Revolution to revolution: Iran from Carter to Trump

The Islamic Republic of Iran is the latest incarnation of Persia, which pre-dates Christ. Reza Shah Pahlavi came to power during WWII.

Supporters of Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), attend a rally in Villepinte, near Paris, France (photo credit: REUTERS/REGIS DUVIGNAU)
Supporters of Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), attend a rally in Villepinte, near Paris, France
Revolution brought the mullahs to power in Iran in 1979. US presidents since Jimmy Carter have dealt with the two faces of Iran. Some, like Carter, were played like a fiddle. Others simply failed to understand the duplicitous roles of Iran. President Donald Trump is under so such delusions.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is the latest incarnation of Persia, which pre-dates Christ. Reza Shah Pahlavi came to power during WWII. He was pro-America, modernized the country, extended voting rights to women, replaced the Islamic calendar, introduced social and political reform, and even visited a synagogue and prayed.
Mullahs hated the shah, and fomented outrage among the youth with populist ideology and Islamic principles. Ayatollah Khomeini organized the revolution from exile in Paris. Protests were orchestrated in major industries. The shah tried to negotiate rather than use force. The shah had terminal cancer, left for a “vacation” in 1979, and died in Egypt 1980. Khomeini returned and declared Iran an Islamic republic, purging the military and intellectuals from power. The well-educated fled the country.
The BBC has published reports showing that the Carter administration had extensive contact with Khomeini prior to the revolution. Declassified cables show Khomeini wanted to ensure Americans would not jeopardize plans to overthrow the shah. Documents show Carter pretended to support the shah, but paved the way for Khomeini’s ascension. Former national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski made a deal with Khomeini’s military entourage. Then-US ambassador William H. Sullivan worked to undermine the shah’s prime minister. Cyrus Vance, US secretary of state at the time, instructed American embassies in France and Iran to establish direct channels to Khomeini’s people. Once in power, Khomeini called the United States the “Great Satan” and Time magazine made him “Man of the Year.”
Under current Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, policies of the deceased Khomeini continue. Sharia law governs. Homosexuals are executed. Women without head scarves or a hijab are arrested. Women cannot divorce husbands. Media are censored. Journalists are publicly lashed, imprisoned and tortured. Citizen executions are the second highest in the world. The economy is in a downward spiral with record unemployment. The rial currency is down more than 50%. Prices have skyrocketed. Foreign goods are banned. Strict restrictions are in place on hard currency leaving the country.
Protests started two weeks ago after a 50% rise in gasoline prices. Immediately, protests spread, morphing into a national uprising of tens of thousands. Iranians are angry about the economy, corruption, funds spent on out-of-the-country military adventures (terrorism), hijab rules and gender segregation.
STORES, POLICE stations, gas stations and vehicles have been set ablaze, highways and roads have been blocked. Chants of “Death to Khamenei” and “Bless Reza Shah’s soul” have been heard. Officially, attempts to smother the revolutionaries have resulted in 106 killed and 1,000 arrested. The National Council of Resistance of Iran puts the numbers at 251 deaths, 3,700 injured and 10,000 arrested.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted support for protesters in Iran in English and in Persian, saying, “The United States is with you. After 40 years of tyranny, the proud Iranian people are not staying silent about their government’s abuses. We will not stay silent either. I have a message for the people of Iran: The United States hears you. The United States supports you. The United States is with you.
Nationwide, Internet and television were shut down. Richard Grenell, the US ambassador to Germany, tweeted that the US and the European Union could “turn the Internet on” for Iran after the regime shut it down during protests.
Before the shutdown, videos on Twitter showed Iranian security forces firing live ammunition from rooftops and helicopters at crowds of unarmed protesters, and security forces dragging and beating individual protesters with clubs. Bullets, tear gas and water cannons are used. It is bloody and brutal. Media blockage has now made it impossible for protesters to post videos on social media or see dependable reports of what is happening. Some Internet has recently been restored.
Former president Barack Obama signed the Iran nuclear agreement (JCPOA) in 2015. He withheld information from Congress about side deals, such as $400 million in Swiss Francs and other hard currencies, and additional secret flights carrying $1.3 billion in cash to Tehran. In 2018, Trump announced that the US would withdraw from the JCPOA, calling it the “worst deal ever,” and reinstating US sanctions on the Iranian regime.
At the United Nations, Trump established a case for not allowing the mullahs to have nuclear weapons to threaten the world, nor to have financial benefit to endow increased terrorism and to line their personal pockets with money from the treasury from the Iran deal. Trump’s objective is to enfeeble Iran’s leaders through isolation and economic sanctions.
Trump tweeted, “Iran has become so unstable that the regime has shut down their entire Internet system so that the Iranian people cannot talk about the tremendous violence taking place within the country. They want ZERO transparency, thinking the world will not find out the death and tragedy that the Iranian Regime is causing!”
Iranian leaders claim these reports are fabricated, and Carter’s people claim they are historically inaccurate.
The writer is a former English teacher, stockbroker and owner/president of a small corporation. She is active with Federated Republican Women, the Lincoln Club, and the California Republican Party, and can be reached at [email protected]