against us?
Graham E. Fuller in US Foreign Policy by Assassination, January 4, 2020
No one in Europe and few in the world supported Washington’s tearing up of the nuclear treaty with Iran, nor do they support the crushing sanctions the US has imposed upon Iran since then for which it demands compliance. Increasingly Europe and other “allies” no longer find it comfortable to be allied with a US whose foreign policies are obsessively focussed on identification of enemies and where we expect our allies to fall into line—starting before the US invasion of Iraq.
Graham E. Fuller in US Foreign Policy by Assassination, January 4, 2020
The White House has yet to fully address why an Iranian government, when it receives the estimated $150 billion windfall from unfrozen assets that’s to follow sanctions relief plus the benefits of reopened trade, will not significantly increase its terror-sponsorship in the short term.
Nicholas M. Gallagher, "Iran Unbowed: State Dept: Iran Still a Leading Terror Sponsor", The American Interest, (23 June 2015).
Denying medicines to Iran and Venezuela is a crime against humanity... One of the most truly despicable aspects of the coronavirus is how it is being exploited by Washington to punish countries like Iran and Venezuela, currently the enemy-designates of the inside the Beltway crowd... Iran is...seeking a $5 billion IMF emergency loan to cope with the crisis, a request that will almost certainly also be torpedoed by the Trump Administration. Last Thursday Pompeo doubled down on Iran, initiating new sanctions based on the evidence-free allegation that Tehran is behind the recent attacks on U.S. military bases in Iraq. He also confirmed that, as part of the “maximum pressure” policy, all existing sanctions will remain in place, saying “Our sanctions will deprive the regime of critical income from its petrochemical industry and further Iran’s economic and diplomatic isolation. The United States will continue to fully enforce our sanctions.”
Iran’s government is admittedly unpopular due to the mishandling of the shoot-down of the Ukrainian airliner and the inability to cope with a deepening economic crisis caused largely by the U.S. imposed sanctions. Given the current signs of weakness and instability in Tehran, there was recently a meeting in the White House discussing whether the U.S. should take the opportunity to attack Iran. It was, fortunately, rejected by a narrow margin when the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff strongly opposed the proposal.
Philip Giraldi in Punishing America's Enemies, Unz Review (24 March 2020)
Everything I learned about Iranians, I learned working in the pool room. I met a lot of liars, and I know Iranians are liars.
Lindsey Graham, as quoted in "Republican conference: Day two - Bush 'proud' of family" (22 May 2015), by Anthony Zurcher, BBC News, United Kingdom: British Broadcasting Corporation.
One of the signs of Iran's underdevelopment is the culture of rumor and paranoia that attributes all ills to the manipulation of various demons and satans. And, of course, the long and rich history of British imperial intervention in Persia does provide some support for the notion. But you have no idea how deep is the primitive belief that it is the Anglo-Saxons—more than the CIA, more even than the Jews—who are the puppet masters of everything that happens in Iran.
Christopher Hitchens, Persian Paranoia: Iranian leaders will always believe Anglo-Saxons are plotting against them, Slate (June 22, 2009).
Since the U.S. had previously seemed to be a protector of the right to self-determination, Iranians felt terribly betrayed when the CIA overthrew the democratically elected constitutional government headed by Mosaddeq and installed the Shah. Then, with increasing visibility and high-handedness, both “American government and business interests acted the role of the exploiter and corrupter.”
Richard A. Horsley, Religion and Empire: People, Power, and the Life of the Spirit (2003), pp. 68-69.
Casting the Trump administration’s credibility gap into sharp relief, allies like Japan and Germany have demanded more “credible” evidence to support the U.S. claim. While President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have been unequivocal in their assertion that Iran was responsible for the attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week, some of America’s closest allies are demanding more proof.
Both Japan and Germany have requested more concrete evidence to support the Trump administration’s insistence that Iran was behind the twin attacks on the Norwegian-owned Front Altar and the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous near the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday. Jeremy Corbyn, Britain’s opposition leader, said more “credible evidence” was needed to support Trump’s allegation.... According to The New York Times, other European leaders have also been hesitant to lay the blame on Iran ― a doubt fueled in part by their “distrust of the Trump administration and its hawkish policy toward Tehran,” the paper said.
Huffington Post, Pompeo Claims There’s ‘No Doubt’ Iran Attacked Tankers, But U.S. Allies Want Proof, Huffington Post, Dominique Mosbergen (17 June 2019)
In Iran, a top government official recently said that torture followed by death is the appropriate punishment for being gay.
Chuck Hustmyre, "The Left’s love affair with Islam" (1 December 2009), Jihad Watch
There are approximately 100,000 clerics in Iran and over 60,000 of them are in Qom. Most of them are theology students who have been studying there for many years, between 10-25 years on average.... Every student has to study a minimum of 25 years before he can attain the status of ‘ayatollah’, however most students spend 10 years studying in the hawza.
Mohsen Kadivar Inside Iran: Hujjat al Islam Mohsen Kadivar April 2007.
