The current Iranian revolt.

Iran was once an ally of the US and Israel. That ended in 1979 with the revolution led by the Ayatollah Khomeini. Since then, the Iranians have declared that we are at war. In 1979, during the revolution, they took members of the US embassy staff and the Marine Guards hostage.

The immediate cause of this action was President Jimmy Carter’s decision to allow Iran’s deposed Shah, a pro-Western autocrat who had been expelled from his country some months before, to come to the United States for cancer treatment. However, the hostage-taking was about more than the Shah’s medical care: it was a dramatic way for the student revolutionaries to declare a break with Iran’s past and an end to American interference in its affairs.

That article is typical leftist revisionism. The hostage takers were “students” only as an expression of their age. They were typical “student radicals” seen in most countries undergoing such violent upheavals.

Carter attempted a hostage rescue which was botched although the military people did their best. The US had no joint forces history and the mission was spread between Army, Air Force and Navy, none of which had worked together before.

The hostage crisis ended the day Reagan was inaugurated as president and was probably a sign that the Mullahs saw that he would not be played as they had played Carter.

Now, we have another uprising but this is directed at the regime.

A wave of spontaneous protests over Iran’s weak economy swept into Tehran on Saturday, with college students and others chanting against the government just hours after hard-liners held their own rally in support of the Islamic Republic’s clerical establishment.

The demonstrations appear to be the largest to strike the Islamic Republic since the protests that followed the country’s disputed 2009 presidential election.

Thousands already have taken to the streets of cities across Iran, beginning at first on Thursday in Mashhad, the country’s second-largest city and a holy site for Shiite pilgrims.

The protests in the Iranian capital, as well as U.S. President Donald Trump tweeting about them, raised the stakes. It also apparently forced state television to break its silence, acknowledging it hadn’t reported on them on orders from security officials.

The 2009 protests became violent but Obama offered no support.

CNN tries to spin it but Obama was silent as Iranians were brutalized and killed.

What is different now ? One, Trump is president. Recently he has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and decided to move the embassy there.

There have been many complaints and protests, mostly in the US but he has persisted. This is in stark contrast to prior presidents who were all talk, or no talk, and no action.

In addition, Obama’s shameful deal with the Iranian mullahs may have destabilized the regime as the rulers greedily gathered in the billions sent by Obama and did nothing for the people. Obama might have, totally inadvertently, destabilized the regime he was trying to support.

Maybe this is the opening round in regime change.

David Goldman has discussed Iran’s Syrian quagmire.

The Iranian regime is ready to sacrifice the most urgent needs of its internal economy in favor of its ambitions in Syria. Iran cut development spending to just one-third of the intended level as state income lagged forecasts during the three quarters ending last December, according to the country’s central bank. Iran sold US$29 billion of crude during the period, up from $25 billion the comparable period last year. The government revenues from oil of US$11 billion (655 trillion rials) were just 70% of official forecasts, and tax revenues of US$17.2 billion came in 15% below expectations.

Chaos in Iran’s financial system prevents the Iranian government from carrying a larger budget deficit.

It appears that the Obama payoff with billions of cash has been quickly absorbed by the corrupt regime and its mullahs, which may explain the revolt currently underway. We await developments.

64 thoughts on “The current Iranian revolt.”

  1. As someone recently more or less said, the average foreign policy expert nowadays is 27 years old, and their only experience consists of being around political campaigns. They literally know nothing.

  2. Brian, that someone was Obama advisor Ben Rhodes, who was sneering about how easy it was to guide journalists of even the major news outlets to think the right things.

    Relevant to Iran is the real history a commenter of mine, Richard Johnson, passed along over a year ago. Short version: the CIA did not actually engineer the Shah’s ascent to power in 1953, it just bragged it did, and the opposition was happy to blame them for decades.

    I wrote in 2006 how committed Barbara Boxer was to bringing down Iran, as evidenced by Chris Matthews softball interview (with my interjected comments.

    MATTHEWS: What is your rudimentary basic thought right now about the possibility of Iran developing a nuclear weapon five to 10 months from now. What should be the U.S. policy right now?

    BOXER: …my first thought is you take a deep breath. (Wow, wish I’d thought of that). I`m on a bill (and just in time) that would begin sanctions on Iran (Begin? Already? ) if they keep going down this path (Whoa — are we ready to begin a bill to begin something down the road? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here). There is a whole host of sanctions (Yeah, baby; take another deep breath — whoo!) you can do with people visiting there, buying their oil (Watch out Iran, the big guns is coming OUT!). But you need the world (Darn, I knew there was a catch to it. But at least Barb’s on a committee about it).

  3. The MSM is trying to avoid mentioning them, or if it has to, avoiding any support.

    CNN ignored the protests completely, and the explosion on social media until a front page story reporting on not uprisings against the regime, but a pro-government rally and President Trump’s tweet in support of the protestors. If the State Department wants to send a message of solidarity to the protesters in Iran, perhaps it can send them a white truck. Yes, the question has to be asked how such an uprising of thousands against their government would be covered by western media if this were Tel Aviv. We don’t need U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley defiantly raising her hand to answer that question for us.

