Yet again, we see on the evening news a flash reporting of Iranian students taking over the U.S. embassy and yet again it is totally void of context. Nothing about the Shah’s billion plus dollar birthday bash he threw for himself while the average Iranian struggled to put food on the table. Not a word about the 70 students shot to death by the SAVAK for demonstrating against the Shah’s opulent life-style, nor the attack forty days later when funeral services became anti-Shah demonstration when the SAVAK killed an estimated 900 students. Yet, it was then that Jimmy Carter, and I love Jimmy Carter, embraced the Shah and pledged undying support for the Shah and his regime. Carter’s commitment to supporting the Shah as an ally and allowing him refuge in the United States, exploded into the student’s take-over of our embassy in Tehran.
I don’t hold up Iran as the perfect society, but at the same time, I am distressed that our president rattles his saber toward them.
In over 200 years, Iran has attacked nobody. Even in 1982 when Saddam Hussein attack Iran using poison gas, Iran did not retaliate saying that in doing so, innocent people would die. In the same mind, Iran has ruled out the use of nuclear weapons. When the USS Vincines shot down an Iranian airliner, killing 280 innocent people, there was no retaliation.
In their view, nuclear weapons are forbidden by God and violate Islamic morality.
Also, Flint and Hillary Mann Laverett, whose job with the CIA was to keep an eye on Iran, explain that when translating the words of Amadinajad from the Farsi, he did not say anything about driving all the Jews into the sea. What he said was that “this Zionist regime occupying Jerusalem must disappear from the page of time.” That is a moral judgement, with which I agree, not a physical threat.
We should also keep in mind that Iran is home to the largest Jewish community in the Middle East, outside of Israel, and no one forces them to stay. Jews there feel secure and happy. Why else would they turn down Israel’s offer of money to bribe them into moving to Israel? Morsedegh, a 50 year old hospital surgeon says:
The fact is, Iran is a place where Jews feel secure and we are happy to be here. We are proud to be Iranians. I know this does not follow the Zionist script, but this is the reality.
It’s true, all over Iran one can see signs saying, “death to America.” But you can also hear taxi drivers saying, “death to traffic, or death to teen age drivers. In America, we would say, “Damn this traffic, or damn teen age drivers.” The cab driver in Iran is not literally wishing for the destruction of America any more than our drivers wish for all our young people to literally be killed and go straight to hell.
I wish we could tone down the rhetoric. Why, yet again, jump into a needless war that nobody wins? Why? Benjamin Netanyahu tries to sell Israel as the most feared bully in the neighborhood but, Iran is not buying. Good for Iran.
November 14, 2017
 Check out Karen Armstrong, The Battle for God, (Alfred A. Knoff, 2000) p. 304-306.
 Flynt and Hillary Leverett, Going to Tehran, (Metropolitan Books, New York, 2013) p. 19
 Kim Sengupta, Iran’s Jews on Life inside Israel’s “enemy state”: We feel secure and Happy. The Independent.co.uk. March 16, 2016.