I come from the noble land of Iran, representing a great and renowned nation, famous for its age old civilization as well as its distinguished contribution to the founding and expansion of the Islamic civilization; a nation that has survived the strong winds of despotism, reactionism and submission, relying on its cultural and human wealth; a nation which pioneered in the East the establishment of civil society and constitutional government in the course of its contemporary history, even though as a result of foreign interference and domestic deficiencies, at times it may have faltered in its course; a nation which has been at the forefront of the struggle for independence and against colonialism, though its national movement was subverted by a foreign- orchestrated coup. And, a nation which carries the torch of its popular revolution, not won by force of arms or a coup, but by dethroning of the regime of coup d'etat through the power of "word" and "enlightenment". In the course of its new experience, our nation has endured eight years of an imposed war, pressure, sanctions and various allegations. It has also fallen victim to terrorism, this ominous and sinister phenomenon of the twentieth century.
Mohammad Khatami, in Statement by before the 53rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York (21 September 1998)
Iran was indeed Islamized, but it was not Arabized. Persians remained Persians. And after an interval of silence, Iran reemerged as a separate, different and distinctive element within Islam, eventually adding a new element even to Islam itself. Culturally, politically, and most remarkable of all even religiously, the Iranian contribution to this new Islamic civilization is of immense importance. The work of Iranians can be seen in every field of cultural endeavor, including Arabic poetry, to which poets of Iranian origin composing their poems in Arabic made a very significant contribution. In a sense, Iranian Islam is a second advent of Islam itself, a new Islam sometimes referred to as Islam-i Ajam. It was this Persian Islam, rather than the original Arab Islam, that was brought to new areas and new peoples: to the Turks, first in Central Asia and then in the Middle East in the country which came to be called Turkey, and India. The Ottoman Turks brought a form of Iranian civilization to the walls of Vienna...
Bernard Lewis, Archived copy. Archived from the original on 2007-04-29. Retrieved on 2007-04-03.
The few and the wealthy of many nations are no longer constrained by rules that categorize civilized and enlightened behavior toward other nations such as Venezuela and Iran.
Howard Lisnoff The Mother of All Bombs: U.S. Foreign Policy, CounterPunch, (6 February 2019)
Whereas now Iranian cinema shows the Iranian people to the world. The US has tried very hard to make an entire people out to be terrorists. The Iranian cinema tries to say that the Iranian people are very warm and poetic people.
Mohsen Makhmalbaf, as quoted in "Gabbeh and A Moment of Innocence: two films directed by Mohsen Makhmalbaf", WSWS (23 September 2006).
Iranian leaders regularly pray for America's death. We currently tolerate this hatred because we don't seem to fear its consequences.
James D. Miller, "An Empire? You ain't Seen Nothin' Yet" (14 April 2004), Tech Central Station.
As an Iranian Jew raised in Tehran, educated in the United States, and a frequent visitor to Israel, the nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran has pulled me in different directions. Like many Iranians, I am thankful that – at least for now – my country of birth will be spared a military attack. As a naturalized American, I am keen to avoid another costly entanglement in the abyss that is called the Middle East. But as a Jew? This is where my loyalties seem questionable to the large Iranian-American Jewish community, which avidly supports the state of Israel. As a Jew I am expected to condemn any accommodation with a regime that denies the holocaust and routinely calls for the destruction of the Jewish state. As a Jew I am steadfast in my defense of the country that is resolute in its defense of the Jewish cause. As a Jew I tread with caution. As an Iranian I march with hope. I understand and appreciate this dichotomy. Being a Jew was never easy in a Muslim country. Like Esther and Mordechai and the feast of Purim, our story has had biblical dimensions of miracles and misfortunes. Iranian Jews were emancipated by Cyrus the Great and alternatively integrated or persecuted by successive Persian dynasties that spanned 2500 years.But they mostly persevered, adopted the language and the customs, and made indelible contributions to one of the most beautiful cultures in the world. The large Iranian-American Jewish community in the United States, whose population is estimated to be close to 120,000, still speak, read, and write Farsi, celebrate Persian holidays, and reminisce about the “good old days before the revolution”. But even as they yearn for a free Iran, they do not see themselves as part of its future. Iran is no longer Persian, they say. It has become a strange hybrid Arab country that threatens the existence of Israel. In that vein, any threat, real or perceived, prompts an emotional response in my community on a par with receiving catastrophic news. In fact, any news short of a complete change to liberal democracy is considered unacceptable. But western-style democracy has eluded Iran for centuries, and the reality is that the nuclear train has already left the station. The best the world can do is to put mechanisms in place that may alter the behavior of the regime, in the hope of gradual normalization of relations between Iran and the west. Is it guaranteed? Absolutely not. Is it worth a try? Yes.
Nazee Moinian, "I am a Jewish Iranian-American in favor of the nuclear deal", The Guardian (12 August, 2015)
Trump’s decision undoes the signature foreign policy achievement of his predecessor, Barack Obama, and represents an affront to the United States’ European allies, which had strongly lobbied the Trump administration to remain in the deal. But the more enduring impact will be in Tehran, where Trump’s nixing of the JCPOA—and Europe’s response—will push Iran’s leaders to... seek to strengthen its ties with non-Western powers, including China and Russia.
Hossein Mousavian in The Strategic Disaster of Leaving the Iran Deal: Trump Is Making the Middle East Less Safe, Foreign Affairs (10 May 2018)
Trump’s unilateralist approach and the future of JCPOA may change the calculation by creating a rift among the transatlantic allies, and bringing the eastern bloc powers, Europe and regional powers such as Iran, Turkey and Iraq, closer together [and along with other factors] has the potential to transform international power politics, shifting from an American-led system to a multi-polar world
Hossein Mousavian in Commentary: Five reasons why Trump’s Iran sanctions will fail, Reuters (31 Oct 2018)
If the United States is serious about its war on terrorism, it needs to stop politicizing security and draw on past experiences. If it does so, it’ll realize that Iran is the indispensable partner in the fight against terrorism—if the eradication of terrorism is, indeed, what the United States wants.