    Interesting times. What if the Iranian regime collapses on Trump’s watch ? Will the leftist media report it ?

  4. AVI: Yah, I know.

    Whether it’s the collapse of Communism, 9/11, the Trump election, etc., it’s outrageous that there is zero repurcussions for being completely and utterly wrong, among media and government “experts”.

  5. It is an interesting situation. The protesters must be either desperate or very brave. I’d bet that the Iranian leadership has no problem running them over with tanks, especially if they are of some non majority religion or ethnicity. But nice to see them have to deal with something in their rear.

    While we remember the embassy takeover and even the Iran / Iraq war since the population there is so young (and desperate for work and opportunities) they only see the current (religious) government as the source of all their problems. In a strange way the US / Iran agreement (whether it was a good idea or not) probably reduced the value of the US as a “foil” to deflect citizens from their continuous governance failures.

    They also can turn off the internet (which they are doing) but young people are on all sorts of social media and have other avenues to see the world and that only makes their economic performance and opportunities look worse.

    True enough that the Chinese in particular can fund them indefinitely and they represent infinite cannon fodder to achieve their ends. It is just hard to put the genie back in the bottle as the US has discovered many times in the past.

    As one of the links points out, sooner or later the borders need to be adjusted based on Islam / ethnicity and this will be accomplished likely through ethnic cleansing or military force. The oil rich areas will go to the stronger forces since they drive the entire economy and this will become a fact on the ground, as the Kurds found out in Mosul.

  6. I am wondering if Obama had offered aid in 2009 would it have made a difference?

    Material aid? No.

    Moral aid? Perhaps.

    This is really a problem for the Iranians. There is little we can or should do to influence events. When enough Iranians, both in and out of the regime, have lost faith in the mullocracy, The regime will collapse. The same is true in Korea. There was really no reason for the Soviet Union to collapse in 1989-1991. If the East Germans had been sufficiently violent they could have kept the border closed. Likewise the Russians in their revolution. But the people no longer had sufficient fear of the regime and the regime no longer had enough faith in itself to do what needed to be done. Hard to know when its that time in Iran or North Korea until the deed is done and the regime collapsed.

  7. From Brian:
    it’s outrageous that there is zero repercussions for being completely and utterly wrong, among media and government “experts” (MGEs)

    I suspect that among the “repercussions for being completely and utterly wrong” are the collapse of trust of the media, the suspicion of the government, and, most obviously, the election of Trump. As it’s been said, many times, many ways, you want more Trump? this is how you get more Trump.

    OTOH, there is still a big Gell-Mann effect in dealing w/the MGEs.

  8. I’ve been looking to see if Reuel Marc Gerecht has any recent articles on the Iran scene but noting so far,

    Richard Fernandez does have a column.

    The Achilles’ heel of the Obama deal was that the mullahs got the moolah. The rest got nothing. That fact would be crucial in the Iranian unrest of December 2017.

    The Brookings Institution dryly observed: “to date, the nuclear diplomacy has provided no meaningful ‘trickle-down’ effect on Iran’s economy or its population at large. Expectations have been elevated by the maximalist rhetoric that Iranian leaders have utilized in describing the benefits of the JCPOA.”

    The short verdict of the Brookings piece is captured by its title: “Major beneficiaries of the Iran deal: The IRGC and Hezbollah.”

    Politically this had the effect of pouring gasoline on a fire, the gasoline, in this case, being money. Begin with desperation: per capita GDP was down due to the oil downturn and sanctions. Then throw in a match: the Obama bonanza captured by the Iranian Republican Guard and the Hezbollah.

    It may be that Obama inadvertently destabilized the regime enough to bring it down.

    Fernandez’s title may be ironic but it is interesting.

    Was This Ben Rhodes’ Plan for Iran All Along?

  9. It is interesting to follow the stories coming out of Iran – is the mullahcracy headed for another Ceausescu moment? Anything can happen, I suppose. There have been reports over the years of the simmering resentment against theocratic rule; younger people wanting to celebrate traditional pre-Islamic holidays, indulging in small acts of defiance.

    There was a discussion thread a while ago at the Diplomad (sorry, can’t find it right now in his archives) but the topic of the Khoumeni revolution came up. Some of the other regulars at the Diplomad are also old State Department veterans, and one of them remarked how suddenly the US government turned against the Shah, almost the minute that Jimmy Carter was sworn in. Here the Shah had been a long-time ally, very pro-West, certainly no worse than any other middle-eastern autocrat — and suddenly his regime was Human Rights Enemy #1! The commenter asked around among his peers in the Department at the time – where was all this sudden animus coming from? From the very top, was the answer. Jimmy Carter had it in for the Shah – and he simply had to go. Some of the other commenters speculated that Carter was so deeply in the pocket of the Saudis — suppose that the Saudis were encouraging Carter to destabilize Iran? Was everything that happened after the Shah was overthrown, our embassy being overtaken – had Jimmy Carter set all that in motion? All because he was doing the bidding of the Magic Kingdom? All speculation, of course – but it did make a certain amount of horrifying sense.

