The oldest Iranians alive today would still remember voting for their country’s original “supreme leader” – their democratically elected Prime Minister – back in the 1950s. Iran’s democracy and the Iranian people’s right to elect their leader in free and fair democratic elections was taken away at gunpoint by the USA/UK coup in 1953, organized from behind the walls of the American embassy in Tehran.
Mohammed Mossadegh, the last freely elected Supreme Leader of Iran, was toppled from power in 1953 by the CIA / MI6. The loss of democracy in Iran is the subject of other posts here.
But even before the 1953 “invasion” (coup) Iran had been genuinely invaded militarily by the UK and Soviet Union just 12 years earlier, in 1941. Iran’s official neutrality in World War 2 wasn’t enough to protect its sovereignty.
So it was entirely predictable that just the year after the 1979 Iranian revolution, the UK and USA were planning yet another military invasion of Iran – the third assault on the nation in less than four decades. Iran’s sovereignty was going to be illegally infringed upon yet again, and this third time it was to be the most deadly so far.
In somewhat of a variation of the events of 1953, foreigners were once again not happy with the people of Iran taking control of their own affairs in the 1979 Revolution and it wasn’t long before Iran’s new leader had his first big test to deal with.
This time the invasion was from the Iran’s neighbour Iraq and its leader Saddam Hussein, when he launched his deadly and unprovoked invasion of Iran in 1980. It was a very formidable force assembled against Iran, and not just Iraqi forces.
Rich arab nations coughed up hundreds of thousands of troops and US$70 billion in cash. The UK supplied hundreds of tanks, the French supplied fighter jets armed with state of the art Exocet missiles, the Germans and Italians supplied vast quantities of chemical weapons to Iraq. “Vast” is not an exaggeration – at one point the EU factories could not keep up with demand such was the scale of the sales of their WMDs to Iraq.
(Why do you think that the West thought Saddam Hussein might still have secret stocks of WMDs in 2003? Because it was those same Western countries who had sold the WMDs to Iraq back in the 1980s to use against Iran. In 2003, the West was wrong once again – Saddam had gotten rid of his western WMD’s, but Iraq got invaded anyway – do you see a pattern?)
The American contribution to the all powerful array of western weaponary directed at Iran in 1980 were AWAK surveillance planes. These sophisticated planes provided the satellite, intelligence and logistical data needed in order to maximise and enhance the killing power of all of the other western weapons, including the chemical weapons.
Iraq’s unprovoked attack on Iran was a long and bloody affair. Iran really had a huge job on its hands to defend its sovereignty and borders. Borders in fact changed many times as the war ebbed and flowed over 8 long years, with each side, Iraq and Iran, gaining then loosing the advantage.
At one point, it looked like Iraq would defeat Iran. Guess who was watching it all and stepped in to support Iran? The United States. Yes, Washington was helping both sides kill each other at one point. I have never found a more sobering or shocking example of the true face of American foreign policy which often seems to revolve around just one thing. Killing.
Finally, like WW1, the very bloody 8 year long war (1980-88) ended pretty much where it started. Only that hundreds of thousands, maybe more than 1 million citizens and troops were now dead, including vast numbers of civilians, many poisoned by Western chemical weapons.
And this is where one of the most shameful episodes in the recent history of the western government and media begins. One sordid chapter in a long novel of false western pronouncements concerning Iran, amongst many other nations.
Media reports after the war, like this abridgement from the New York Times was typical.
The western media sentiment was something like….
“yes, we are sure chemical weapons were used in the 8 years war, but it’s too hard to tell exactly who used them and when…probably both Iraq and Iran used WMDs…..but, you know, it’s too hard to tell exactly, so we will just forget about it all and try to do better next time” or words to that effect.
“There was no clear culprit in poison gassing of the Kurds” in other words, said the New York Times headline, America’s most prestigious and important newspaper, in 1991, three years after the war ended.
In addition to the western media stating that it was too hard to tell who was using the chemical weapons, they also downplayed the intent of using WMDs in the first place by saying that WMD use was sort of accidental and whoever did it probably didn’t mean to target civilians – the civilians just got in the way sadly. The chemical weapons use on civilians was all just a big tragic mistake. You know, these things can happen I suppose in the fog of war…..Americans write all the suffering off and simply call this “co-lateral damage”.
ALL OF THIS NARRATIVE WAS COMPLETELY FALSE. ALL TOTAL LIES.
THE US GOVERNMENT, and probably its media, KNEW IT WAS BLATANTLY FALSE WHEN THEY PRINTED IT IN 1991.
Once again, it was years later before this truth emerged, too late for most people to notice or even care about.
The worst of Iraq’s chemical weapons attacks, on the village of Halabja in north eastern Iraq killed approximately 6800 people, mostly civilians.
Iran played no part in this chemical weapons attack – or any other in the 8 year long war – and the US government knew this definitively. But they instructed their state department officials to lie about it and blame Iran in public.
Here is the New York Times once again, in 2003, shedding a different light on this sordid affair and their false stories from twelve years earlier….
So there you are in black and white.
American government officials blatantly lieing to the public about Iran in their 8 year long struggle to fend off the mighty western led military alliance assembled against it.
Who remembers the New York Times article 12 years later clarifying Iran’s innocence in possessing or using chemical weapons in the war?
Some people today, who lived through this period still probably harbour some association of Iran with WMDs or Chemical Weapons – when there is none and never has been. This negative (and false) association of Iran with WMDs is still useful today as Washington tries to associate Iran with a nuclear weapons program in the minds of the general public. Another program it does not possess.
How is it possible to ever believe anything large governments or their media say?
I don’t anymore, for there has been too many times they have deceived us. MANY times. We just never find out about them until years later, when even fewer people care.
The blatant lies told in this case are far from unique sadly. Many have been about Iran and have been featured in previous posts, but there are plenty more about Iran and these will feature in future posts. In more recent years the lies were about Russia and President Trump. Also Venezeula and Bolivia. Palestine / Israel are perennial favourite sources for lies. Now it is China in the firing line. Xingjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan. Lies will never stop. They seem to be getting more brazen and more frequent. Only we can stop them. Stop engaging with the mainstream media – no matter their position on the “left-right” spectrum. No matter how old or “respected” they may be. It makes no difference which ones you read – it is all a scam. Offered from slightly different perspectives, but a scam none-the-less.
If you found this article disturbing or interesting please share it. The buck must stop somewhere. If ordinary people condone the lies and wars started in their name, then ordinary people are complicit in the killings. Are you ?