Hossein Mousavian in Iran: An Indispensable Ally In The War On Terrorism; Seyed Hossein Mousavaian & Reza Nasri, Lobe Log (7 May 2019)
Sustainable peace and security require good bilateral relations and regional cooperation between Tehran and Riyadh. Iran and Saudi Arabia have significant differences, but they share common interests in many critical issues, such as energy security, nuclear nonproliferation, and Middle East stability.
Hossein Mousavian in It’s Time for the Leaders of Saudi Arabia and Iran to Talk; Seyed Hossein Mousavian and Abdulaziz Sager, The New York Times (14 May 2019)
The Iran nuclear deal is the most comprehensive agreement in the history of non-proliferation. As part of it, Iran accepted the most intrusive transparency measures and stringent limits on a nuclear programme ever demanded of a non-proliferation treaty member... where Iran has kept its end of the bargain, it has been rewarded with sanctions and additional pressure, and the benefits Iran was supposed to receive have been suddenly snatched away.
Hossein Mousavian in Iran didn’t ask for this crisis, but it won’t stand for Trump’s bullying, The Guardian (7 July 2019)
From the Iranian point of view, the deal now is a lose-lose because the Americans are rewarding Iran with more sanctions as Iran is cooperating or has cooperated for two years with the IAEA - International Atomic Energy Agency - to fully comply with every commitment that's in the deal...
All Things Considered NPR (7 July 2019)
Over the past two years, the UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), issued 15 reports confirming Iran’s full compliance with the terms and conditions of the JCPOA. What did the United States do in return? Not only it did not fulfill its commitments tolift nuclear related sanctions and facilitate normal business with Iran but it withdrew from the deal and rewarded Iran’s goodwill by imposing stringent new economic sanctions and unleashing a torrent of hostile rhetoric.
Hossein Mousavian in How Iran Sees Its Standoff With the United States And What Trump Should Do to Solve the Problem He Created, Foreign Affairs (12 July 2019)
In this manner, the United States responded to Iran’s flexibility and cooperation with a “maximum pressure” campaign: U.S. sanctions on Iran are more comprehensive even than those on North Korea, which withdrew from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) in 2003.
Hossein Mousavian in How Iran Sees Its Standoff With the United States And What Trump Should Do to Solve the Problem He Created, Foreign Affairs (12 July 2019)
In Iran, there is a pervasive belief that the West is in decline and that U.S. hegemony in the Middle East is over. This belief has gained credence as an array of Western intellectuals and leaders have acknowledged such a decline. Iranians note that the United States has failed in almost every conflict it initiated since the Second World War.
Hossein Mousavian in Why Iran and the U.S. are at an impasse and how to reduce Mideast tensions in spite of that, LA Times, (11 Oct 2019)
Given the impasse between Iran and the United States, the most immediate and realistic step toward reducing tensions in the Middle East would be to set aside the idea of negotiations between the two countries for now and instead focus on facilitating direct negotiations between Iran and Saudi Arabia to discuss, among other things, putting an end to the devastating war in Yemen.
Hossein Mousavian in Why Iran and the U.S. are at an impasse and how to reduce Mideast tensions in spite of that, LA Times, (11 Oct 2019)
Iran is the land of lofty mystics and a treasure of spirituality.
Majd Nasseri, as quoted in "Iran Helping Turkey Organize Rumi Confab", Iran Daily (17 March 2007).
Revolution in Iran happened because the people of Iran wanted democracy and freedom and an end to the constant foreign intervention in the country's affairs, and Khomeini promised to deliver all they wanted. They looked up to him, as he had strongly stood up against the Shah and had refused to back off. Most of his supporters, whether secular or religious, were not aware that he was planning to leave the power in the hands of one high-ranking cleric to basically govern the country. Khomeini and his advisors rewrote their proposed constitution, which was based on Islamic laws. Soon, the newspapers that had in any way criticized Khomeini and his plans were shut down, and those protesting the closings were attacked. Opposition groups were banned ... Iran is a country that is suffering from the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and the trauma that has caused this condition continues... It would be logical to say that Iran’s bubble has to burst, and it has to burst on its own and not through foreign intervention. I’m sure that as you read some of Iran’s history during the last few pages, you have come to see that, sooner or later, foreign intervention leads to catastrophe. It is different, for example, when a country falls into civil war and the United Nations has to move in to save lives... Bombing Iran would be the wrong way to burst the bubble. Democracy is not a sudden event; it is a long process which cannot be rushed. In a way, Iran has had to go all the way back and replay the parts of its history from which it had been robbed. The way Reza Shah pushed Iranians and made the women take off their hejabs and tried to take religion out of people’s lives when they were not ready for it was doomed to have severe consequences, which we witnessed after the Islamic revolution.
Marina Nemat, Democracy in Iran? Will we ever see the day?.
