Washington's Long History of Terrorist Attacks on Iran
October 6, 2013
LiveLeak.com & Paul Joseph Watson / Infowars.com & Tim Shipman / The Telegraph & Richard Esposito and Brian Ross / ABC News & William Lowther / The London Telegraph & Steve Watson / Infowars
On the 32nd anniversary of the Iranian students' 1979 occupation of the US embassy in Tehran, National Security Council Secretary Saeed Jalili accused the US of organizing terror attacks against Iran, saying: "America uses terror as an illegitimate means to further its goals across the globe." The CIA toppled Iran's democratically elected leader in 1953 and installed the dictatorial Shah of Iran. US attacks have continued ever since.
2011: Thousands of Iranians Protest against US, Israel
Israeli, US flags were burned in a march marking the 32nd anniversary of the Iran hostage crisis. Protesters chanted 'Dead to America' and 'death to Israel.'
TEHRAN (November 4, 2011) -- Thousands of Iranians in Tehran marched in protest against Israel and the United States on Friday. The protesters chanted "Death to America" and "Death to Israel" and burned both Israeli and US flags.
The march marked the 32nd anniversary to the 1979 Iran hostage crisis which saw Iranian students taking over the US embassy in Tehran and taking 52 diplomats hostage. The event prompted a diplomatic crisis between Tehran and Washington. Relations between the two nations were severed and have yet to be restored.
Speaking before the crowd in Tehran, Iranian National Security Council Secretary Saeed Jalili accused the US of organizing terror attacks against Iran and other nations. "America uses terror as an illegitimate means to further its goals across the globe," he said. He called on the UN to punish the US for its terrorist activity.
Jalili noted that a Swiss envoy in Tehran will be called to the Foreign Ministry offices to receive documents which the Iranians claim prove US support of terror groups. The Swiss Embassy in Tehran represents US interests in the country.
In the past, Iran accused Washington of supporting anti-regime groups. Jalili added that Iran's ambassador to the UN will hand over a letter on the matter to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
The Fars news agency reported that among the protesters was Commander of the Revolutionary Guards Mohammad Ali Jafari who took part in the US embassy takeover as a student. Unverified reports claim Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also participated in the march.
Protests such as Friday's march are organized by the Iranian regime. School students are obligated to attend the demonstrations in order to present a unified front to the West.
2011: The US Is Already Attacking Iran Through Terrorist Proxies
CIA admittedly finances groups blamed for bloody attacks aimed at destabilizing Tehran
Paul Joseph Watson / Infowars.com
(November 11, 2011) -- Tehran's contention that the United States is carrying out terror attacks inside Iran in an effort to destabilize the Ahmadinejad regime in preparation for a military assault was largely ignored by the establishment media, but it's an admitted fact that the CIA uses terrorist proxies to do precisely that.
"Iran has irrefutable evidence that exposes the official involvement of the United States government in anti-Iran planning and the dispatching of elements to conduct acts of sabotage and terror in Iran and other regional countries," secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili said last week, promising to send evidence of "US state-sponsored terrorism" to the United Nations.
"We possess one hundred pieces of irrefutable evidence that reveal the US role in directing terrorists for conducting acts of terror in Iran and the region," Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei added.
Because the story was reported by Iranian state media, the Western press received it with a collective shrug of the shoulders. The new IEAE report claiming Iran was on the verge of developing a nuclear weapon was afforded about a thousand times more coverage.
However, the fact that the United States is training and bankrolling terrorist groups to destabilize Iran through violence and other acts of subversion is admitted.
As former CIA veteran Robert Baer explained in the documentary Vanguard: America's Secret War With Iran, the US has been at war with Iran through its terrorist proxies for years, notably the Kurdish militant nationalist group PJAK, which has been blamed for numerous attacks in Iran.
As the London Telegraph, ABC News and numerous other mainstream outlets reported back in 2007, the US is also using the Al-Qaeda affiliated Sunni terrorist group Jundullah to carry out suicide bombings and other destabilization attacks in Iran, a policy crafted by the Bush administration which has been continued under Obama.
