4 historical actions of U.S. officials that embarrassed Americans
Why don’t the Iranian people trust the American government? Does it date back to the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the events that followed? Or, is it based on older, historical events?
1. During the Constitutional Revolutions of Turkey and Iran, American monopolists tried to use these revolutions to penetrate the two countries’ economies and politics under the guise of: “the need to consolidate independence.” In 1910, American diplomacy forced the Iranian government to invite a panel of American financial advisers into Iran. Under President Taft’s order, Morgan Shuster was appointed chairman of the group. After entering Iran, he was announced the Treasurer of the entire country: Shuster was given the right to supervise all financial and monetary operations within the government, including the right to collect taxes and inspect financial records and accounts. Since then, not a single Iranian ministry had the right to engage in financial operations without the signature of the chief treasurer.
2. In 1911, Shuster negotiated with British and American circles for receiving a loan of five million lire, which was a huge sum of money at that time. In order to guarantee the repayment of this loan, the Iranian economy would have to be completely under the control of Western bankers over the course of forty years! The American magazine, “American Review of Reviews,” which was very influential at the time, wrote, commenting on Shuster’s actions: “Iran will be managed from New York.”
3. In the fall of 1911, with the full support of Charles W. Russell, a United States’ Ambassador, Shuster asked to establish on Iranian soil a new type of armed forces called the Financial Gendarmerie, under his own authority. The unit was namely established for collecting taxes; but, in reality, it played the role of a military base for Shuster and USA–in Iran. After the creation of the first financial gendarme units, which reached two thousand members, Shuster and Russell called on the Iranian government to increase it into fifteen thousand members.
Episode Two: The monarchy is better than any other system for Iran!
1. In November 1921, under the pressure of Morgan Shuster and Arthur Millspaugh, the Iranian Parliament (Majlis) approved an exclusive license for the discovery and extraction of oil, in five provinces of northern Iran, to the American company “Standard Oil.” To keep the British happy, Americans handed half of their shares to the Anglo-Persian Oil Company. This license caused such a wave of discontentment within the country that the Iranian government was forced to cancel the “Standard Oil” license in March 1922. The US Department of State made a new decision and appointed Arthur Millspaugh, who was closely associated with the Sinker oil corporation, as a supreme financial advisor to the country: a position which was totally new in Iran, and due to the infamy of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company and Standard Oil, this time, Sinker received a license for oil in the North.
2. Millspaugh and his associates, simultaneously with the above-mentioned measure, handed over the license for construction of railways and roads across the country to a big American company. The licenses were given to Americans in 1924. Shortly thereafter, Iran Railway Special Company was founded, headed by an American.
3. Repeating Shuster’s approach, Millspaugh badly intervened in political affairs of the country. In 1924, when people were angry with the political and moral degeneration of the Qajar Dynasty and the Republican Movement was rising, Millspaugh strongly opposed it. He wrote: “The establishment of a Republic system will actually be a new revolution … and there will be chaos and disorder. For the people who are not experienced in self-government, the monarchy is better than any other system.” In the same year, with strong insistence of Millspaugh, an Iranian soldier named Morteza was executed, gunned down in front of all members of the US embassy in Tehran, on charges of attacking an American Major.
4. Millspaugh’s actions had irreparable, negative effects on Iran’s economy. For example, between 1920 and 1930, the cultivation of cotton and many agricultural crops fell by 43%, because a large amount of agricultural land remained uncultivated.
5. Millspaugh himself said that he was only engaged in consolidating the foundations of Iranian economy and that he didn’t intend to interfere in the domestic affairs of the country. But in the book “The Americans in Persia,” published in 1946 under the title “A New Internationalist Clinic,” he wrote: “Persia’s Independence and sovereignty are at best hopes or promises: They are not realities and cannot be … It is precisely the internal affairs of Persia that must be interfered with.”
Episode Three: The dirty hands of the US behind the 1953 coup d’etat
Serious and vast American interference started after the 1953 coup. The nationalisation of the oil industry in Iran was such a serious a matter for the Americans that Dean Acheson, United States Secretary of State during the administration of President Harry S. Truman from 1949 to 1953, committed two whole chapters of his memoirs to the US-Iran relations in 1951 and 1952. He explains, in detail, how the White House and the Department of State plotted to exploit the tumultuous situation in Iran, during those times, in order to sideline Mossadegh.