Iran was in war with Iraq for 8 years, and Ayatollah Khomeini tried to topple Saddam, but he failed. Then, a few years later, in 2003, the U.S. entered Iraq and got rid of Saddam, but it got tangled in a never-ending conflict that turned Iraq into rubble and killed thousands of innocent Iraqis. Who is the winner of this terrible war? In my humble opinion, it is the Iranian regime, because with Saddam gone, they have tried to encourage an Islamic Republic in Iraq, which is the only other country with a majority Shia population in the region, and if this becomes reality, it could turn Iran into a huge power in the region. Actually, the U.S. invasion of Iraq greatly damaged the opposition in Iran, as now anyone who criticizes the Iranian regime is accused of asking for a U.S. invasion of Iran and working for the CIA. So one of the undisputable side effects of this war has been the strengthening of the government of Iran... Is democracy possible in Iran? Yes, it is. For many years, the people of Iran have wanted democracy, but they have been sabotaged not only by foreign powers but also by their own leaders. Now, the only way to find democracy would be to allow it to complete its process. And this process can speed up if the people of Iran take a hard look at their history, acknowledge and study its horrors, and try to learn from it. Even though foreigners have intervened in our affairs, we cannot throw all the responsibility onto their shoulders. The opposition in Iran is scattered and disorganized. Most opposition groups hang on to old ideologies that have become obsolete, and they refuse to see that an ideology driven leadership is not what the country needs. We need a government with strong ethical codes to protect all Iranians, including minorities, and in order to have such a government, we need a constitution that can support it. But how can we get there?
Marina Nemat, Democracy in Iran? Will we ever see the day?.
Iran is a very young country... Violence should remain the last resort in bringing democracy to Iran. Enough innocent people have died... Gandhi led his country to independence through non-violent civil disobedience, and if this was possible in India, it is also possible in Iran.
Marina Nemat, Democracy in Iran? Will we ever see the day?.
As dangerous as a nuclear-armed North Korea is, it pales in comparison to the danger of a nuclear-armed Iran. A nuclear-armed Iran in the Middle East wouldn't be another North Korea. It would be another 50 North Koreas.
Benjamin Netanyahu, address to the United Nations General Assembly (2013).
Only Iran, in fact, still holds out the promise of sustaining Obama's initial hopes for a fresh start with Muslims.
Michael Oren, "How Obama Opened His Heart to the 'Muslim World': And got it stomped on. Israel's former ambassador to the United States on the president's naiveté as peacemaker, blinders to terrorism, and alienation of allies.", Foreign Policy (19 June 2015).
Iran is not North Korea. It's far worse. Pyongyang's dictators never plotted terrorist attacks across five continents and in thirty cities, including Washington, D.C. Tehran's Ayatollahs did. North Korea is not actively undermining pro-western governments in its region or planting agents in South America. Iran is. And North Korea, unlike Iran, did not kill many hundreds of U.S. soldiers in Iraq.
Michael Oren, "Why Israel Won’t Be Celebrating the Iran Deal", Time (14 July 2015).
Foreign travellers in Iran, not only recently but in previous generations, have observed that some of our citizens habitually lie … In our culture, steeped in history as we are, some liars actually try to explain and justify their behaviour by referring back to past national catastrophes. For example, they will tell you, when Mongol hordes overran the country, lying was the price to pay for personal survival ; and that gave us the habit of mendacity. Whatever its merits as an historical explanation, this point of view certainly offers a pitifully weak justification for today's liars.
Muhammad Reza Pahlavi (1961) Mission for my Country, London, pp. 246-247.
Taking Iran's history as witness, I declare that we, the Pahlavi Dynasty, nurse no love but that for Iran, and no zeal but that for the dignity of Iranians; recognise no duty but that of serving our state and our nation.
As the commander of this monarchy, I make a covenant with Iran's history that this golden epic of modern Iran will be carried on to complete victory, and that no power on earth shall ever be able to stand against the bond of steel between the Shah and the nation. We shall never again be caught unawares. The nation and the Imperial Arrned Forces, which come from the ranks of the people and derive their power from our inexhaustible national resources, are alert day in and day out to protect their country. No foreigner or his agents will ever have the chance to penetrate the unshakable structure of our national sovereignty because Iran's destiny is now shaped by Iranians and for Iranians - and this shall always be the case.
Muhammad Reza Pahlavi, as quoted in Message of the Shahanshah of Iran, Now Rouz, 1976
I envisaged future generations of Iranians proudly taking their rightful place among the vast family of nations, and fulfilling their responsibilities with dignity. I hoped to see dispelled for ever the medieval shadows from which Iran had emerged only half a century ago, and that the light which is the very essence of Iranian civilization and culture would prevail. Throughout my reign, I lived only for the realization of this dream which was beginning to become reality.
It will be seen that I worked tirelessly and keenly to this end. I had ceaselessly to struggle against all sorts of obstacles and difficulties. I had to confront innumerable plots and intrigues both inside the country and abroad. I combated the all-powerful, multi-national trusts and cartels when all my advisers warned me against such challenges. I may have made mistakes, of course, but this long battle was not one of them.
Muhammad Reza Pahlavi, The Shah's Story (1980), p.11
I found that many Americans did not even know that a country named Iran existed, let alone what it was like. Even among the diplomatic corps and among well-educated people, there was a vagueness about who the Iranians were or what the culture was, a tendency to confuse Iran with Iraq or to mistakenly assume that Iran is an Arab country simply because it is an Islamic nation. This fuzziness about the world outside is unique to America; among the intelligensia of European countries, for example, there is generally a higher level of awareness and information regarding cultures other than their own.
Ashraf Pahlavi, Faces in a Mirror, Prentice Hall, p. 100. (1980)
As I flew over the Shahyad monument, I saw that one corner was completely dark. A moment later I realized this black mass was a mass of Iranian women, women who had achieved one of the highest levels of emancipation in the Middle East. Here they were in the mournful black chador their grandmother had worn. My god, I thought, is this how it ends?
