THE WISDOM FUND: News & Views
June 21, 2009
CounterPunch.org

Are the Iranian Election Protests Another US Orchestrated 'Color Revolution'?

by Paul Craig Roberts

A number of commentators have expressed their idealistic belief in the purity of Mousavi, Montazeri, and the westernized youth of Tehran. The CIA destabilization plan, announced two years ago (see below) has somehow not contaminated unfolding events.

The claim is made that Ahmadinejad stole the election, because the outcome was declared too soon after the polls closed for all the votes to have been counted. However, Mousavi declared his victory several hours before the polls closed. This is classic CIA destabilization designed to discredit a contrary outcome. . . .

On May 23, 2007, Brian Ross and Richard Esposito reported on ABC News: "The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell ABC News."

. . . the Telegraph reported on May 16, 2007, that Bush administration neocon warmonger John Bolton told the Telegraph that a US military attack on Iran would "be a 'last option' after economic sanctions and attempts to foment a popular revolution had failed."

On June 29, 2008, Seymour Hersh reported in the New Yorker: "Late last year, Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran, according to current and former military, intelligence, and congressional sources. These operations, for which the President sought up to four hundred million dollars, were described in a Presidential Finding signed by Bush, and are designed to destabilize the country's religious leadership."

Daniel McAdams has made some telling points. For example, neoconservative Kenneth Timmerman wrote the day before the election that "there's talk of a 'green revolution' in Tehran." How would Timmerman know that unless it was an orchestrated plan? Why would there be a 'green revolution' prepared prior to the vote, especially if Mousavi and his supporters were as confident of victory as they claim? This looks like definite evidence that the US is involved in the election protests.

Timmerman goes on to write that "the National Endowment for Democracy has spent millions of dollars promoting 'color' revolutions . . . Some of that money appears to have made it into the hands of pro-Mousavi groups, who have ties to non-governmental organizations outside Iran that the National Endowment for Democracy funds." Timmerman's own neocon Foundation for Democracy is "a private, non-profit organization established in 1995 with grants from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), to promote democracy and internationally-recognized standards of human rights in Iran."

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Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review.

The United States Ambassador to Iran, Henry F. Grady (1950 - 1951), according to an unconfirmed report, is said to have encouraged Iran to nationalize the British organized Anglo-Iranian Oil Company so that American oil companies could, at a later date, gain control of Iran's oil.

Enver Masud, "Millions Spent Subverting 'Enemies,' Stifling Dissent," The Wisdom Fund, February 15, 2001

[AUDIO: Fifty years ago, in a bold and far-reaching covert operation, the CIA overthrew the elected government of Iran. Although the coup seemed successful at first, its "haunting and terrible legacy" is now becoming clear.

Operation Ajax, as the plot was code-named, reshaped the history of Iran, the Middle East and the world. It restored Mohammad Reza Shah to the Peacock Throne, allowing him to impose a tyranny that ultimately sparked the Islamic Revolution of 1979.--Stephen Kinzer, "All The Shah's Men," NPR On Point, August 20, 2003]

[Los Angeles Farsi radio station KRSI noted the similarity between current US efforts and the CIA's 1953 overthrow of Iran's democratically elected premier Mohammed Mossadeq.--Trish Schuh, "The American hand in Iran," Asia Times, July 6, 2005]

"Shah of Iran's Heir Plans Overthrow of Regime," Human Events, May 1, 2006

[An Iranian opposition group based in Iraq, labeled a terrorist organization by the United States, gets protection from the U.S. military despite Iraqi pressure to leave the country.

The U.S. considers the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, or MEK, a source of valuable intelligence on Iran.--Michael Ware, "U.S. protects Iranian opposition group in Iraq," CNN News, April 5, 2007]

[President Bush has signed a "nonlethal presidential finding" that puts into motion a CIA plan that reportedly includes a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran's currency and international financial transactions.--"Bush Authorizes New Covert Action Against Iran," ABC News, May 22, 2007]

"US-Iran: A New Age of diplomacy?," The Wisdom Fund, April 1, 2009

[Many experts are claiming that the margin of victory of incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the result of fraud or manipulation, but our nationwide public opinion survey of Iranians three weeks before the vote showed Ahmadinejad leading by a more than 2 to 1 margin - greater than his actual apparent margin of victory in Friday's election.--Ken Ballen and Patrick Doherty, "The Iranian People Speak," Washington Post, June 15, 2009]

[Were these legitimate Iranian people or the works of a propaganda machine? I became curious and decided to investigate the origins of the information. In doing so, I narrowed it down to a handful of people who have accounted for 30,000 Iran related tweets in the past few days.--"Israeli Effort to Destabilize Iran Via Twitter," chartingstocks.net, June 15, 2009]

James Petras, "Iranian Elections: The 'Stolen Elections' Hoax," globalresearch.ca, June 15, 2009

[The government-controlled U.S. corporate media, a Ministry of Propaganda, has responded to the re-election of Ahmadinejad with non-stop reports of violent Iranians protests to a stolen election. A stolen election is presented as a fact, even thought there is no evidence for it whatsoever. The U.S. media's response to the documented stolen elections during the George W. Bush/Karl Rove era was to ignore the evidence of real stolen elections. . . .

There have been numerous news reports that the U.S. government has implemented a program to destabilize Iran. There have been reports that the U.S. government has financed bombings and assassinations within Iran.