  10. No, this was not the plan of Obama and his idiot lackeys. Their plan was to build up Iran in any way they could. A strong Iran means a strong Hezbollah and other affiliated groups and this would force Israel to back down in fear. Obama and his idiots honestly think Israel is the problem (hey, when’s the Khalidi video come out, LA Times?). Like all leftists, they’re Jew-haters to the core.

    Just in the last week or two, there was a video passed around in certain crazy corners of the internet where the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, MBS, said they were going to take the fight inside Iran. Those internet crazies actually seem to be doing pretty well in their predictions recently…

  11. When the protests first started I saw a news report stating that in 2016 Iran hired 7000 extra morality police to flood the streets in order to crack down on anti-Islamic behavior. This uprising wasn’t part of Ben Rhodes plan, but it is a consequence of it.

  12. The US news media will not cover any news that conflicts with the Narrative set by the Left. They view the Iranians as victims of the evil US, and their attacks on us as justified and laudable. If an anti-American regime falls, it is a tragedy to the media.

    To get news that the Left does not want you to have, you have to read foreign sources. They are not pro-American, but they are not American Leftists or part of our UniParty. They may not like us, but they have a different set of bias’ and that can be read between.

    I know it is fantasy, but the thought must chill the Democrats. What if a new Iranian regime turns state’s evidence regarding Obama and Clinton?

  13. From an email chain I have with one of the think tank people, after he said Iran was tiresome.:

    LOL “It’s tiresome” they overthrew the govt you installed. ;)

    He did not disagree.

    I understand this is not popular here, it’s true though. ;)

  14. “LOL “It’s tiresome” they overthrew the govt you installed. ;)”

    they installed a new gov’t we allowed to happen?

  15. The immediate cause of this action was President Jimmy Carter’s decision to allow Iran’s deposed Shah, a pro-Western autocra

    My point is The President of United State fault or his advisors at the time?

    What about President ReganreLrelease
    The story goes that on the day of his inauguration, in January 1981, President Reagan convinced the Iranian regime to free the American Embassy hostages more or less just by glaring harshly in the direction of Tehran, which quailed in the face of his unyielding toughness and released the Americans immediately.

    Same can be saide. With GBush
    The ‘axis of evil’

    Now ita’s back

  16. It’s becoming clearer. This is US destabilization in action. There are now several instances of fire on protestors that did not come from official sources.

    This is standard operating procedure. This tactic was used in Syria and the Ukraine recently.

    The countries that the US has tried to destabilize in the last while including Turkey have become an example for the rest of the world. You will have to come up with some new gambits, the old ones are obvious now.

  17. “It’s becoming clearer. This is US destabilization in action. There are now several instances of fire on protestors that did not come from official sources.”

    Gosh, that’s what the internet crazies have been saying as well. Of course, they say that the destabilizers aren’t the US, and they actually have plausible theories, evidence, and accurate past predictions to back them up. What do you got, Penny, other than pathetic 60 year old obsessions?

  18. Subotai Bahadur Said —

    >>I know it is fantasy, but the thought must chill the Democrats. What if a new Iranian regime turns state’s evidence regarding Obama and Clinton?

    Subotai Bahadur, there are a -lot- of people thinking about that right now.

    Below is a credible speculation from one of my e-mail lists:

    Here’s a thought.

    Remember the ‘$25 donation miracle.’ How Obama’s 2008 campaign was primarily funded by millions of $25 donations? Remember how Right Wing sites were pointing out how suspicious it looked?

    ‘The (Obama campaign financing) website that these are being funneled through has all of the anti-fraud provisions taken off. There is no need for the name to match an address for example. There’s no way to tell if these are real people or bots.’

    ‘All of these $25 donations are remarkably similar. Similar names. Often foreign addresses. None of them accountable.’

    ‘These ‘credit cards’ have all the hallmarks of being temporary issue numbers and not having any real affiliation to people.’

    At the time on this list there was a discussion of ‘where did the money come from?’ Was it really millions of common Americans making $25 dollar donations? (To the tune of $250m IIRC. And many of them had FOREIGN addresses, which is illegal, and most were in the Persian Gulf region.) Or was it some computer somewhere hooked up to a big bank account generating credit card numbers and $25 donations to a single website?

    Which would take a bunch of f**king money. Yes, it could have been deep pocket individuals but it looked more like a deep pocket nation-state.

    At the time, my hunch was the Saudis. I even added a ‘indicator’ to it when he bowed to the Saudi king.

    But… wait. Was it?

    Was the money from the Mullahs? If so, they got repaid on the ‘loan’ in spades. $250m eventually got them a ‘return’ of $100 BILLION dollars. (In cash. Delivered via C-17.)

    But, wait, there’s MORE.

    Take that as an hypothesis.

    Obama cannot AFFORD for the Regime to change. Nor can his supporters. God FORBID that the rebels take the equivalent of Stasi headquarters and find proof that Obama’s initial campaign was funded by a foreign government. So of course he’s going to ignore the 2009 protests. He’s going to do everything it takes to keep the people who have THAT dirt on him in power.

    Hillary Clinton, aware or unaware, was going to go all-in (yes, I know I’m over using that term) on covering for Obama. Only Trump would be a fly in the ointment. Hell, wasn’t she the SecState in 2009? I seem to remember a mealy mouthed announcement that was quickly ignored.

