Donald Trump

Can Donald Trump’s America really justify pointing the finger at Iran?

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 October, 2017, 4:59pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 26 October, 2017, 10:56pm

Let’s get one or two things clear about Donald Trump’s desire to abrogate the nuclear agreement that his predecessor Barack Obama – and five other leading nations – reached with Iran.

The Western powers have been messing with Persia – as it was then known – for well over a hundred years. The British established oil production there but, being a dominant imperialist power, paid the country a pittance for it.

After the second world war, local nationalist hero Mohammed Mossadegh established an enlightened and forward-thinking democracy in Persia, but when he demanded a fair price for his country’s oil, the weakened Brits called upon America’s CIA and their dirty tricks to help kick him out.

In came their pet Shah with his feared and oppressive SAVAK secret service, heavily subsidised by the US. Mossadegh was placed under house arrest for the rest of his life.

The Islamic Revolution was an inevitable result of this interference. It produced an Iran that had an understandable abhorrence and distrust of the West, a situation that has only been made worse by the irrational and punitive sanctions that were applied afterwards.

Iran has a population of 80 million, most of whom are educated and moderate in outlook. Unlike the US, its cultures and traditions go back thousands of years.

America’s principal allies in the Middle East are Saudi Arabia – a feudal and extremist desert nation many believe was behind the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre – and Israel, said to have stolen atomic secrets from the US and used them to create its own nuclear weapons programme.

To all this, the West has turned a blind eye, and for good reason. The politics is self-serving and self-explanatory: oil and money.


Iran is demonstrably complying with all the conditions that have been imposed. As for its being a “terrorist” country, that would depend on how the word is defined.

If it’s taken to mean armed invasions of sovereign countries, interference with other countries’ political systems, assassination and removal of political leaders, using biological and chemical weapons against sovereign countries, supplying billions of dollars in aid to vicious dictators, massive arms shipments to other terrorist countries, kidnapping of foreign nationals – the so-called “extraordinary rendition” – and causing “collateral damage” to many thousands of innocent civilians while killing people they don’t like, then surely America leads the pack by a clear mile.

Andy Smailes, Pok Fu Lam