David Kilgour’s Iranian History

David Kilgour’s Iranian History

As published in the Hill Times: July 14, 2021

Former Canadian parliamentarian David Kilgour recently criticized new Iranian president Raisi’s ugly record of torture, killing and anti-dissident violence. However, Kilgour’s claim that Raisi’s election will worsen Middle East “instability” is less reliable, since that claim is based on an unspoken assumption: only nations who serve Western interests may be considered moderate and stable. That includes cooperative dictatorships.

Unfortunately, Kilgour’s solution to Iran’s troubles is applying more of what caused earlier problems: Western interference in Iranian politics. In 1953 the CIA and Britain’s M16 conspired with British Petroleum to overthrow Iranian democracy since Iran was planning to nationalize its oil resources. Following a coup; Prime Minister Mossadeq was replaced by the late Shah, an arrogant despot who controlled Iranian dissent with his Savak, a ruthless internal security service trained by CIA and Israeli advisors.

The bulk of Iran’s oil profits once again flowed to London and Houston; not to mention filling the Shah’s Swiss bank accounts. The ailing Shah was later removed by Islamic revolutionaries in 1979, who then proceeded to inflict their bloody brand of religious tyranny on Iran’s population.

Kilgour ignores the role of Western support for Saddam Hussein’s 1980-88 war on Iran, a conflict that solidified the power of Iran’s religious leaders and increased hostility to the United States and its allies.

As well, America’s current hostility to Iran’s alleged nuclear ambitions is truly perverse in light of Washington’s past intention to supply the Shah with the means to build atomic weapons and delivery systems.

Considering the aforementioned history; Iran’s leadership is naturally wary of Western intentions towards itself and the Middle East generally. Perhaps it is time to leave Iran’s affairs in the hands of Iranians. Sanctions, assassinations and cyber-attacks have merely empowered Iranian hardliners and delayed peaceful change.

Morgan Duchesney
Ottawa Canada