    DOJ was involved in shutting down the Hezbollah operation. Why? Did Lynch or Holder know that there was at least something to cover up about the campaign financing?

    So… why not the Iran deal first? Why Obamacare?

    Because it might be too obvious even for the totally blind press? ‘I need to wait til my next, inevitable, election. Then we can get the deal done. Right now it would be too hot.’

    All of Obama’s nit-noids in the press/pundit zone are going full-bore to avoid supporting the revolutionaries. They’ve gotten the word that it’s important that the Regime stay in power.

    How many cans of worms are sitting in files in Tehran?

    How big are the cans?

  19. “The wiki is enough. I understand you don’t like the truth here much.”

    From that Ministry of Truth article:

    By 1951, the National Front had won majority seats for the popularly elected Majlis (Parliament of Iran). According to Iran’s constitution, the majority elected party in the parliament would give a vote of confidence for its prime minister candidate, after which the Shah would appoint the candidate to power. The Prime Minister Haj Ali Razmara, who opposed the oil nationalization on technical grounds,[10] was assassinated by the hardline Fadaiyan e-Islam (whose spiritual leader the Ayatollah Abol-Qassem Kashani, a mentor to the future Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, had been appointed Speaker of the Parliament by the National Front).[10] After a vote of confidence from the National Front dominated Parliament, Mossadegh was appointed prime minister of Iran by the Shah (replacing Hossein Ala, who had replaced Razmara). Under heavy pressure by the National Front, the assassin of Razmara (Khalil Tahmasebi) was released and pardoned, thus proving the movement’s power in Iranian politics… The Shah and his prime minister had an antagonistic relationship. Part of the problem stemmed from the fact that Mossadegh was connected by blood to the former royal Qajar dynasty, and saw the Pahlavi king as a usurper to the throne.

    So basically what happened was Mossadegh came to power in a real coup (unlike the fake one that we hear about in Hollywood movies), and his not-so hidden agenda was to then depose the Shah.

    By mid-1953 a mass of resignations by Mossadegh’s parliamentary supporters reduced the National Front seats in Parliament. A referendum to dissolve parliament and give the prime minister power to make law was submitted to voters, and it passed with 99.9 percent approval, 2,043,300 votes to 1300 votes against.[62] The rigged referendum was widely seen by opponents as a dictatorial act, and the Shah and the rest of the government were effectively stripped of their powers to rule. When Mossadegh dissolved the Parliament, his opponents decried this act because he had effectively given himself “total power”. Ironically, this un-democratic act by a democratically elected prime minister would result in a chain of events leading to his downfall

    Mossadegh, true to form, then began acting like a dictator, and in the process became extremely unpopular. The Wiki editors, in some unsurprising editorializing, express shock that an extremist who violently rose to power would act so badly in office. Oh for the love of Lenin, what is going on here?

    The official pretext for the start of the coup was Mossadegh’s decree to dissolve Parliament, giving himself and his cabinet complete power to rule, while effectively stripping the Shah of his powers.

    It wasn’t the pretext. It was the TEXT. Mossadegh overthrew the previous civilian leader. He otherthrew the Shah. He made himself dictator. The economy was in freefall. There wasn’t any other reason needed for the inevitable to then happen.

    Having obtained the Shah’s concurrence, the CIA executed the coup

    Oh really? Between 1941 and 1979 the Shah dismissed and appointed over twenty prime ministers, but the dismissal of this particular guy, a guy so unpopular that everyone from the Islamists to the Communists wanted him out, was supposed to be a coup.

    Mosaddegh argued at his trial after the coup that under the Iranian constitutional monarchy, the Shah had no constitutional right to issue an order for the elected Prime Minister’s dismissal without Parliament’s consent. However, the constitution at the time did allow for such an action, which Mossadegh considered unfair

    Golly, consitutions can be so unfair sometimes for dictators.

    The action was publicized within Iran by the CIA and in the United States by The New York Times.

    OK no surprise there. The NYT is a mouthpiece of the Dogmatic Global Liberal Establishment, whose loyalties have shifted over the years and decades. However, propaganda isn’t a coup, as much as they probably wish it would be with Trump in office.

    The Eisenhower administration considered changing its policy to support Mossadegh, with undersecretary of state Walter Bedell Smith remarking on August 17: “Whatever his faults, Mossadegh had no love for the Russians and timely aid might enable him to keep Communism in check.”

    Of course, it’s easy to change the policy when you haven’t really done anything besides throw some money around and publish creative news reports.

    On 19 August, hired infiltrators posing as Tudeh party members began to organize a “communist revolution”. They came and encouraged real Tudeh members to join in. Soon, the Tudeh members took to the streets attacking virtually any symbols of capitalism, and looting private businesses and destroying shops.

    Is it too cliche to say I laughed out loud to this one. False flag operations are the domain of some of my favorite paranoiacs. God bless them, they need all the help they can get for thinking that real individuals have no moral agency or the capacity to act without secret CIA interference. Because just what the CIA would want is to foment a communist uprising, in order to stop a communist takeover, in order to stop a communist uprising… see it’s a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma…

    By the middle of the day, large crowds of regular citizens, armed with improvised weapons, took to the streets in mass demonstrations, and beat back the Tudeh party members. Under Zahedi’s authority, the army left its barracks and drove off the communist Tudeh and then stormed all government buildings with the support of demonstrators.