Ashraf Pahlavi, In a memoir, Faces in a Mirror, p. 205 (1980)
Persia’s backward conditions were relics of social traditions ... and the women for that matter weren’t ready to exchange the protection they had traditionally enjoyed for the unknowns of a new social status.
Ashraf PahlaviIn Tribute to Princess Ashraf Pahlavi: A Jewel of Iran (January 17, 2016)
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's rush to judgement that Iran was behind the apparent attacks on two tanker ships last week has not galvanized world opinion against Iran, as the neocons hoped. Instead, it was met with high skepticism even among Washington's closest allies. Has the neocon practice of massively exaggerating and endlessly issuing threats finally destroyed US credibility on the world stage?
Ron Paul, Credibility Crisis: No One Believes Pompeo On Iran Attack, Liberty Report,] (17 June 2019)
If this was all about Israel dictating policy, we'd have skipped Iraq and gone straight to Iran. But this is not, and it never has been about Israel, or Iran, or Iraq. It's about America imposing its will on areas of the would that we believe to be in our national security interests. The big picture in the Middle East isn't Iran or Iraq. The big picture in the Middle East is China. People don't understand that. They don't know what’s going on right now. It's about leveraging control over Middle-Eastern and central-Asian oil, in order to dictate the pace of China's economic growth over the next 30 years.
Scott Ritter Says Controversial Things About Clinton, Bush, Fox News, the Surge, etc., Interview with the Memphis Flyer, (8 May 2008)
The relationship between Iran and the United States is a complicated and difficult question. There is a chronic wound, which is difficult to heal. However, it is not impossible provided there is goodwill and mutual respect between the two countries.
Hassan Rouhani, as quoted in Iran election: Hassan Rouhani in his own words, BBC News: Middle East, (15 June 2013)
We need to make it unmistakably clear that we will do whatever it takes, for however long it takes, to defeat radical Islamic terrorism. We will punish — we will punish their allies, like Iran — and we will stand with our allies, like Israel.
Marco Rubio, Conservative Political Action Committee speech, 2010-02-19.
Iran has more state-sanctioned executions per capita than any other country in the world, and over half those executed are drug traffickers. But the drug problem in Iran is so vast that it exposes the futility of draconian measures.
Setareh Sabety, "Slaughterhouse review - an honest portrayal of Iran's drug problem", The Guardian (30 October 2015).
This policy is unconscionable and flagrantly against international law. It is imperative that the U.S. lift these immoral and illegal sanctions to enable Iran and Venezuela to confront the epidemic as effectively and rapidly as possible,"
Jeffrey Sachs quoted in; Economists Demand Trump Immediately Lift Iran, Cuba, and Venezuela Sanctions That Are 'Feeding the Coronavirus Epidemic', Jake Johnson, Common Dreams, (19 March 2020)
All of us are Iranian and wherever and in whatever post we are should try to elevate status of our dear country.
Majid Samii, as quoted in "Iranian professor says his medal belongs to whole Iranians" IRNA (29 September 2007)
Attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman are unacceptable and must be fully investigated... but this incident must not be used as a pretext for a war with Iran, a war which would be an unmitigated disaster for the United States, Iran, the region, and the world... I would also remind President Trump that there is no congressional authorization for a war with Iran... A unilateral U.S. attack on Iran would be illegal and unconstitutional.
Bernie Sanders, Trump Must Not Be Allowed to Use Gulf of Oman Incidents as 'Pretext for Illegal War With Iran': Bernie Sanders, Common Dreams, Andrea Germanos, (14 June 2019)
Iran is facing a catastrophic toll from the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. sanctions should not be contributing to this humanitarian disaster. As a caring nation, we must lift any sanctions hurting Iran’s ability to address this crisis, including financial sanctions.
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders quoted by Philip Giraldi in Punishing America's Enemies, Unz Review (24 March 2020)
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on June 13, 2019, blamed Iran for attacks on ships in the Gulf of Oman. Iran had no motive for the recent attack on civilian vessels in the Gulf of Oman, but the US has motives to falsely blame Iran for it. It appears that Mike Pompeo has a hard time kicking his old habits. He appears to be as smug about lying as a CIA operative as he is as Secretary of State. Categorically blaming the Iranians for the recent oil attack tankers has left allies scratching their heads; and perhaps leaving foes thinking: “Thank God my enemy is so stupid”!
On June 13, 2019, as Ayatollah Khamenei was holding talks in Tehran with Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, two oil tankers carrying oil to Japan were attacked. As investigations into the incident were just beginning, Pompeo had already concluded his assessment and had it ready for the press. Much to the audible surprise of the world, and without any proof or supporting documents, he laid the blame firmly at Iran’s feet citing “intelligence”... Having Saudi Arabia cower to US demands, demonizing Iran, intimidating allies and non-allies with fear of conflict in the region in order to press further demands on Iran, increase in the price of oil, and the weapons that would be purchased by US allies in the nervous neighborhood, seems like a win-win situation for America. For now.
Pompeo’s Tanker Narrative, Foreign Policy Journal, Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich, (17 June 2019)
They respect the value of my worth in Maui, Malaysia, Iran, and Iraq. Saudi Arabia!
Trevor Smith, "Arab Money".
