Operation Ajax was the code name for the CIA coup which destroyed democracy in Iran. In 1953, 60 years ago, the U.S. overthrew a populist government and put the Shah in power. Actions have consequences. The Shah was overthrown in 1979. Today, the U.S. and its allies have imposed severe sanctions on Iran. Military action is possible. “All options are on the table,” is ritually intoned. Iran is enriching uranium, as is its right as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Washington accuses Tehran of seeking technology to build nuclear weapons. Iran denies those charges and has called for a nuclear weapons free zone in the Middle East. The U.S. regularly violates Iranian airspace with surveillance flights and its warships conduct what are called routine exercises off of Iran’s coast. Imagine if the reverse were true. Think there might be a response from Washington?
Christopher de Bellaigue is an independent journalist. His articles appear in the Economist, the Financial Times, the Independent, and the New York Review of Books. He is the author of Rebel Land: Among Turkey’s Forgotten People, The Struggle for Iran, In the Rose Garden of the Martyrs, and Patriot of Persia.
Program #DEBC001. Recorded in Denver, CO on January 14, 2013.