"President George W. Bush has given the CIA approval to launch covert "black" operations to achieve regime change in Iran, intelligence sources have revealed. Mr.. Bush has signed an official document endorsing CIA plans for a propaganda and disinformation campaign intended to destabilize, and eventually topple, the theocratic rule of the mullahs," reported Telegraph.
Part of that destabilization campaign involved the the CIA "Giving arms-length support, supplying money and weapons, to an Iranian militant group, Jundullah, which has conducted raids into Iran from bases in Pakistan," stated the report.
Jundullah is a Sunni Al-Qaeda offshoot organization that was formerly headed by alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. In October 2009, Jundullah attacked the Iranian Revolutionary Guard at their headquarters in Pishin, near the border with Pakistan, killing 40 people.
The group has been blamed for a number of bombings inside Iran aimed at destabilizing Ahmadinejad's government and is also active in Pakistan, having been fingered for its involvement in attacks on police stations and car bombings at the Pakistan-US Cultural Center in 2004.
In May 2008, ABC News reported on how Pakistan was threatening to turn over six members of Jundullah to Iran after they were taken into custody by Pakistani authorities.
"US officials tell ABC News US intelligence officers frequently meet and advise Jundullah leaders, and current and former intelligence officers are working to prevent the men from being sent to Iran," reported ABC news, highlighting again the close relationship between the terror group and the CIA.
In July 2009, a Jundullah member admitted before a court in Zahedan Iran that the group was a proxy for the US and Israel.
Abdolhamid Rigi, a senior member of the group and the brother of the group's leader Abdolmalek Rigi, who was one of the six members of the organization extradited by Pakistan, told the court that Jundullah was being trained and financed by "the US and Zionists". He also said that the group had been ordered by America and Israel to step up their attacks in Iran.
Jundullah is not the only anti-Iranian terror group that US government has been accused of funding in an attempt to pressure the Iranian government.
Multiple credible individuals including US intelligence whistleblowers and former military personnel have asserted that the US is conducting covert military operations inside Iran using guerilla groups to carry out attacks on Iranian Revolution Guard units.
It is widely suspected that the well known right-wing terrorist organization known as Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), once run by Saddam Hussein's dreaded intelligence services, is now working exclusively for the CIA's Directorate of Operations and carrying out remote bombings in Iran.
After a bombing inside Iran in March 2007, the London Telegraph also reported [See story below] on how a high ranking CIA official blew the whistle on the fact that America is secretly funding terrorist groups in Iran in an attempt to pile pressure on the Islamic regime to give up its nuclear program.
A story entitled, US funds terror groups to sow chaos in Iran [See story below], reveals how funding for the attacks carried out by the terrorist groups "comes directly from the CIA's classified budget," a fact that is now "no great secret", according to a former high-ranking CIA official in Washington who spoke anonymously to The Sunday Telegraph.
Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show.
2007: Bush Sanctions 'Black Ops' against Iran
Tim Shipman / The Telegraph
WASHINGTON, DC (May 27, 2007) -- President George W Bush has given the CIA approval to launch covert "black" operations to achieve regime change in Iran, intelligence sources have revealed.
Mr. Bush has signed an official document endorsing CIA plans for a propaganda and disinformation campaign intended to destabilise, and eventually topple, the theocratic rule of the mullahs.
Under the plan, pressure will be brought to bear on the Iranian economy by manipulating the country's currency and international financial transactions.
Details have also emerged of a covert scheme to sabotage the Iranian nuclear programme, which United Nations nuclear watchdogs said last week could lead to a bomb within three years.
Security officials in Washington have disclosed that Teheran has been sold defective parts on the black market in a bid to delay and disrupt its uranium enrichment programme, the precursor to building a nuclear weapon.
A security source in the US told The Sunday Telegraph that the presidential directive, known as a "non-lethal presidential finding", would give the CIA the right to collect intelligence on home soil, an area that is usually the preserve of the FBI, from the many Iranian exiles and emigrés within the US.
"Iranians in America have links with their families at home, and they are a good two-way source of information," he said.
The CIA will also be allowed to supply communications equipment which would enable opposition groups in Iran to work together and bypass internet censorship by the clerical regime.
The plans, which significantly increase American pressure on Iran, were leaked just days before a meeting in Iraq tomorrow between the US ambassador, Ryan Crocker, and his Iranian counterpart.