    Is is me or this starting to resemble the Kevin Bacon scene in Animal House.

    Despite the CIA’s role in creating the conditions for the coup, there is little evidence to suggest that Kermit Roosevelt or other CIA officials were directly responsible for the actions of the demonstrators or the army on August 19.

    In other words, the CIA didn’t have anything to do with it, aside from what we concocted in our wild late night conspiracy speculation sessions. However, since this is one of our most popular wiki entries we’ll just bury that information in the middle of the article.

    The Shah declared this to be a “victory” for Iranians, with the massive influx of money from this agreement resolving the economic collapse from the last three years, and allowing him to carry out his planned modernization projects.

    This so-called phoney “victory” brought the Iranians nothing but freedom, democracy, prosperity and capital improvements. How dare that happen. Oh the humanity.

    As part of that, the CIA organized anti-Communist guerrillas to fight the Tudeh Party if they seized power in the chaos of Operation Ajax.

    The CIA is everywhere, working on all sides. They’re like supernatural beings. If only they hadn’t fired all those alien angel archons before the Bay of Pigs and Vietnam blew up in our face.

    Donald Wilber, one of the CIA officers who planned the 1953 coup in Iran, wrote an account titled, Clandestine Service History Overthrow of Premier Mossadeq of Iran: November 1952 – August 1953.

    Of course, if you had the losing track record the CIA had, you too would want everyone to think you were capable of things for which you weren’t really responsible. They may or may not be supernatural, but they are a bureaucracy dependent on budgets and legislative support.

    It was the same situation when Miles Copeland bragged and joked in his first book about being best friends with Nasser and sort of causing the ’49 coup in Syria. That played well when coups were still good for laughs, but when it stopped being funny he had to write another book sort of denying everything.

  20. My daughter and I have an acquaintance here in San Antonio, a naturalized Iranian who has a very upscale antique store. (He has several pieces of genuine Lalique glass, over which my daughter drools – but cannot yet afford.) We stopped in today, to say hi and ask him if those members of his family still in Iran are OK. (Sisters and aged mother) He doesn’t know anything, since all internet connections have been cut off. Agrees that it is very serious, and that the younger Iranians, who do not remember anything before 1980 are seriously unhappy with the mullahcracy. It’s come to the point where people are all actually nostalgic for the Shah. Theocratic rule has brought nothing to them but war, poverty and repression.

  21. Sgt. Mom:
    Jimmy Carter had it in for the Shah – and he simply had to go. Some of the other commenters speculated that Carter was so deeply in the pocket of the Saudis — suppose that the Saudis were encouraging Carter to destabilize Iran? Was everything that happened after the Shah was overthrown, our embassy being overtaken – had Jimmy Carter set all that in motion? All because he was doing the bidding of the Magic Kingdom? All speculation, of course – but it did make a certain amount of horrifying sense.

    I doubt that Carter was doing it at the behest of the Saudis.While the Saudis didn’t like the Shah- Arabs and Persians do not hold high opinions of each other- I doubt that they were glad to see him go, given their Realpolitik POV. One monarch doesn’t like seeing another monarch deposed.

    A more plausible explanation is that human rights were a big deal for Carter- and Savak certainly had done enough in the way of human rights violations of – though not more than its successor. Carter made an issue of human rights with regard to Somoza.

    Carter made an issue of the Junta’s human rights abuses in Argentina- justifiably so.Coincidentally, in 1979 I was working in Argentina when the company sent down an Iranian tech to install some equipment. This was several weeks before the embassy takeover in Iran. At dinner, an Argentine asked him about the theocracy then being installed in Iran. His reply was that if that is what the people want,then it was justified.I wonder what his opinion was a year later. I will cut him some slack, considering how Khomeini bamboozled the Carter Administration. Before the Embassy takeover in Tehran, the Carter Administration had a very positive view of Khomeini.Jimmy Carter Has Caused More Human Rights Violations Than Any Other POTUS.

    Carter viewed Khomeini as more of a religious holy man in a grassroots revolution than a founding father of modern terrorism. Carter’s ambassador to the UN, Andrew Young, said “Khomeini will eventually be hailed as a saint.” Carter’s Iranian ambassador, William Sullivan, said, “Khomeini is a Gandhi-like figure.” Carter adviser James Bill proclaimed in a Newsweek interview on February 12, 1979 that Khomeini was not a mad mujahid, but a man of “impeccable integrity and honesty.”

    Not long after the embassy takeover, the Saudis got some action directed their way.How the 1979 Siege of Mecca Haunts the House of Saud.

  22. PenGun: “The wiki is enough. I understand you don’t like the truth here much.”
    Gurray reads the Wiki article, which points out that Mossadegh was, contrarily to the “democratically elected” narrative, a wannbe despot. Looks like our Canadian friend didn’t bother to read the article.

    It’s not that PenGun “doesn’t like the truth here very much,” it’s that PenGun is too damned lazy to find it out. PenGun learned the truth back in the ’60s or early ’70s, and that’s that. Doesn’t need to find anything else out. I am reminded of Talleyrand’s snark about the Bourbons: they forget nothing and learn nothing. That describes our Canadian friend rather well.

