Letter: US-Iranian tensions rooted in 1953 coup, shah's rise

Letter: US-Iranian tensions rooted in 1953 coup, shah's rise

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Regarding “We’ve been inching toward war with Iran for decades” (Jan. 7) In recalling the history of events presently spiraling toward war with Iran, columnist David Ignatius speaks the truth, but it is not the whole truth. Our contention with Iran began well before the U.S. embassy in Tehran was seized in 1979, and 52 hostages were taken.

The original sin against Iran, from which all other conflicts stem, occurred in 1953 when duly elected premier Mohammad Mosaddegh was overthrown in a coup orchestrated by the CIA and Britain. It was about Iranian oil, of course. A more cooperative Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was installed in Mosaddegh’s place, and he ruled with a brutal hand. It was our action and the shah’s repressive government that produced the anti-American Islamist revolutionary government against which we now contend.

No understanding of the present hostilities between our two countries can be reached, nor can any future peace likely be established, without acknowledging our role in overthrowing a duly constituted government and replacing it with a tyranny.

Allan R. Shickman • University City

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