Tensions have been raised by Iran's seizure of what the US regards as a series of "hostages" in recent weeks. Three academics who hold dual Iranian-American citizenship are being held, accused of working to undermine the Iranian government or of spying.
An Iranian-American reporter with Radio Free Europe, who was visiting Iran, has had her passport seized. Another Iranian American, businessman Ali Shakeri, was believed to have been detained as he tried to leave Teheran last week.
The US responded with a show of force by the navy, sending nine warships, including two aircraft carriers, into the Persian Gulf.
Authorisation of the new CIA mission, which will not be allowed to use lethal force, appears to suggest that President Bush has, for the time being, ruled out military action against Iran.
Bruce Riedel, until six months ago the senior CIA official who dealt with Iran, said: "Vice-President [Dick] Cheney helped to lead the side favouring a military strike, but I think they have concluded that a military strike has more downsides than upsides."
However, the CIA is giving arms-length support, supplying money and weapons, to an Iranian militant group, Jundullah, which has conducted raids into Iran from bases in Pakistan.
Iranian officials say they captured 10 members of Jundullah last weekend, carrying $500,000 in cash along with "maps of sensitive areas" and "modern spy equipment".
Mark Fitzpatrick, a former senior State Department official now with the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said industrial sabotage was the favoured way to combat Iran's nuclear programme "without military action, without fingerprints on the operation."
He added: "One way to sabotage a programme is to make minor modifications in some of the components Iran obtains on the black market."
Components and blueprints obtained by Iranian intelligence agents in Europe, and shipped home using the diplomatic bag from the Iranian consulate in Frankfurt, have been blamed for an explosion that destroyed 50 nuclear centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear plant last year.
The White House National Security Council and CIA refused to comment on intelligence matters.
2008: Pakistan May Turn Over US 'Spies' to Iran
Richard Esposito and Brian Ross / The Blotter: ABC News
NEW YORK (May 23, 2008) -- In another sign of growing tensions with the United States, Pakistan is threatening to turn over to Iran six members of a tribal militant group Iran claims are "spies" for the CIA.
The group, Jundullah, operates in Baluchistan on both sides of the border between Iran and Pakistan and has carried out a number of violent attacks on Iranian army facilities and officers inside the country.
The CIA has denied any direct ties with the group, but US officials tell ABC News US intelligence officers frequently meet and advise Jundullah leaders, and current and former intelligence officers are working to prevent the men from being sent to Iran.
The six Jundullah members were taken into custody by Pakistani authorities last week, and the Iranian Mehr News Agency reported Pakistan would soon extradite the men to Iran, where they would likely be put on trial as spies and face execution.
Officials said the group's leader, Abdel Malik Regi, was not among those arrested by Pakistan.
US intelligence officials say they are aware of the developments with the Jundullah members and are said to be trying to block the extradition. In addition to causing turmoil in Iran, the officials say the group has been helpful in tracking al Qaeda figures trying to move through the Baluchistan region to Iran.
"The new Pakistan leaders have said they are going to do it, but they are saying a lot of things and trying to make a lot of deals," said one US official. "If they are seeking stability inside the country, why would they want to inflame people in this region?" the official asked.
Iranian officials claimed this week that the US had "a hand" in an April 12 bomb attack at a mosque in Shiraz that killed 14 people, according to Mehr News Agency, quoting Iranian Intelligence Minister Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei.
"The US is behind many events in Iran and the region with the aim of bringing insecurity," the intelligence minister reportedly said. "We have proper documentations in this regard," the minister told the news agency's reporters.
A senior US official said Iran's claims "are nonsense, ludicrous."
The capture of the Jundullah members is seen by intelligence sources in the region as another indication that Pakistan's new government is distancing itself from the US and US intelligence operations in the country.
Other such steps by Pakistan in recent days include an accord between Pakistan's government and militant tribal leaders in the country's Swat Valley region where Taliban figures are believed to be hiding. Increasingly, US sources say, Pakistan is effectively handcuffing US ground efforts against al Qaeda in the border region and emboldening the Taliban.
