Friday, February 6, 2009

Untold stories of Revolution: Interview with Ebrahim Yazdi (05-02-09)

Why is Ebrahim Yazdi Important?

This Interview by Nooshabeh Amiri marks the 30th anniversary of the revolution (source: Rooz Online). I am translating parts that relate to interference of the Western countries in Iran's history. (Barak Obama may consider these points to apologize about AS WELL!)

N.A: Upon the 30th anniversary of the revolution, the opposition or even some of the friends of the revolution are not happy and blame the foreign interventions for it. what is your opinion?

Yazdi: Iran's revolution was a classic, popular and independent movement, but it wasn't formed in a vacume. Foreign factors influenced the revolution in two ways: First, by supporting the Shah. The Iranian revolution was a reaction to the 53 Coup, after which Shah could not have returned to power without foreign support. Then Iran's revolution was a reaction to foreign meddling. Second, after revolution the foreigners retained their influence in Iran. When they recognized that they could not stop the revolution, they manipulated it. I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I am not politically naive either. Israel, The US and the UK did not leave revolution alone. they influenced it in many ways. [he gives a metaphor of a driving scenario when someone tries to destabilize your conduct and throw you off the road]

[a short passage on presence of General Fardoost in Iran and then continuing to give example of foreign meddling]
[...]you see, we knew that he political analysis of American and British foreign ministries indicated that if America gave the shah a Visa, it would lead to an attack on the American embassy. But certain groups in the US pressured Carter to give the Visa, such that he hostage crisis would happen, such that they could pressure Carter to freeze Iran's assets.

Or we know that during the war, whenever the conditions of cease fire were possible, if it was not favorable by Americans, they would start reverse psychology. I. e. a four-star American General would come on radio and start talking about the imminence of an Iranian victory if they launched just one more attack on Baghdad! These talks created strong reactions in Iran. Americans had explicitely said that Khomeini would do the opposite of what we would suggest.

N. A. do you think Khomeini did opposite of what America said?

Yazdi: in some cases, yes.

N.A. [talk of Gaudalupe Conference, where Carter pulled the rug from under The Shah's feet]

Yazdi: [...] In Gaudalupe, participating countries reached an agreement. It doesn't mean that Americans changed their mind there. If we look at books by Cyrus Vance and Brzezinski we realize that from a while back there was a disagreement about Iran between the security council and the State Department. The UK, Germany and France had much sooner concluded that supporting the Shah was futile. towards the end of 1977 there was a talk of replacing the shah by his son. In an interview with guardian around that time The shah has spoken about that. after George Ball's report, the balance was tipped in favor of the state Department [i.e. in favor of toppling the Shah]. But the Iranian armies alliance with the Clergy happened after Shah left Iran. The Americans were worried about Iran's future after The Shah's departure. At that time the cold war was happening full force. Syria, and Iraq were Soviet allies. The Soviet Union was politically and militarily present in Afghanistan. During the cold war, the western countries--especially the US--believed that nationalist governments were vulnerable to communism. At least this was their excuse for not tolerating Nationalism in the Third World. They had this concern about Iran too. therefore, when they realized that the revolution was unstoppable, they sought the solution in alliance between the Iranian army and the Clergy [!! ... supporting Taliban ... supporting Al-Quaeda ... supporting Musharraf ... hahaha, so repetitive and unoriginal!] Both the army and the clergy were anti communist. America was of the opinion that if the army coalesced with the Religious, after the heat of revolution subsided, they would be taking over the power. This was [General] Huyser's mission. What happened in the Philippines later [see Ferdinand Marcos' history] was within this same framework. The success of this policy depended on coalition of the army and the clergy. After the Gaudalupe conference, in a letter Carter requested to meet and negotiate with Khomeini. The revolutionary council accepted because they thought this would bring about a swift victory.

[then some discussion about the impact of Khomeini moving to France from Iraq, which seem to have sped up the "victory" ... and the rest, well, I don;t think unless you are an Iranian, you care to know. So, Persian readers: Click here!

1 comment:

Gene said...

Naj, in case you are interested ...

... and thanks for the translation! You do spoil your readers!