The formula that food is the way to derive peace actually should be more properly understood in reverse. The answer to my question of why we have so many hungry people on the planet when there is no need for that is that it is a deliberate decision that some human beings make in order to appropriate the resources of others, or, as in the case of one of the hot spots on the planet right now for hunger, which is Yemen, it was a deliberate strategy to disrupt the food system specifically to weaken the country in the pursuit of the war between proxies, Saudi Arabia and Iran. And so, it’s important to remember that hunger does not always happen because of natural disasters, which is a mental model that most of us fall back upon; it is often the result of things that we actually do to each other deliberately.
Ricardo Salvador, in As Food Insecurity Surges, Leading Scientist Says Hunger Is a Deliberate Choice by Those in Power,Democracy Now! (10 December 2020)
If the supply of virtue is insufficient in a free society like America, it is almost nonexistent in an un-free society like Iran's. The reason is that coerced virtues are not virtues at all. Consider the woman who is required to wear a veil. There is no modesty in this, because she is being compelled. Compulsion cannot produce virtue, it can only produce the outward semblance of virtue.
Dinesh D'Souza, "10 things to celebrate: Why I'm an anti-anti-American" (29 June 2003), SFGate.
With the way the world’s going a nuclear Iran is going to be the least of our problems in 10 or 15 years. Iranian nukes will be a break from swimming through our climate-change flooded cities fighting ebola zombies with our teeth because we can’t hold guns thanks to our iPhone-shaped hand tumors.
John Stewart The Daily Show 21 July 2015.
In Iran, the walls of homes are transparent and the halls of justice are opaque. This ‘morality’ campaign shows how fragile respect for privacy and personal dignity is in Iran today.
Joe Stork, as quoted in "Iran: End Arrests on Immorality Charges", Human Rights News (17 May 2007)
The Persians ruled for a thousand years and did not need us Arabs even for a day. We have been ruling them for one or two centuries and cannot do without them for an hour.
Sulayman ibn Abd al-Malik (717) in Bertold Spuler. The Muslim World. Vol. I The Age of the Caliphs. Leiden. E.J. Brill. 1960 ISBN 0-685-23328-6 p. 29.
If we regard Iran as a nation, there is no reason it shouldn’t have correct relations with the United States or any other country. Decades of opinion polls show that a majority of Iranians have a good opinion of America. But Iran today suffers from a split personality: It is both a nation and, as the Islamic Republic, also a messianic cause. And the Islamic Republic of Iran, far from being part of the solution, is at the root of the conflict tearing the Middle East apart. It has built Shiite militias in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, not to mention Afghanistan, with the aim of “exporting” its Khomeinist ideology. The mullahs’ quest for an empire has provoked violent reaction from Sunni Arabs and enabled terrorist outfits such as al Qaeda in its many versions, including ISIS, to find a new audience and a narrative of victimhood. As long as Iran remains a “cause,” it can’t normalize relations with anybody, let alone America. Coexistence among nations is not the same as that among causes... What normal country has three former presidents, Hashemi Rafsanjani, Muhammad Khatami and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who can’t obtain passports to travel abroad? And dozens of former high officials in jail, plus an ex-prime minister, Mir-Hussein Mussavi, and a former speaker of parliament, Mehdi Karrubi, under house arrest without charge?
Amir Taheri, "Have the Mullah's Abandoned their Dreams of Empire?",, (November 16, 2014).
In Iran, no-one can ignore the tragic record of the revolution. Over the past three decades some six million Iranians have fled their homeland. The Iran-Iraq war claimed almost a million lives on both sides. During the first four years of the Khomeinist regime alone 22,000 people were executed, according to Amnesty International. Since then, the number of executions has topped 80,000. More than five million people have spent some time in prison, often on trumped-up charges. In terms of purchasing power parity, the average Iranian today is poorer than he was before the revolution. De-Khomeinization does not mean holding the late ayatollah solely responsible for all that Iran has suffered just as Robespierre, Stalin, Mao, and Fidel Castro shared the blame with others in their respective countries. However, there is ample evidence that Khomeini was the principal source of the key decisions that led to tragedy... Memoirs and interviews and articles by dozens of Khomeini’s former associates—including former Presidents Abol-Hassan Banisadr and Hashemi Rafsanjani and former Premier Mehdi Bazargan—make it clear that he was personally responsible for some of the new regime’s worst excesses. These include the disbanding of the national army, the repression of the traditional Shi’ite clergy, and the creation of an atmosphere of terror, with targeted assassinations at home and abroad. Khomeini has become a symbol of what went wrong with Iran’s wayward revolution. De-Khomeinization might not spell the end of Iran’s miseries just as de-Stalinization and de-Maoization initially produced only minimal results. However, no nation can plan its future without coming to terms with its past.
Amir Taheri, "Opinion: Iran must confront its past to move forwards", Ashraq Al-Awsat (February 6, 2015).
For some 12 centuries poetry has been the Iranian people’s principal medium of expression. Iran may be the only country where not a single home is found without at least one book of poems. Initially, Persian poets had a hard time to define their place in society. The newly converted Islamic rulers suspected the poets of trying to revive the Zoroastrian faith to undermine the new religion. Clerics saw poets as people who wished to keep the Persian language alive and thus sabotage the ascent of Arabic as the new lingua franca. Without the early Persian poets, Iranians might have ended up like so many other nations in the Middle East who lost their native languages and became Arabic speakers. Early on, Persian poets developed a strategy to check the ardor of the rulers and the mullahs. They started every qasida with praise to God and Prophet followed by panegyric for the ruler of the day. Once those “obligations” were out of the way they would move on to the real themes of the poems they wished to compose. Everyone knew that there was some trick involved but everyone accepted the result because it was good. Despite that modus vivendi some poets did end up in prison or in exile while many others spent their lives in hardship if not poverty. However, poets were never put to the sword. The Khomeinist regime is the first in Iran’s history to have executed so many poets. Implicitly or explicitly, some rulers made it clear what the poet couldn’t write. But none ever dreamt of telling the poet what he should write.
