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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Sept. 15, 1978)
friday, September 15, 1978
Closer examination needed of U.S. foreign policy in Iran
By Cindy Trainor
I am writing in response to the editorial
which appeared in the Daily Nebraskan
Monday, Sept. 11, entitled, 25 Years Of
Aid Too Long. I am in complete agreement
with the conclusion of the author; which
was that the public should take a closer
look at the U.S. foreign policy - for
example as it applies in Iran, and bring a
stop to it. I am afraid however that the
editorial may have passed on some mis
conceptions which I will try to clear up.
Misconceptions are impossible to avoid
when consulting the local media. Students
returning from Iran report that they can
get as much truth out of the censored
media of Iran as they can over here.
It is difficult to get correct information
from the media concerning Iran for these
reasons: a) The shah's censorship of the
news. Only last Saturday eight journalists
were arrested in Iran. "Official" reports
vary from half-truths to out and out fab
rication. The shah is not a reliable source,
b) The capitalistic nature of the media in
the U.S. It includes the strong upper-class
biase of the owners, the people they need
to be friendly with, and of course the in
fluence of the U.S. foreign policy in Iran.
Up until a month ago there was a U.S.
media boycott of Iran and nothing was
mentioned at all about Iran, c) Another
economic reason - certain monies that the
shah has distributed to world newspapers
and magazines to improve his image in the
The editorial stated that the U.S. has
been aiding the Shah of Iran for 25 years.
What it failed to mention was that in
August of 1953 the U.S. sponsored a coup
d'etat in Iran, organized by the C.I.A.
This infamous event marked the beginning
of U.S. "aid" to Iran. The coup deposed
the popular government headed by
Prime Minister Dr. Mossadegh and installed
the murderer Shah Mohammed Reza
Beginning with the Nixon Doctrine of
the 1960 s the U.S. came up with the idea
of employing "local gendarmes" to further
our corporate interests. These gendarmes,
of which Iran was one of the first, were to
be equipped, trained and aided by the
U.S.; exploiting the indigenous population
and local funds. These local forces can be
used discreetly against popular uprisings
which threaten U.S. imperialism. This has
been evidenced in Dofar, and several Afri
can countries, and right now inside Iran.
The U.S. government and capitalists are as
fully involved in Iran as they ever were in
Vietnam. There are 24,000 U.S. citizens
presently working just in Iran's military
programs, not to mention industry.
On Thursday, September 7, 1978
several hundred thousands marched
through Tehran (Iran's capitol) shouting
anti-Shah slogans and calling for their
exiled Moslem leader Ayatollah Khomaini
to represent the people of Iran. They called
for a "democratic republic" of Iran. Note
their slogans had nothing to do with
women's right to vote or wearing veils.
(Voting in an autocratic regime?) A demo
cratic republic is impossible while the
decadent dictator is still in evidence-kept in
power by his C.I.A. trained SAVAK. (The
largest secret police organization in the so
called "free world.")
But the Amerioan public is supposed to
believe that although the shah is now gun
ning people down in the streets from heli
copters above, etc.; he has stopped tor
turing his 100,000 political prisoners and
is now the benevolent reformer.
The several hundred thousand protesters
are not fighting progress, or the shah's
giving women the right to vote. This is
absurd. They are protesting living condi
tions for everyone. There is a 50 percent
infant mortality rate, 80 percent of the
people lack adequate housing but spend
80 to 90 percent of their salaries on it.
Seventy-five percent of the population is
illiterate, and the inflation is as high as 30
Iran used to be agriculturally self
sufficient. Now they import most of their
food. These are reforms? These conditions
have deteriorated rather than improving in
the last 25 years. The people of Iran are
getting tortured and shot fighting for
freedom; freedom from the shah's brutal
oppression, insane spending of money on
arms, and selling Iran's people and re
sources over to American imperialist ex
ploitation. BBC estimates
BBC (the British Broadcasting Corp.) of
London estimated that on Friday, Sept. 8,
when marshal! law was imposed on Tehran
and eleven other cities by force, that be
tween 4,800 to 5,200 people were shot
down. This is in contrast to the murder s
"official" report of 58 people. (The figure
reported in all the local media.) With hun
dreds of thousands of courageous freedom
fighters in the streets it is unrealistic to
assume that they could be dispersed by
the slaying of 58 of them.
So in conclusion, be careful of things
you read in "your local newspaper. Check
out the U.S. foreign policy. Soon U.S.
troops will be over in Iran protecting U.S.
businessmen that don't belong over there
and U.S. big business interests. Our
materialistic and wasteful way of life
cannot last anyway-the earth can't toler
ate it and neither can starving masses. So
don't sit back -get involved, join us in our
demonstration, do your part.
A supporter of the Iranian Student
Editor's note: The author is a senior
psychology major from Omaha.
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