    Once more PenGun falls flat on his face. Surprise, surprise, surprise. PenGun’s deep thoughts rarely go beyond a sentence- or two. If it ain’t snark, he won’t do it.

    AVI’s Heilan link also provides useful information on Iran.

  23. Whether it’s the collapse of Communism, 9/11, the Trump election, etc., it’s outrageous that there is zero repurcussions for being completely and utterly wrong, among media and government “experts”.

    You left out the Iraq War. So many of its proponents are still spreading their “expertise”.

  24. Damn don’t care about the revolution in the 70’s or even those saying it is some US or Saudi campaign.

    I think it is pretty clear that they have a bunch of angry young men who have nothing to lose. Certainly the government can unleash their military forces on these protesters and shoot them and run over them with tanks but that isn’t something that a revolutionary group that claims to represent the people is very excited to do.

    These same desperate men with little hope who can see that they are being screwed by a corrupt system that favors the few can be run over but this will just make more of them.

    The fact that they aren’t allied with any of the exiled old guard or typical opposition figures also makes them far more dangerous because they don’t really have demands and likely can only be cowed by pretty extreme violence.

    An Iran with little popular support just becomes a Saudi Arabia without the extensive welfare state – and this likely is an unsustainable model, or at least it is a model that is going to require a lot of internal policing, often by foreign mercenaries.

    This will all be interesting to see.

  25. “The archived CIA documents include a draft internal history of the coup titled “Campaign to install a pro-western government in Iran”, which defines the objective of the campaign…”

    Did you read it? The “War of Nerves” described in the document consisted of recalling the ambassador and planting negative stories in the press.

    Now I will concede that isn’t nice. In fact, it’s down right mean. But a coup? No sir. Not a coup.

  26. “Certainly the government can unleash their military forces on these protesters and shoot them and run over them with tanks”
    Actually, it kind of looks like they can’t.

    “but that isn’t something that a revolutionary group that claims to represent the people is very excited to do.”
    They sure were excited to do it back in 2009.

    Hmm. What could have changed since then?

  27. David Goldman has a very good column in Asia Times about the disasters that led to the revolt.

    1. But the villagers did have a grievance: the river Zayandeh Rud (“life-giver”) which gave rise to Isfahan dried up before reaching the city, the victim of Iran’s mismanagement of its dwindling water resources. Canals to distribute water to the city’s periphery were built by the Savafid dynasty in the 17th century and fostered a green city in the midst of the central Iranian desert.

    Mismanagement of natural resources similar to the Soviet Aral Sea disaster.

    Agriculture consumes 92% of Iran’s water. Capital-intensive farming methods could conserve water, but they also would drive peasants off the land into cities already suffering from about 30% youth unemployment.

    Agriculture has become a jobs program.

    2. an impending economic crisis. “Estimates of Iran’s military expenditure in Syria vary from US$6 billion a year to $15-$20 billion a year. That includes $4 billion of direct costs as well as subsidies for Hezbollah and other Iranian-controlled irregulars,” I wrote last March 14. “Assuming that lower estimates are closer to the truth, the cost of the Syrian war to the Tehran regime is roughly in the same range as the country’s total budget deficit,

    Iran has bankrupted itself with foreign adventures, a bit like Louis XVI bankrupting France to aid the American Revolution

    3. Large parts of Iran’s pension system face bankruptcy in the short term, and the government’s annual arrears to its underfunded social security system are many times the size of its official budget deficit. With the world’s fastest-aging population, Iran’s demographics will make an already-critical problem much worse during the next several years. Iran is the first country to get old before it got rich, setting in motion a pension crisis more acute than any other in the world.

    There are lots of young, under 30 Iranians, but the birthrate has collapsed and there will be no one to pay the pensions for them,

    4. The corruption has skimmed off assets that are now worthless.

    Iran’s banking system, moreover, is insolvent, in part because of economic strains and partly because of massive insider lending to real-estate investors connected to the regime. The cost of a bailout might be as high as 50% of GDP, the costliest in recent financial history. Alireza Ramezani wrote last year in Al-Monitor, “Toxic assets account for 40-45% of total banking assets in the country, economic newspaper Donya-e Eqtesad reported Nov. 9, citing official data.

    The regime has also skimmed off the Obama cash.

  28. “The regime has also skimmed off the Obama cash.”

    That’s their own money frozen by the US. The treaty was made, giving them their own money back.

    The only thing that allowed this blackmail to work was Swift. The control over the international payment system allowed the US to sideline Iran. This will not be possible soon, as other systems come into play. A part of China’s One Belt initiative is creating other systems for people to use. Thus breaking Swift’s monopoly. As Iran can sell the Chinese oil in Renminbi a lot of the west’s power over recalcitrant has evaporated. As well, killing off the petro dollar is certainly a goal.

  29. “That’s their own money frozen by the US.”

    The mullahs have been killing Americans for decades. Freezing the regime’s cash holdings in US banks is the least we can do.

  30. “The mullahs have been killing Americans for decades. Freezing the regime’s cash holdings in US banks is the least we can do.”