Amir Taheri, When the Ayatollah Dictates Poetry, Ashraq Al-Awsat (11 July 2015).
In the Islamic Republic... Mossadegh, far from being regarded as a national hero, is an object of intense vilification. One of the first acts of the mullahs after seizing power was to take the name of Mossadegh off a street in Tehran... Bush paid little attention to Iran. Nevertheless, in his second term he, too, tried to persuade the mullahs to modify their behavior. His secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, sent an invitation, not to say a begging note, to the mullahs for “constructive dialogue.” They responded by stepping up the killing of US soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq by local surrogates... Before the revolution, Shiraz, with its breathtakingly beautiful architecture, was a city of gardens, wine and music with an annual international art festival. How could one not love Iran through it? Today, however, Shiraz... is a scene of public hangings and floggings, with its prisons filled with political and religious dissidents... The Islamic Republic has been top of the list in the world for the number of executions and political prisoners.
Amir Taheri, What US leaders have never understood about Iran, New York Post (19 July 2015).
As a nation-state, Iran has no problems with anybody. As a vehicle for the Khomeinist ideology it has problems with everybody, starting with the Iranian people. The Khomeinist regime makes no secret of its intense hatred for Iranian culture, which it claims has roots in “the age of ignorance” (jahiliyyah). To admire this regime because of Iranian culture is like admiring Hitler for Goethe and Beethoven and praising Stalin for Pushkin and Tchaikovsky. This regime has executed tens of thousands of Iranians, driven almost 6 million into exile, and deprived the nation of its basic freedoms. It has also killed more Americans, often through surrogates, than al Qaeda did on 9/11. Not a single day has passed without this regime holding some American hostages. Iran as a nation is a solid friend of America. Iran as a vehicle for the Khomeinist revolution is an eternal enemy of “The Great Satan.” The only realistic strategy for the United States would be to help it stop being the Islamic Republic and become Iran again. President Obama’s policy, however, points in the opposite direction. He has made it harder for the Iranian people to regain their human rights.
Amir Taheri, What US leaders have never understood about Iran, New York Post (19 July 2015).
I said, “Don’t hit Iraq,” because you’re going to totally destabilize the Middle East. Iran is going to take over the Middle East, Iran and somebody else will get the oil, and it turned out that Iran is now taking over Iraq. Think of it. Iran is taking over Iraq, and they’re taking it over big league.
Donald Trump, at Trump Tower, 2015-06-16, speech announcing his candidacy for U.S. president — "Full text: Donald Trump announces a presidential bid", The Washington Post, 16 June 2015
Memorandum For: The President... The drone assassination in Iraq of Iranian Quds Force commander General Qassem Soleimani... That Iran will retaliate at a time and place of its choosing is a near certainty. And escalation into World War III is no longer just a remote possibility... What your advisers may have avoided telling you is that Iran has not been isolated. Quite the contrary. One short week ago, for example, Iran launched its first joint naval exercises with Russia and China in the Gulf of Oman, in an unprecedented challenge to the U.S. in the region... The country expecting to benefit most from hostilities between Iran and the US is Israel (with Saudi Arabia in second place).
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity in Doubling Down Into Yet Another ‘March of Folly,’ This Time on Iran (3 January 2020)
After the close call yesterday when you called off the planned military strike on Iran, we remain concerned that you are about to be mousetrapped into war with Iran. You have said you do not want such a war (no sane person would), and our comments below are based on that premise. There are troubling signs that Secretary Pompeo is not likely to jettison his more warlike approach, More importantly, we know from personal experience with Pompeo’s dismissive attitude to instructions from you that his agenda can deviate from yours on issues of major consequence.
Pompeo’s behavior betrays a strong desire to resort to military action — perhaps even without your approval — to Iranian provocations (real or imagined), with no discernible strategic goal other than to advance the interests of Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. He is a neophyte compared to his anti-Iran partner John Bolton, whose dilettante approach to interpreting intelligence, strong advocacy of the misbegotten war on Iraq (and continued pride in his role in promoting it), and fierce pursuit of his own aggressive agenda are a matter of a decades-long record. You may not be fully aware of our experience with Pompeo, who has now taken the lead on Iran. That experience leaves us with strong doubt regarding his trustworthiness.
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, in VIPS Memo to the President: Is Pompeo’s Iran Agenda the Same As Yours? (21 June 2019)
Frequent problems with intelligence and Cheney-style hyperbole help explain why CENTCOM commander Admiral William Fallon in early 2007 blurted out that “an attack on Iran “ will not happen on my watch,” as Bush kept sending additional carrier groups into the Persian Gulf. Hillary Mann, the administration’s former National Security Council director for Iran and Persian Gulf Affairs, warned at the time that some Bush advisers secretly wanted an excuse to attack Iran. “They intend to be as provocative as possible and make the Iranians do something [America] would be forced to retaliate for,” she told Newsweek. Deja vu. A National Intelligence Estimate issued in November 2007 concluded unanimously that Iran had stopped working on a nuclear weapon in 2003 and had not resumed such work...