Pakistan's former military chief, General Mirza Aslam Baig, said on Pashto Radio on Monday, June 15, that undisputed intelligence proves the U.S. interfered in the Iranian election. "The documents prove that the CIA spent 400 million dollars inside Iran to prop up a colorful but hollow revolution following the election."--Paul Craig Roberts, "Are You Ready for War with a Demonized Iran? Why the US Wants to Delegitimize the Iranian Elections," counterpunch.org, June 16, 2009]

Robert Baer, "Don't Assume Ahmadinejad Really Lost," yahoo.com, June 16, 2009

[The BBC has again been caught engaging in mass public deception by using photographs of pro-Ahmadinejad rallies in Iran and claiming they represent anti-government protests in favor of Hossein Mousavi.--Paul Joseph Watson, "BBC Caught In Mass Public Deception With Iran Propaganda," infowars.com, June 18, 2009]

Patrick Cockburn, "History suggests the coup will fail," Independent, June 19, 2009

["American officials' remarks about human rights and limitations on people are not acceptable because they have no idea about human rights after what they have done in Afghanistan and Iraq and other parts of the world."--"Iran's Khamenei condemns 'foreign power' interference," alertnet.org, June 19, 2009]

[Officially, President Ahmadinejad received 24.5 million votes to Mousavi's 13.2 million votes, or 62.6 per cent to 33.8 per cent of the total votes, respectively. In fact, this result mirrored the 2005 elections when Ahmadinejad received 61.7 per cent to former President Hashemi Rafsanjani's 35.9 per cent in the runoff elections. . . .

There were a total of 45,713 ballot boxes that were set up in cities, towns and villages across Iran. With 39.2 million ballots cast, there were less than 860 ballots per box. Unlike other countries where voters can cast their ballots on several candidates and issues in a single election, Iranian voters had only one choice to consider: their presidential candidate. Why would it take more than an hour or two to count 860 ballots per poll?--Esam Al-Amin, "What Actually Happened in the Iranian Presidential Election? A Hard Look at the Numbers," counterpunch.org, June 22, 2009]

[Washington has been attempting to overthrow Iran's Islamic government since the 1979 revolution and continues to do so in spite of pledges of neutrality in the current crisis.

The US has laid economic siege to Iran for 30 years, blocking desperately needed foreign investment, preventing technology transfers, and disrupting Iranian trade. In recent years, the US Congress voted $120 million for anti-regime media broadcasts into Iran, and $60-75 million funding opposition parties, violent underground Marxists like the Mujahidin-i-Khalq, and restive ethnic groups like Azeris, Kurds, and Arabs under the so-called 'Iran Democracy Program.'

The arm of Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, remains withered from a bomb planted by the US-backed Mujahidin-i-Khalq, who were once on the US terrorist list.

Pakistani intelligence sources put CIA's recent spending on 'black operations' to subvert Iran's government at $400 million.--Eric Margolis, "Seeing Through All the Propaganda About Iran," ericmargolis.com, June 22, 2009]

John Ghazvinian, "Iran and America: The Spirit of 1908 ," Huffington Post, June 23, 2009

[Iran's legislative body, the Guardian Council, has said there were no major polling irregularities in the 12 June election and ruled out an annulment. --"Iran election annulment ruled out," BBC News, June 23, 2009]

[The Obama administration is moving forward with plans to fund groups that support Iranian dissidents, records and interviews show, continuing a program that became controversial when it was expanded by President Bush.--Ken Dilanian, "U.S. grants support Iranian dissidents," USA Today, June 25, 2009]

Jack Bratich, "The Iranian Protests and the Mainstream Media," counterpunch.org, June 25, 2009

Nadia Hijab, "The Rift in Iran: Memo to the 'Do Something' Brigade," counterpunch.org, June 26, 2009

"CIA involved in Neda's shooting?," Press TV, June 26, 2009

Najmeh Bozorgmehr, "Rancour over Iran poll moves to holy city," Financial Times, July 6, 2009

VIDEO: "John Pilger on Honduras, Iran, Gaza, the Corporate Media, Obama's Wars and Resisting the American Empire," democracynow.org, July 6, 2009

James Petras, "Obama's Rollback Strategy: Honduras, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan (and the Boomerang Effect)," globalresearch.ca, July 9, 2009

[When the young Iranian woman called Neda Soltan was shot by an unknown assailant, her death quickly became global headline news. Western politicians were so moved that even President Obama, close to tears, said that it was heartbreaking. A few weeks later in the German city of Dresden, an Egyptian woman called Marwa el-Sherbini was attending the trial of a man who racially abused her because she was wearing a hijab. Fined 2,800 for insulting her, the extremist then went on a rampage, attacking Marwa and her husband with a knife. Marwa died on the spot.--Alaa Al Aswany, " Western hostility to Islam is stoked by double standards and distortion," Guardian, July 20, 2009]

Jason Ditz, "Clinton: US Supported Iran Protesters 'Behind the Scenes'," antiwar.com, August 9, 2009

[In the 1979 Revolution in Iran the liberal forces made a fatal mistake: they adopted the old dictum of the enemy of my enemy is my friend and allied themselves with just about every force that opposed the tyrannical rule of the shah.--Sasan Fayazmanesh, "The Iranian Greens and the West: A Dangerous Liaison," counterpunch.org, February 18, 2010]

Iran's Green Revolution: Was Neda's death staged?

"Stephen Kinzer on the History of BP/British Petroleum and Its Role in the 1953 Iran Coup," democracynow.org, June 14, 2010

Toronto Police Arrest Over 600 in Crackdown Outside G20 Summit, democracynow.org, June 28, 2010

Barbara Slavin, "Iranian 'Terrorist' Group Courts Friends in High Places," ipsnews.net, March 2, 2011

[With a decision due within weeks by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former US four-star generals, intelligence chiefs, governors, and political heavyweights are calling for the US government to take the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK/MKO) off the terror list it shares with Al Qaeda and Hezbollah.--Scott Peterson, "Iranian group's big-money push to get off US terrorist list," csmonitor.com, August 8, 2011]

"Neda Soltani: 'The media mix-up that ruined my life'," BBC News, November 14, 2012

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