    Examples of this might be instructive. They have invaded no one in a long time.

  31. PenGun has no knowledge of the role of the IRG in Iraq.

    I think it is purposeful.

    The cash holdings, I believe, were for orders under the Shah. I don’t recall reading about refunds to Germany in 1941. I guess I missed it

  32. PenGun
    Examples of this might be instructive. They have invaded no one in a long time.’
    Try Syria, for starters. And Iran has nothing do do with the depredations of Hezbollah in Lebanon, right? Or the dead prosecutor Nisman in Argentina.

    On July 18, 1994, Ibrahim Hussein Berro, an operative of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah, drove a van filled with 606 pounds of ammonium nitrate fertilizer and fuel oil into the Buenos Aires Jewish community center, known as AMIA. More than 300 Argentines were wounded; 85 were murdered. It remains the bloodiest terrorist attack in Argentina’s history.

    From 2004 until 2015, our friend, the prosecutor Alberto Nisman, tirelessly pursued the truth behind this crime. He knew from his investigation that the attack was an Iranian-planned operation. And he determined that Ms. Kirchner was behind a cover-up designed to whitewash Iran’s role.

    What drove Ms. Kirchner? Argentina faced deep economic problems at the time, and the financial benefits of closer relations with Iran might have tempted her. Her government also had populist ties to Iran and the Bolivarian bloc of nations led by Venezuela. Whatever the reason, never has Ms. Kirchner been formally charged in the crime. Until now.

    When the federal judge Claudio Bonadio handed down the 491-page indictment against Ms. Kirchner; her foreign minister, Hector Timerman; her handpicked intelligence chief; her top legal adviser; two pro-Iran activists; and 10 others, he didn’t mince words. He called the attack on the Jewish community center an “act of war” by Iran and accused Ms. Kirchner of covering up the role of senior Iranian leaders and their Hezbollah proxies in exchange for a trade deal.

    If only Alberto Nisman were alive to see justice finally being pursued.

    For PenGun, ignorance is bliss.

  33. So no. The Iranians are not big American killers as you have pointed out. They were invited, like the Russians to help Assad against a host of jihad-is financed by the Saudis and America. Completely legal, not like America’s presence there.

    In Iraq, the Shia government there has also invited Iran to help out. The Iraqi PMF forces are supplied and supported by Iran.

    Hezbollah is entirely a creation of Israel, a bad mistake.

  34. Mike K quotes Spengler:

    Agriculture consumes 92% of Iran’s water. Capital-intensive farming methods could conserve water, but they also would drive peasants off the land into cities already suffering from about 30% youth unemployment.

    Guess who is a leader- and probably THE leader- in efficient use of water resources? Israel: Innovations overcoming water scarcity. Agriculture examples follow.

    • Treatment and reuse of almost all of the nation’s domestic waste water for irrigation in the agricultural sector;

    • Highly advanced irrigation methods such as moisture-sensitive automated drip irrigation directly to plant roots;

    • Development of new crop strains that provide 10 times higher yield with the same amount of water;

    Israel’s agricultural sector has transformed into one of the world’s foremost leaders in water conservation, as was recognised by the OECD and FAO in 2012. Despite the drastic decline in agricultural water consumption over the past decades, agricultural production has continuously grown, and is sufficient to export approximately 80% of its products with the highest ratio globally in crop-yield/m3 of water.

    But the mullahs would rather destroy Little Satan than learn from Little Satan.

  35. So no. The Iranians are not big American killers as you have pointed out.

    TELL THAT TO THE MARINES. Like in Lebanon, unnerstan’? Apparently you don’t care about the Syrians Iran has killed. Nor about the Jews in Argentina.


    A couple of kids blew off a car in just the right place. No one expected the whole place to pancake. That would be Hezbollah anyway. You do understand they are Lebanese, not Iranians?

    Umm fighting jihad-is does require some killing, it’s true. I really don’t know enough about the Argentinian fiasco, how many was that?

    I’m still waiting for the list of Americans killed by Iran.

  37. That would be Hezbollah anyway. You do understand they are Lebanese, not Iranians?
    Beirut Marine Barracks Bombing Fast Facts.

    May 30, 2003 – A US federal judge rules that the terrorist group Hezbollah carried out the attack at the direction of the Iranian government. The ruling allows families of the victims to sue Iran.
    September 7, 2007 – US District Judge Royce C. Lamberth orders Iran to pay $2.65 billion to survivors and to family members of the service members killed in the 1983 bombing.
    March 1, 2010 – A lawsuit is filed in New York City seeking to force Iran to pay the $2.65 billion awarded to survivors and family members in 2007.
    March 30, 2012 – Judge Lamberth issues a judgment against Iran of $2.1 billion, to be paid to the families and survivors of the attack.
    July 2013 – US District Court Judge Katherine Forrest rules to release $1.75 billion of Iranian funds, held in a New York Citibank account, to set up a fund for victims of the 1983 bombing.
    July 9, 2014 – A federal appeals court affirms a 2013 ruling that $1.75 billion in Iranian funds should be awarded to the victims’ family members.
    April 20, 2016 – The Supreme Court rules that the families of the 1983 bombing victims should be allowed to collect the $1.75 billion in Iranian funds.

