Things like Ted Cruz’s threat to Murder Iran’s Ayatollah are why Iranians don’t Trust US

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment)

Ted Cruz said Friday at the Value Voters Summit conference in Washington, D.C., “If you vote for me, under no circumstances will Iran be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. And if the ayatollah doesn’t understand that, we may have to help introduce him to his 72 virgins.”

Neoconservatives keep highlighting Ayatollah Khamenei’s negative statements about the United States and his continued suspicion of Washington’s motives and bona fides, as if those are reasons for which the nuclear deal is a bad idea. It is the other way around. If the UN Security Council can implement in a fair way the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action for inspecting Iran’s civilian nuclear enrichment activities so as to make impossible down the road any weaponization of the program, it will start the process of overcoming decades of American dirty tricks and dastardly plots against the Iranian people.

The US

1. destroyed the Iranian economy in 1951-1953 with a US-imposed global boycott of Iranian petroleum because Iran wanted a 50/50 split on profits from its oil and the British government and what is now BP wanted to continue to pay them just a small fee annually.

2. And when Iran was weak, roiled and divided because its economy had been destroyed, the US acting on behalf of the British government and BP sent CIA field officer Kermit Roosevelt into Tehran to liase with far right wing Iranian generals and to buy crowds and to overthrow the elected government of Iran. Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh was put under house arrest and died a broken man a few years later. The US built his replacement, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, into a vicious capitalist dictator with a US-trained secret police and thousands of prisoners of conscience.

3. The US backed the Iraqi invasion of Iran, a naked act of aggression, from at least 1983 and put the US navy at the service of Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime in a covert naval war on Iranian vessels.

4. This posture of aggressive war against Iran led to the shooting down of a civilian Iranian airliner in 1988, Iran Air flight 655, by the USS Vincennes, killing 290 persons. The US had no business fighting Iraq’s ugly war of aggression for it in the first place, in the service of which it was targeting Iranian jets. Some argued that a simple visual check from the deck would have sufficed to rule out Iran Air 655 as a military target, but no such precaution was taken. The captain of the Vincennes was not so much as reprimanded for 290 counts of manslaughter.

5. In the 1980s the group the MEK (Mujahedin-e Khalq or People’s Jihadis) committed several dramatic acts of terrorism. In 1981 it bombed the HQ of the ruling civilian Iranian party and killing over 70 high officials, including several cabinet members and a supreme court justice. Saddam Hussein gave the group a camp in Iraq from which they struck into Iran in the 1980s, when the US was actively allied with Saddam. After the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, the US kept the camp in place, essentially deploying a terrorist group against Iran. Several mysterious bombings took place in Iran after 2003. The State Department delisted the MEK as a terrorist organization, apparently under Israeli pressure, in 2012, and the MEK has now bought a number of US congressmen (there is an obvious overlap between politicians supported by the Israel lobbies like AIPAC and politicians who support the MEK).

So Cruz’s threat to send Khamenei to paradise, i.e. murder him, is not actually crazy talk from an American politician. Apparently we actually are the owners of Iran’s oil and gas and if they insist on trying to own it themselves, we’ll be happy to overthrow their government, support wars of aggression on Iran by brutal dictators, collaborate with terrorist organizations to murder civilians and scientists, etc. etc. Also, unlike France, South Korea, Japan, the Netherlands, etc. they are not allowed to have, like, science or fuel for their nuclear reactors and apparently not allowed to make electricity with such reactors.

And that is why Khamenei is risking so much in making a deal with the United States, which has seldom honored international law or even basic human decency when dealing with that country.


Related video:

CNN: “Ted Cruz threatens Iran’s leader”

27 Responses

  1. It’s laughable that at a “Values” conference a woman married four times and two children out of wedlock, Kim the Martyr, is honored for discriminating against her fellow Americans and talk of murdering a world leader is opening embraced and cheered.

    I think I’ll have to reread Alice in Wonderland to understand this mindset.

  2. Thank you for this review of history. Every American should be familiar with these facts. Instead, our media and politicians generally ignore them.

  3. If Cruz had promoted the idea of sending the prime ministers of the UK, Canada, Australia, Israel, etc. to their gods – Mammon in most cases – would any of our various law enforcement agencies have called him in for questioning?

  4. It’s rabble rousing demagoguery, designed to show him off as a gung-ho, no nonsense, straight from the hip, don’t mess with me. hat tippin’ hero. The reasons Iranians don’t trust the US are exactly as you catalog them, and they are the big ones, the spaces between have hardly been free of aggressive acts and their overall effect has been cumulative. The Iranians probably do trust the US, to be untrustworthy!

  5. Of course were Ayatollah Khamenei to assert that if Ted Cruz thinks Iran will cede its sovereign right to pursue nuclear options Iranians would be glad to introduce him to 72 gullible virgins the outcry in the United States would de deafening. Fortunately the Iranians understand it is just Ted pandering to the gullible that are his constiuency while kissing up to the Israelis. Sorry, Senator, no virgins for you.

  6. Wasn’t Cruz listening when Pope Francis instructed us to live by the Golden Rule, ‘do unto others, as you would have them do unto you’? Apparently, the good and righteous senator missed that part. More Americans would do right by reading this fine article by Dr. Cole, and become better informed.

