|Iranian Rear Adm. Habibollah Sayyari says his nation may send naval ships |
to patrol off American waters.
"When everyone is dead, the Great Game is finished. Not before." — Rudyard Kipling.
First of all let me say that the current government of Iran is borderline insane and a possible danger to peace in the region.
But that being said, Americans and Europeans need a little history lesson about Iran and the region. For hundreds of years Iran has been attacked by all of their neighbors - both Muslim and Christian. This has resulted in Iran having nearly 50% of its land area taken away from it by force.
In recent history Iran has been invaded and occupied by both Russia and Britain. The legal ruler of the nation was overthrown and sent as a prisoner to a British colony and puppet king put on the throne. Both the CIA and British Intelligence organized a coup and deposed the legal government. Plus Iraq invaded killing hundreds of thousands of people.
From the Iranian point of view, they see Western nations invade Iraq and Afghanistan on either side of their nation. An American fleet operates off their coast. On Iran's western border Turkey is working with NATO to set up defensive systems. The American military is set up on Iran's northern border in Central Asia.
The Iranian government might be a bit nuts, but they are not crazy. They can see they are ringed by foreign military powers that have done them great harm in past years and stolen large parts of their nation.
They are paranoid, but they are paranoid for a good reason.
How to handle Iran is one of the great foreign relations questions of our time. I am not suggesting any type of action. I am simply presenting history and some reasons why Iran acts as it does.
They have good reason to fear their neighbors and the Western powers. Here are samples of the endless wars they have fought for hundreds of years.
Ottoman-Persian Wars (1514-1823) - The Persians fought a series of eleven wars with the Ottoman Empire over a 300 year period. The Turks took control of the Persian provinces in what is now Armenia, Georgia, eastern Turkey, Iraq and Kuwait.
|The British Lion and the Russian Bear fighting|
over their Persian cat.
Russian-Persian Wars (1722-1828) - For over 100 years Persia fought a series of wars again Russian aggression into Central Asia and the Caucasus region. Persia gave up huge amounts of territory to Russia.
Anglo-Persian War (1856-1857) - The campaign was successfully conducted under the leadership of Major General Sir James Outram in two theaters. Outram invaded Persia through its' southern coast near Bushehr and in southern Mesopotamia. The war resulted in Persia withdrawing from Herat in what is now Afghanistan and signing a new treaty in which it surrendered its claims on the city.
The Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907 - Persia was split into three zones: A Russian zone in the north, a British zone in the southwest, and a neutral “buffer” zone in the remaining land. No one bothered to ask the Persian people if they minded being divided into zones by outside powers.
Anglo-Soviet Invasion of Iran (1941) - The invasion of the Imperial State of Iran during World War II, by British, Commonwealth, and Soviet armed forces. The invasion was codenamed Operation Countenance. The purpose was to secure Iranian oil fields and ensure Allied supply lines for the Soviets fighting against Axis forces on the Eastern Front.
Reza Shah, the ruler of Iran, was arrested and sent into exile in South Africa, leaving his young son Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi to replace him on the throne. Iran was effectively divided between Britain and the Soviet Union for the duration of the war.
|1941 invasion - British troops and Soviet armored car in Iran.|
Soviet Puppet States in Iran (1946) - During the three years of occupation, Stalin had expanded Soviet political influence in Azerbaijan and the Kurdish area in northwestern Iran, as well as in Iran founding the communist Tudeh Party of Iran. On December 12, 1945, after weeks of violent clashes a Soviet-backed separatist People's Republic of Azerbaijan was founded.
The Kurdish People's Republic was also established in late 1945. Iranian government troops sent to reestablish control were blocked by Soviet Red Army units. When the deadline for withdrawal arrived on March 2, 1946, six months after the end of World War II hostilities, the British began to withdraw, but Moscow balked, "citing threats to Soviet security." Soviet troops did not withdraw from Iran proper until May, 1946.
CIA backed Coup in Iran (1953) - A successful coup was headed by retired army general Fazlollah Zahedi, organized by the American (CIA) with the active support of the British (MI6) (known as Operation Ajax). The coup — with a black propaganda campaign designed to turn the population against elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh — forced Mossadegh from office, and was remembered with anger by Iranians. Mossadegh was arrested and tried for treason. The Shah was returned to power.
The United States was born in the overthrow of the British monarchy. Now the United States was teaming with the British to install an absolute monarchy on the Iranian people.
After Operation Ajax, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi's rule became increasingly autocratic. With American support, the Shah was able to rapidly modernize Iranian infrastructure, but he simultaneously crushed all forms of political opposition.
Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988) - Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein attempted to take advantage of the disorder of the Iranian Revolution. Iraq tried to improve access to the Persian Gulf by acquiring territories that Iraq had claimed earlier from Iran during the Shah's rule.
Tens of thousands of Iranian civilians and military personnel were killed when Iraq used chemical weapons in its warfare. Iraq was financially backed by Egypt, the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf, the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact states, the United States (beginning in 1983), France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil, and the People's Republic of China.
|The Anglo-Persian War. The charge of the Bombay Cavalry against |
Persian infantry at the Battle of Kooshab.
|Iranian troops liberating their land from Iraq.|
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