We seldom quote media commentators, but we think Tucker Carlson had it right yesterday evening: “The very people — in some cases, literally the same people who lured us into the Iraq quagmire 16 years ago — are demanding a new war — this one with Iran. Carlson described you as “skeptical.” We believe ample skepticism is warranted.
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, in VIPS Memo to the President: Is Pompeo’s Iran Agenda the Same As Yours? (21 June 2019)
I am concerned about the vulnerability of the Iranian people to the coronavirus and the potential for Iran’s coronavirus cases to worsen the spread of the disease to neighboring countries, including regional allies, and to the rest of the world. Therefore, I seek an assurance that every reasonable effort is being made by the United States to ensure the availability of medicine and other non-sanctionable humanitarian items to the Iranian people to help prevent the further spread of the coronavirus.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren (in a letter to Pompeo and Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin) quoted by Philip Giraldi in Punishing America's Enemies, Unz Review (24 March 2020)
Why do Trump & co. have crippling sanctions on Iran, making sure that many more people die from coronavirus than otherwise would? Its collective punishment, this piece from Human Rights Watch shows what monsters Trump and Pompeo and gang are...
Mark Weisbrot in Economists Demand Trump Immediately Lift Iran, Cuba, and Venezuela Sanctions That Are 'Feeding the Coronavirus Epidemic', Jake Johnson, Common Dreams, (19 March 2020)
The leadership in Tehran is far more rational than the leadership in Washington... to say that Soleimani, himself personally, was an imminent threat is, as I said before, laughable. And the fact that Esper and Pompeo, who have some manner of expertise in military affairs, are saying these things makes them even more egregious liars than otherwise.
Lawrence Wilkerson in Col. Lawrence Wilkerson: Qassem Soleimani Worked with U.S. in Fight Against Taliban & ISIS, Democracy Now, (6 January 2020)
It (war with Iran) would be horrible. Four times almost the size of Iraq, 80 million, not 26 million people, homogeneity to the population that Iraq certainly didn’t have, 51 percent Persian. This would be a vicious, long-term guerrilla campaign waged by the Iranians over 10 or 15 years... And it would cost $2 trillion and lots of lives and more than anything else, it would require at least a half a million troops. No allies are going to join us.
Here’s what’s going to happen: you’re going to have airstrikes, selective, and you’re not going to do anything except drive them underground, and the weapon will be built even quicker.
Iran Crisis: Have We Learned Nothing from the Iraq war? The Intercept, Mehdi Hasan (20 June 2019)
I’ll go to my grave regretting the death of every soldier and sailor, marine and airmen in Iraq and... three hundred thousand or so plus civilians and millions that have been displaced.
Iran Crisis: Have We Learned Nothing from the Iraq war? The Intercept, Mehdi Hasan (20 June 2019)
Just over a month ago, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said that the administration had “undeniable” evidence...As I watched Ms. Haley... I wanted to play the video of Mr. Powell on the wall behind her, so that Americans could recognize instantly how they were being driven down the same path as in 2003 — ultimately to war. Only this war with Iran, a country of almost 80 million people whose vast strategic depth and difficult terrain make it a far greater challenge than Iraq, would be 10 to 15 times worse than the Iraq war in terms of casualties and costs.
Lawrence Wilkerson in I Helped Sell the False Choice of War Once. It’s Happening Again,The New York Times (5 Feb 2018)
As I look back at our lock-step march toward war with Iraq...The sole purpose of our actions was to sell the American people on the case for war with Iraq. Polls show that we did. Mr. Trump and his team are trying to do it again. If we’re not careful, they’ll succeed.
Lawrence Wilkerson in [​ I Helped Sell the False Choice of War Once. It’s Happening Again,The New York Times (5 Feb 2018)
The way that the U.S. regime has brought ‘democracy’ to Iraq is by threatening to withdraw its protection of the stooge-rulers that it had helped to place into power there, unless those stooges do the U.S. dictators’ bidding, against Iraq’s neighbor Iran... Trump, is demanding that majority-Shiite Iraq be run by stooges who favor, instead, America’s fundamentalist-Sunni allies, such as the Saud family who own Saudi Arabia and who hate and loathe Shiites and Iran. The U.S. dictatorship insists that Iraq, which the U.S. conquered, serve America’s anti-Shiite and anti-Iranian policy-objectives. “The U.S. threat, to withhold aid if Iran-aligned politicians occupy any ministerial position, is an escalation of Washington’s demands on Baghdad.” The article went on to quote a “senior administration official” as asserting that, “if Iran exerts a tremendous amount of influence, or a significant amount of influence over the Iraqi government, it’s going to be difficult for us to continue to invest.” Get the euphemisms there! This article said that “the Trump administration has made constraining Iran’s influence in the region a cornerstone of their foreign policy.” So, this hostility toward Iran must be reflected in Iraq’s policies, too. It’s not enough that Trump wants to destroy Iran like Bush has destroyed Iraq; Trump demands that Iraq participate in that crime, against Iraq’s own neighbor.
Eric Zuesse, Why U.S. Must Be Prosecuted for Its War Crimes Against Iraq, American Herald Tribune, (16 May 2020)
See also
Imperial State of Iran
External links
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Last edited on 19 July 2021, at 05:37
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