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Published:February 18th, 2012 10:43 EST
United States Covert and Military Involvements in Iran from 1952 to Present

United States Covert and Military Involvements in Iran from 1952 to Present

By Harvey Carroll, Jr.


1941 -- Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi  the second and last Monarch from the house of Pahlavi assumes control of Iran part of a 2,500 years of continuous monarchy since the founding of the Persian Empire by Cyrus the Great. The Shah`s White Revolution, a series of economic and social reforms intended to transform Iran into a global power, succeeded in modernizing the nation, nationalizing many natural resources, and gave rights to Women to vote and have a voice in Government.


1953 -- The start of U.S./Iran issues; The American intervention policies in Iran started 11 years before I was born,  I am 47; therefore, 58 years. That`s correct 58 years of violence between the United States and Iran. I think it is time to move beyond the silliness and try to be constructive partners in the Middle East?


1953 -- President Eisenhower via U.S. Intelligence Agencies i.e. now known as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and Great Britain`s MI6 had a variety of issues with Iran as their Iranian allied Shaw began to lose control of his Prime Minister who took control of its Oil Industry via Nationalization. The U.S. and Great Britain organized a military operation to restore power to the Shaw Pahlavi who had ruled in Iran since


1941. The U.S. and Great Britain`s MI6 was accused of orchestrating a coup that overthrew Iran`s democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh.


(Iran has been and still is a Democracy. Many try to view it as an Islamic-Democracy or Illiberal Democracy, but a Democracy none the less); however, the Shaw still had Power and the nationalization was considered overstepping the power of the Prime Ministers Governmental role. The joint operation was successful in removing Iran`s leader Mossadeqh and this created a great deal of resentment towards America, which was viewed as interfering in Iran`s Democratic process. Yet, the United States and Great Britain had Global Investors to answer to and the overstepping of the Prime Ministers nationalization policies forced him to be confronted by U.S. and Great Britain.


1953 to 1979 -- Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi at odds with the Prime Minister due to his visions of reform strongly supported the U.S. and Great Britain, Pahlavi was a Reformer and recognized Israel. The Shah led for 25 years and was supported by the Unites States and Great Britain which opened up Iran to great new growth and development as Iranian Oil was Denationalized on a 60/40 Public-Private-Partnership.


1979 -- Radical Islamist students stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and took Fifty-two hostages.  However, they failed to get the Shaw of Iran, as he was quickly evacuated along with my old University of Kentucky Dean Dr. Stemple of The Patterson School of Diplomacy of International. The new Iranian regime and the students tried to leverage the Sixty-six hostages to get the Shaw back to stand trial, but he remained in the United States for safety and for medical treatment.


1980 -- Operation Iron Claw authorized by President Jimmy Carter failed to rescue the hostages in Iran due to operational airlift equipment failure in a sandstorm deep into central Iranian desert. The operation cost the lives of Eight U.S. Servicemen and created an embarrassment for President Carter.


1980 -- 1988 As tensions heated up and Diplomatic Dialogue continued to turn to arguments between the United States and Iran, and Iran with Iraq. Iraq invaded neighboring Iran with the support of the United States that launched the Iran/Iraq war that lasted Eight years and created vast casualties for both Iran and Iraq. During this time, the Exiled Shaw dies of Cancer in Egypt; however, the hostages remain under armed radical Islamist students in Iran until a few hours after U.S. President Jimmy Carter left office. The Hostages had been held for 444 days, and later it appeared that covert Republican operatives had traded Arms for Hostages, and possibly prolonged the Hostages detention in Iran.


1986 -- Iran-Contra Affair revealed a number of U.S. led Covert Operations under the Reagan/Bush Administrations that were contrary to Congressional approval. Various covert operations armed both Iraq and Iran via third party Arms-Brokers and Israel. To include 96  foreign hostages of 21 Americans held in Lebanon uncovering weapons shipments allegedly in exchange for Iranian assistance in releasing .


I watched the hearings and could write all night on this; however, I will keep it short and just mention that these hearings stained the Regan Presidency and uncovered a variety of illegal operations that involved guns, drugs and political underhandedness. With revelations that profits were illegally channeled to Nicaraguan rebels, drug deals with General Manuel Noriega and much more.


1987 --1988 -- Iran mined the Gulf  region and damaged a U.S. Navy frigate. United States forces engaged Iran and targeted Oil Platforms, and a series of fights with Iranian naval forces that resulted in the sinking of sank two Iranian warships and as many as six armed speedboats. The United States policy since President Carter Administration was clear that Iran was not to impede Oil Flows from the Middle East.


1988 -- U.S. Navy Captain Will C. Rogers II ordered the USS Vincennes to shoot at what he thought to be an Iranian Fighter-Jet, but turned out to be a commercial Airbus flight that killed 290 people aboard.


1995 -- President Clinton imposes oil and trade sanctions on Iran for alleged sponsorship of terrorism and attempting to acquire nuclear arms, and interfering with the Middle East peace process.


2002 to 2003 -- U.S. President George W. Bush, in his State of the Union address, describes Iran as part of an  axis of evil. I was not a fan of President George W. Bush and felt that his Foreign Policy consisted of bulling and blunders and his Axis of Evil statement was not constructive on many levels.


2005 -- 2006 -- Adding to the Bush policy blunders he violated the Earnest Will Agreement by budgeting covert funds for various Iranian groups that opposed the current leadership. The United Nations called the plan a clear violation of a 1981 U.S-Iranian agreement in which the U.S. pledged, not to intervene directly or indirectly, politically or militarily in Iran`s internal affairs.  


President Obama`s State of the Union address went all in making it clear that he would not allow Iran to build a nuclear weapon. This has brought Iran to the negotiation table as Ahmadinejad allowed in UN/IAEA Inspectors. This could bring about great changes in the Middle East and open the doors to Middle East Peace.


In conclusion, we are faced with two views of Iran. That of Iran blaming the United States for their problems and vice versa the United States pointing towards Iran and painting a dark view of Iran such as this.  Then there is a brighter Iran such as this version of Iran.  I say the real Iran is somewhere in between and the struggles from both inside Iran and outside will continue; however, we can find ways to continue those struggles in a more peaceful and prosperous way in the future that might just bring Peace to the Middle East.


Thank you,

Harvey Carroll, Jr.