Iran is about to become a nuclear power, but it could also have been a beacon of freedom and democracy in the Middle East, if the West didn’t suck it resources dry for so long and didn’t meddle in its internal affairs.
At the turn of the 20th century, while Arabs were still under the Ottoman boot, Iran witnessed a democratic revolution that turned the absolute monarchy into a constitutional one, and aimed at transforming the country into a rich independent nation.
Back then, the country resources were divided between Great Britain and Russia. Both reckoned that a democratic Iran was against their interests. So they worked together to crush the democratic movement and bring back the absolute monarchy.
Fifty years later, the Iranian people rose again. Mohammad Mossadegh, a prominent lawyer, was elected Prime minister and the monarchy became once again constitutional.
Mossadegh wanted to nationalize Iran’s oil and transform his country into a rich independent nation. But once again, foreign powers didn’t see it that way, and the CIA organized a coup to overthrow him and bring back the absolute monarchy – the CIA later admitted its role in Mossadegh demise.
"My greatest sin is that I nationalized Iran’s oil industry and discarded the system of political and economic exploitation by the world’s greatest empire. This at the cost to myself, my family; and at the risk of losing my life, my honor and my property. With God’s blessing and the will of the people, I fought this savage and dreadful system of international espionage and colonialism. I am well aware that my fate must serve as an example in the future throughout the Middle East in breaking the chains of slavery and servitude to colonial interests", said Mossadegh during his trial.
For over twenty years, the absolute monarchy acted as a merciless tyranny, torturing and murdering anyone who opposed it.
Confident in its alliance with the United Sates, the Shah though he’ll be able to turn his country into a nuclear power, much like his other ally, Israel. But, again, the West didn’t see it that way.
During these long years of tyranny, Iranians will for democracy didn’t falter. And they were about to rise up. Afraid that this new uprising will bring a democratic regime, the West chose to shelter, then help seize power, an exiled religious figure: the Ayatollah Khomeini. Leaving the people with the sole alternative to support Khomeini if they wanted to get rid of the Shah’s tyranny.
The West thought that a backward theocratic regime will never be able to take Iran forward and turn it into a regional power.
But Khomeini turned on his benefactors, nationalized Iran’s oil and started a merciless struggle against them.
Since, the West has tried everything to get rid of Khomeini theocratic regime: a never-ending war with Iraq, economic sanctions, oil and arms embargo, etc.
But the regime stood strong and was even able to survive Khomeini’s death.
In 2009, it was even being able to crush a popular uprising – known as the Green Revolution.
The West disastrous policies in the Middle East, in Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Yemen helped to strengthen Iran’s influence in the region, without being able to stop it from becoming a nuclear power.
So it did what it should, and signed an agreement with the iranian regime, de facto allowing it to become the strongest and most influential power in the region, along with its nemesis, Israel.
All this could have been avoided if greed and blindness were not plaguing the West foreign policies. And today, Iran could have been a century old democracy.
© Claude El Khal, 2015