1. Three weeks after Mossadegh’s prime ministry, the US officially expressed its opposition to the nationalization of the oil industry. In May of the same year (May 1950), Truman wrote a letter addressed to Mosaddegh, asking him to resolve his differences with Britain.
2. The International Court of Justice, under pressure from the United States, outlawed the Oil Nationalization Law in Iran, on July 5, 1951. Four days later, in a letter, Truman asked the Iranian government to abide by this ruling immediately.
Apart from the court ruling being illegal itself, the US, clearly interfering in Iran’s internal affairs, later sent an envoy to Iran, causing hundreds of thousands to demonstrate in response. More than a hundred were shot dead, and more than five hundred were wounded, by security forces of the coup d’etat government of Zahedi. The government declared a curfew, and closed twenty newspapers.
3. When the US government realized that nationalization was imminent, it imposed financial and economic sanctions on Iran. American and British companies stopped buying Iranian oil, and they made French, Italian, and Japanese companies follow suit. Consequently, oil production in Iran halted, in mid 1951. At the same time, the British government blocked Iran’s assets. With the American pressure mounting on the Shah, Mossadegh was forced to resign. This led to a general strike in Iran, and on July 21st, Ghavam, who had replaced Mossadegh, resigned too, and Mosadegh was again nominated as prime minister. There were rumours that Kermit Roosevelt came to Tehran with a fat checkbook and no spending limits.
Episode Four: Iran, provided money to the American Arms Industry
Americans worked hard to turn the Shah to one of the pillars of their two-pillar doctrine in the West Asian and North African region, which is falsely known as the Middle East.
1.The Shah’s regime returned tens of billions of dollars of oil revenue to the US, by ordering and buying the most expensive armaments from American companies, which were useless for Iran. Huge sums of oil revenue were also spent on building ground marine and air bases, and paying more than a hundred thousand American military civil advisors and specialists. In other words, a big chunk of the country’s revenue returned to American bank accounts.
2. The second Pahlavi insisted on being introduced as the cause for growth, dignity, and manifestation of Iran. But at the same time, in practice, he behaved paradoxically. The paradox of the Pahlavi regime’s performance on the issue of dignity appeared when the Shah responded positively to America’s demands. The most transparent measure, that turned out very costly for the Shah regime, was the “Capitulation Bill” and its approval by the National Consultative Assembly, which guaranteed the judiciary immunity of American advisers and agents in Iran; this reflected the affiliation and loyalty of the Pahlavi regime to the US. Another humiliating measure was the loss of Bahrain as one of the provinces of Iran and the declaration of independence of the region from Iran during the Shah’s time. Because of being submissive to the Americans, Shah let this happen in front of the eyes of the Iranian people.
3. Another one of these paradoxes, counted as the greatest American instigated achievement in Iran before the Revolution, was the White Revolution. But what did Iran gain from it? Reduction in agricultural production and an increase in food imports. A producer and exporter of agricultural products, Iran was self sufficient in producing wheat. Yet, after the White Revolution, Iran was turned into a wheat importing country, not being able to cultivate enough wheat for more than a few months needed.
All that was mentioned, so far, is only part of the catastrophes brought to Iran and its people by the US government. Other numerous cases can be added to this list. This enmity grew more severe, after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, including creating a spy nest in Iran, helping terrorist groups, helping and supporting the Iraqi dictator to attack Iran, creating all sorts of economic and financial sanctions, all sorts of propaganda against Iran …
More than 100 years ago, Americans entered Iran’s political space. Until the Islamic Revolution of Iran in 1979, the Americans determined political equations in Iran, but after the Islamic Revolution, their interfering presence in Iran was cut off. Over the past 100 years, Iran has always been the oppressed party, and America has always been plundering. The actions of American statesmen, throughout history, against Iran are so cruel, ugly, and widespread that they’ve influenced the reputation of the American people. This hostility does not relate to a particular era, or one or more presidents, but to the system of the American government and its arrogant and domination-seeking spirit, and in this way, there is little difference between Obama and Trump.