[International Herald Tribune, France]



Frankfurter Rundschau, Germany

The CIA-Backed Coup in Iran that Obama Failed to Mention


"Mixed into this cocktail of damnation is the memory that the Shah was put back on the throne by a CIA-led coup in 1953 - against the wishes of Iran's civil society. …  In regard to this coup, Obama will eventually have to speak - to the Iranian people."


By Karl Grobe*



Translated By Jonathan Lobsien


March 23, 2009


Germany - Frankfurter Rundschau - Original Article (German)

Iran has a very bad image. That has a lot to do with its President. But there are vastly more political facets to that nation.


Barack Obama has acted as an usher. Iran may wish to resume its rightful place among nations and stay out of trouble; after all, it doesn’t really belong in the axis of evil. Now diplomacy as well as sincerity should define the political discourse between the two countries. It is high time to clarify some of what hasn’t been articulated due to political incorrectness.


Iran has a parliament, which is called the Majlis. Two weeks ago, it took the president - who is still called Ahmadinejad - and beat him over the head with his budget proposal. Ahmadinejad wanted to ease public displeasure over huge price increases by pushing through a one-off rebate of €50 per person [$68 per person]. To the opposition - but also to a majority of government MPs - this smelled of “election pork.” They refused to accept his budget. That is something that the Duma in Moscow would never have the guts to do; and lawmakers in other countries who don’t know whether their conscience belongs to them or their parties should get hold of the translated minutes of the Majlis debate.


So Iran has a parliament. But before they are chosen by the voters they are vetted by the Assembly of Experts, the Expediency Council and other supervisory councils of the high clergy. But the voters are there. Iran is still an authoritarian state - but a large portion of the population is anti-authoritarian. We call this civil society. That means, among other things, that the rhetorical gaffes of President Ahmadinejad don't reflect the views of the majority - even if he says what he means. And even then, one is advised to listen closely and interpret carefully so that the well-informed don't laugh aloud again when he sounds not only like a Holocaust denier, but a complete anti-Semite.




The Jewish religion, Christianity, and the Zoroastrian religion are legal. A tiny minority of five of the 270 MPs in the Majlis - are followers of these faiths. They aren't permitted to hold senior government posts - and neither are the far more numerous Sunnis. To make sure none of these groups overstep the bounds of toleration or attempt to proselytize, the Ayatollahs monitor them closely. As far as Islam is concerned, becoming an apostate warrants death - and not only in Iran.


That is the historical basis for the persecution of Iran's largest religious minority, the Bahá'ís. Since the birth of this religion at around 1840, some of those of the "proper" faith have prosecuted them as apostates, without evidence accusing them of being spies for Israel, engaging in subversive activities on behalf of the United States and seeking to reinstate the monarchy [the Shah].


[Editor's Note: While Bahá'ís believe in Muhammad, the Bahá'í teachings challenge traditional Islamic beliefs, including the need for a priesthood and the entire Shiite ecclesiastical structure. Since the Islamic Republic is ruled by the clergy, the Bahá'í are in a very tenuous position].


[Toronto Star, Canada]


Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi had indeed put politicians from Bahá'í families to the service of his dictatorship. The unbearably arrogant Amir Abbas Hoveyda was head of state; Parviz Sabeti was a torturer and the chief of the feared secret police; and there were other ministers. Even the Shah’s personal physician came from a Bahá'í family. To be sure, all had withdrawn themselves from their religious community before assuming office, which is a process that the Bahá'í faith expressly permits.


Mixed into this cocktail of damnation is the memory that the Shah was put back on the throne by a CIA-led coup in 1953 - against the wishes of Iran's civil society [Democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddeq was toppled as a result]. In regard to this coup, Obama will eventually have to speak - to the Iranian people.


*Karl Grobe is a freelance writer



Frankfurter Rundschau, Germany: To Make Up With Iran, U.S. Must Fess Up to 1953 Coup

Fars News Agency, Iran: Supreme Leader Responds to Obama's Message to Iranians

Press TV, Iran: Ayatollah Khamenei Says America Must Apologize for 1953 Coup

E'etemad, Iran: End the 'Political Excitement'; Begin the 'Political Wisdom'

The Daily Star, Lebanon Obama 'Fires Starting Gun' in Season of Engagement

Haaretz, Israel: Give Obama's Iran Initiative a Chance



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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US March 25, 5:30pm]


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