    I really don’t know enough about the Argentinian fiasco, how many was that?

    It’a been news for two decades.Not on your radar, apparently. After all, news which doesn’t fit the PenGun narrative isn’t worth pursuing. Nor do you apparently have any desire to know more about it, as the information you are asking for is at the link I provided. Like I previously stated, PenGun has a serious case of the lazies.

    (Golly gee whiz, what a surprise- a Hezbollah-Iran link in the Buenos Aires bombing, a link which PenGun previously informs us just doesn’t happen.)

  38. Don’t forget Hezbollah also truck bombed our embassy six months before, killing 63 people including most of our CIA detail in Beirut. We were fighting a different war than the enemy back then, and we paid dearly for it.

    Fortunately, we were eventually able to kill at least some of the guys responsible: Imad Mughniyah also responsible for the Buenos Aires attack among others, and his cousin Mustafa Badreddine. We can’t be sure, but Badreddine may have been killed as part of the Iran deal. If so, it was a signal that Hezbollah from top to bottom is up for sale

    Whatever the case, it looks like Trump is finally finishing the job.

  39. There is an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal today on this subject. Specifically according to the writer, people are angry at Iran’s foreign mischief in Syria and elsewhere at the expense of their own economy. It’s a shame the Wall Street Journal is a pay wall because I would love to link this.

    Siri and I will try to do our best to transcribe just the second paragraph though:

    “ The billions of dollars Iran spends on foreign conflicts have been a focal point of protester anger at a time when domestic inflation and unemployment are in double digits. Crowds chanting “leave Syria, think of us!“ Are seeking to force Iran to reassess a cornerstone of its foreign policy: the use of proxies to spread its influence and challenge rivals, notably Saudi Arabia”

  40. Either Goldman or Luttwak has pointed out that the cost of Hezbollah and Syria to Iran is almost exactly their budget deficit.

    They are not a wealthy country. They should be but seem to have a Venezuela problem.

  41. Austin Bay weighs in on the Iranian revolt.

    Considering the context, 2018’s Iranian public outrage rates as double dismal. In the last nine years the Iranian regime has not moderated, as the Obama Administration contended it would. Rather, the mullah regime has fossilized, dishing out the same violent, repressive, rip-off poison it dished nine years ago.

    But here’s a difference that’s dangerous for the ayatollahs. In 2018 the robed dictators know they are a brittle fossil, ripe for collapse. Why? Well, Donald Trump is the U.S. president, not a Barack Obama-type supplicant who fervently believes a nuclear weapons deal with Iranian militants is the ultimate in peacenik presidential legacies.

    Now we will hear about Bannon and Trump instead if what Is happing in Iran. Keep watching Iran.

  42. The ayatollahs with nukes is perhaps the last chance for someone to wipe out the Jews. That’s why PenGun and those like him are terrified of a revolution in Iran.

  43. Rule Marc Gerecht has now weighed in.

    Ultimately, the clerical regime can only survive if it can replicate its creed among enough young men who supply the muscle for the primary security institutions, the Revolutionary Guard Corps and its Basij, the “mobilization” force of lower-class, club-wielding thugs who maintain public mores. So far, the theocracy has been able to do this even though higher up, in the clerical seminaries, there has been a precipitous drop in enrollment.

    The mullahs are not being replaced.

  44. “The ayatollahs with nukes is perhaps the last chance for someone to wipe out the Jews.”

    I think they are perfectly capable of taking themselves out. That is my favorite way of doing things. They have not done a good job building the state they were given. Greed and an opportunistic outlook has made integrating the people who were there when they moved in a very low priority.

    At the moment, it’s my judgement that Israel will lose the next war with those to the north of them. Of course that will not be allowed to happen.

  45. “it’s my judgement that Israel will lose the next war with those to the north of them”

    Hey Penny, something’s gone wrong with some Russky airplanes:
    That story is patently ridiculous.
    They used the same comical “rebel shelling” cover story when their senior commander in Syria was killed a few months ago:

    The world media knows nothing about anything.

  46. I can give you an update. The attack destroyed a Mi 8 helicopter and damaged an Su 24. The Su 24, #29, was back on the flight line the next day. This was an artillery attack with a couple of drones doing surveillance. There were 2 soldiers killed by this attack.

    Today the 13 drone attack was completely defeated, with several being shot down and the rest defeated by EW. I believe 3 were destroyed and 3 landed. It looks like they had help. Ummm two can play that game you know.

    I don’t expect the Russians to fight Israel. If they go nuclear I would not be surprised if the Russians reacted to that, but they ain’t gonna be doing conventional war with Israel.

    I expect Israel to lose to Hezbollah, Syria and Iran. Now Assad has a much improved air defense environment with the Russians there and will have a pretty good one when they leave.

  47. There is some evidence that America was involved with the 13 drone attack. A Poseidon was loitering off the Syrian coast the entire time of the attack on the Russian bases.

  48. Hahahahaha. Please tell me that you don’t actually believe those things in those pictures are what destroyed those Russky airplanes (and were initially described as having been destroyed by “shelling”?) Hahahahahahahahahahaha.

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