  7. The Cuban-American community has traditionally enjoyed close ties to the Central Intelligence Agency as part of Operation Mongoose – which attempted to destabilize the Fidel Castro regime in Cuba by means which included plans to kill Castro himself.

    Cruz himself worked closely under Pres. G.W. Bush – the son of a former CIA director with close ties to Cuban-American exiles.

    Dr. Orlando Bosch, a violent leader of the Cuban exiles in Florida who served prison time for anti-communist violence, contended that he was trained by the U.S. government to commit the violence he engaged in. He was pardoned by Pres. George H.W. Bush in 1989 for firing a bazooka at a Polish freighter off the Florida coast in 1967.

    Cruz, as a U.S. president, would most likely push the same agenda as the Bush family did, giving free rein to the authorization of violent covert operations activities of the U.S. intelligence community.

  8. Why, when I listen to these warmongering charlatans am I reminded of Germany in the early 1930s? When I listen to Donald Trump, why does Mussolini come to mind? Mussolini got the trains to run on time. Trump will build a wall along the US-Mexico border.

  9. The most effective method to bring down a form of government and an entire country is from the inside.

    Typically, those most effective at downfall use the intentions of good people as tools to gain the necessary influences to achieve their goals.

    A populace who lacks basic knowledge and access to accurate information are the easiest to manipulate using stirred emotions, entrenched beliefs and peer-group pressures.

    There has been a malignancy growing in our country and those of malevalent intent are patiently feeding this disease.

    Good people are being misguided by their passion and faith over various hot-button issues such as “abortion,” misinterpreted, unproveable religious beliefs and the age-old favorite of those who wish to weaken – xenophobia.

    There is nothing new in any of the symptoms of this malady which has now infected our nation. If history was still taught in schools, the overt tendencies of those who wish to bring about unnecessary and dangerous change would be spotted and intercepted rapidly. Not so in the 2015 United States of America.

    The reduction of education to teaching “The Test,” the abolition of PRIVACY, the continuos blast of media-issued malinformation/distraction and the re-emergence of blind, ignorant h8 are components of a generation-long process to sicken our once great nation. That odious process is now taking its toll.

    Ironically, those who are actively driving this dangerous process will most likely be the very first to suffer from their misguided efforts. And the repugnant result could stand for a while – UNTIL the rest of the civilized world runs out of patience with what was once our United States.

    Since history no longer exists in the minds of our citizens, the United States will not see the greater consequences of their naive induced stupidity coming.

  10. Cruz is strategically pandering as a stalking horse; principally for Trump, Carson & Rubio. His malleable rhetoric is aligned to the top 4 to 5 GOP primary contenders to win over his opponents’ primary base, if and when they falter. Cruz is only focused on the nomination and the general election is another story.

  11. Its political campaign season and campaign promises and burst of American exceptionalism is as meaningless as Friday prayer chants. Trust fallows when loyalty is earned with betrayal waiting in the wing.

  12. The whole world outside the US is wise enough to know this man is a charlatan.

    @ Bill Bodden, Harvard might have reason to be concerned about its law school credentials.

  13. I wonder what the reaction would be in the USA if Ayatollah Khamenei were to stand up at a podium and say: If the US public votes for Cruz, under no circumstances will Iran allow him to repudiate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. And if this Prospective President(tm) doesn’t understand that, we may have to help introduce him to his maker.

    I suspect that the MSM would have some nasty things to say about any politician who said something as incendiary as that.

    Well…. unless they were an American politician, in which case such sentiments would just be Par For The Course.

    The exceptional nation indeed, only not in a good way.

  14. There’s also the fact that the US has invaded two of its neighbors, one for no good and still unknown reasons.

  15. Thank you for the historical context, Professor Cole. Could we say that the current Iranian “deep state” has its origins with the U.S. trained secret police from the Shah’s era, or was that connection broken with the Revolution of 1979?

  16. Ted Cruz never held an elected position until the voting appliances of Texas voted him into the U.S. Senate.

  17. thanks for doing this Juan. I had asked you to do it a few times and so – whether or not it was partially because of that – thank you.

    There’s tonnes more as well.

    The U.S. – the CIA – created the Iranian secret police.

    The U.S. twice overthrew an Iranian leader.

    The UK stole money from them for years and when the Iranians copped on and demanded an audit, the UK refused and instead plotted a coup with the U.S.

    And on and on and on.

    If only Americans knew :(

  18. A piece of the historical aspect of Iran is missing and of important interest. Iran played a crucial role in the timely defeat of the axis powers during WWII. Germany had all but defeated Russia in 1942 destroying most of their military and ability to feed themselves. The US knew that without Russia on the Eastern Front, the Allies would have a very difficult time defeating Hitler. The only practical means of supplying food and war material to Russia was through the Persian Gulf and through Iran. Iran cooperated by helping us to build a bigger harbor and a railroad and surface roads through their country. They also built trucks to help us with the gigantic task of transporting thousands of tons of material to Russia. There is no doubt that this effort at least shortened the war and saved millions of lives. Our thanks to them you now know.

    • David – The Arctic convoys of World War II played a much larger role than the Persian Gulf supply routes.

      However, Iran did play a useful role in helping Russia against Nazi Germany.

  19. Shouldn’t the US facilitation of Saddam’s use of chemical weapons against the Iranians get a mention also? No small thing.

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