Super Surprising Facts About ‘Our Enemy’ Iran Remind Us That We Don’t Know Squat

American’s aren’t exactly known for our knowledge of things like history and geography…  This article from Alternet reminds us of how little we have bothered to learn about Iran:Flag of Iran

What can possibly justify the relentless U.S. diplomatic (and mainstream media) assault on Iran ?

It cannot be argued that Iran is an aggressive state that is dangerous to its neighbors, as facts do not support this claim. It cannot be relevant that Iran adheres to Islamic fundamentalism, has a flawed democracy and denies women full western-style civil rights, as Saudi Arabia is more fundamentalist, far less democratic and more oppressive of women, yet it is a U.S. ally. It cannot be relevant that Iran has, over the years, had a nuclear research program, and is most likely pursuing the capacity to develop nuclear weapons, as Pakistan, India, Israel and other states are nuclear powers yet remain U.S. allies—indeed, Israel deceived the U.S. while developing its nuclear program.

The answer to the above-posed question is fairly obvious: Iran must be punished for leaving the orbit of U.S. control. Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, when the Shah was removed, Iran, unlike, say, Saudi Arabia, acts independently and thus compromises U.S. power in two ways: i) Defiance of U.S. dictates affects the U.S.’s attainment of goals linked to Iran; and, ii) Defiance of U.S. dictates establishes a “bad” example for other countries that may wish to pursue an independent course. The Shah could commit any number of abuses—widespread torture, for example—yet his loyalty to the U.S. exempted him from American condemnation—yet not from the condemnation of the bulk of Iranians who brought him down.

[Read more at Alternet]

, , ,

  • Alex

    Good article.
    Sad to see that the comments section only brings out crazy dogmatism from both sides.

  • Syanpse

    Perhaps before they go on stating that Iran is not a threat to the region, they should read more relevant papers. As scared as you think America is of Iran, you'd be surprised how much more worried Arab newspapers are. Just read the way Al-Arabia talks about Iran, then get back to me (I know Iran is not an Arab country, but others near it are).

    Also of importance is the Jewish population of Iran which the article misleads you on. Yes there are 25,000 Jews living there, but they are “protected” much in the same way Jews were “protected” in the soviet union (which also housed millions of Jews they refused to allow to leave despite their constant persecution). Having known several Iranian Jews who's families fled Iran (we're talking within the last 2 decades, not before the revolution) if they truly want to leave, they have to do so secretly and seperately or risk their families being arrested and disappearing. Also misleading of them to mention a serial which is sympathetic to the Jews as there are many more numerous accounts of the complete opposite.

    • Anon

      I have never understood the mellenia long persecution of the Jews. But I'm just an ignorant American so I better go back to my beer and cheeseburgers.

      I'll let Glenn Beck tell me what to think! :D

    • hass

      Nonsense. Iranians (Jewish or otherwise) are perfectly free to leave, and many regularly travel back and forth between Iran and Israel via Turkey, with the full knowledge of the Iranian government.
      According to the ISRAELI newspaper Ha'aretz: The Jews of Iran enjoy reasonable treatment. They have an organized community life and are free to conduct their religious rituals and businesses. Like most Iranian citizens, they are also allowed to go abroad, and when they return they are not asked what they did on their vacation. It may be assumed that the Iranian authorities know that most of them have relatives in Israel… http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/939886.html

      See also “Iranian Jews Reject Outside Calls to Leave” http://www.forward.com/articles/9810/

      • Syanpse

        It's true, individuals are allowed to leave. The problem is that the families are not. Effectively you personally could leave, but you know that your family is still stuck in Iran so inevitably they know you'll probably come back. My friend's father had money back in Iran and each of the family had to leave on different flights during different times of the year and various officials had to be bribed to over look their exodus. His father was the last one to leave and was denied an exit and had to leave on the back of a camel and escaped through Pakistan. That was only a decade ago.

        It is also not surprising that Iranian Jews appear very outwardly in favor of their state while they're in Iran. Very often you hear from Iranian Jews who have left how bad it really is. Can you imagine them being allowed to speak out publicly against such a government? We see what happens to normal Iranians who state their displeasure with how things are operated, all the more so a suspect population. It brings to mind historical public statements of the Jews' great treatment in Germany in the 40s or in Communist Russia. The last thing you want to do is appear unhappy.

  • voxmagi

    I enjoyed this article…it helps put Iran and the problems it has now (and there are plenty…including bad leadership) in a sane context that strips away the usual spin.

  • Jon M

    “It cannot be relevant that Iran adheres to Islamic fundamentalism, has a flawed democracy and denies women full western-style civil rights, as Saudi Arabia is more fundamentalist, far less democratic and more oppressive of women, yet it is a U.S. ally”

    Well I'm not from the US, so I can argue that both countries adhere to Islamic fundamentalism, have a flawed democracy and deny women full western-style civil rights including a decent education.

  • Syanpse

    It’s true, individuals are allowed to leave. The problem is that the families are not. Effectively you personally could leave, but you know that your family is still stuck in Iran so inevitably they know you’ll probably come back. My friend’s father had money back in Iran and each of the family had to leave on different flights during different times of the year and various officials had to be bribed to over look their exodus. His father was the last one to leave and was denied an exit and had to leave on the back of a camel and escaped through Pakistan. That was only a decade ago.

    It is also not surprising that Iranian Jews appear very outwardly in favor of their state while they’re in Iran. Very often you hear from Iranian Jews who have left how bad it really is. Can you imagine them being allowed to speak out publicly against such a government? We see what happens to normal Iranians who state their displeasure with how things are operated, all the more so a suspect population. It brings to mind historical public statements of the Jews’ great treatment in Germany in the 40s or in Communist Russia. The last thing you want to do is appear unhappy.