2007: US Funds Terror Groups to Sow Chaos in Iran
William Lowther / The London Telegraph
LONDON (February 25, 2007) -- America is secretly funding militant ethnic separatist groups in Iran in an attempt to pile pressure on the Islamic regime to give up its nuclear programme.
In a move that reflects Washington's growing concern with the failure of diplomatic initiatives, CIA officials are understood to be helping opposition militias among the numerous ethnic minority groups clustered in Iran's border regions.
The operations are controversial because they involve dealing with movements that resort to terrorist methods in pursuit of their grievances against the Iranian regime.
In the past year there has been a wave of unrest in ethnic minority border areas of Iran, with bombing and assassination campaigns against soldiers and government officials.
Such incidents have been carried out by the Kurds in the west, the Azeris in the north-west, the Ahwazi Arabs in the south-west, and the Baluchis in the south-east. Non-Persians make up nearly 40 percent of Iran's 69 million population, with around 16 million Azeris, seven million Kurds, five million Ahwazis and one million Baluchis. Most Baluchis live over the border in Pakistan.
advertisementFunding for their separatist causes comes directly from the CIA's classified budget but is now "no great secret", according to one former high-ranking CIA official in Washington who spoke anonymously to The Sunday Telegraph.
His claims were backed by Fred Burton, a former US state department counter-terrorism agent, who said: "The latest attacks inside Iran fall in line with US efforts to supply and train Iran's ethnic minorities to destabilise the Iranian regime."
Although Washington officially denies involvement in such activity, Teheran has long claimed to detect the hand of both America and Britain in attacks by guerrilla groups on its internal security forces.
Last Monday, Iran publicly hanged a man, Nasrollah Shanbe Zehi, for his involvement in a bomb attack that killed 11 Revolutionary Guards in the city of Zahedan in Sistan-Baluchistan. An unnamed local official told the semi-official Fars news agency that weapons used in the attack were British and US-made.
Yesterday, Iranian forces also claimed to have killed 17 rebels described as "mercenary elements" in clashes near the Turkish border, which is a stronghold of the Pejak, a Kurdish militant party linked to Turkey's outlawed PKK Kurdistan Workers' Party.
John Pike, the head of the influential Global Security think tank in Washington, said: "The activities of the ethnic groups have hotted up over the last two years and it would be a scandal if that was not at least in part the result of CIA activity."
Such a policy is fraught with risk, however. Many of the groups share little common cause with Washington other than their opposition to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose regime they accuse of stepping up repression of minority rights and culture.
The Baluchistan-based Brigade of God group, which last year kidnapped and killed eight Iranian soldiers, is a volatile Sunni organisation that many fear could easily turn against Washington after taking its money.
A row has also broken out in Washington over whether to "unleash" the military wing of the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), an Iraq-based Iranian opposition group with a long and bloody history of armed opposition to the Iranian regime.
The group is currently listed by the US state department as terrorist organisation, but Mr. Pike said: "A faction in the Defence Department wants to unleash them. They could never overthrow the current Iranian regime but they might cause a lot of damage."
At present, none of the opposition groups are much more than irritants to Teheran, but US analysts believe that they could become emboldened if the regime was attacked by America or Israel.
Such a prospect began to look more likely last week, as the UN Security Council deadline passed for Iran to stop its uranium enrichment programme, and a second American aircraft carrier joined the build up of US naval power off Iran's southern coastal waters.
The US has also moved six heavy bombers from a British base on the Pacific island of Diego Garcia to the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, which could allow them to carry out strikes on Iran without seeking permission from Downing Street.
While Tony Blair reiterated last week that Britain still wanted a diplomatic solution to the crisis, US Vice-President Dick Cheney yesterday insisted that military force was a real possibility.
"It would be a serious mistake if a nation like Iran were to become a nuclear power," Mr. Cheney warned during a visit to Australia. "All options are still on the table."
The five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany will meet in London tomorrow to discuss further punitive measures against Iran. Sanctions barring the transfer of nuclear technology and know-how were imposed in December. Additional penalties might include a travel ban on senior Iranian officials and restrictions on non-nuclear business.
Additional reporting by Gethin Chamberlain.
2007: Iran War Underway:
US and Britain Funding Right Wing Terrorists For Regime Change
The Long history of British and American covert provocation and action in Iran
Steve Watson / Infowars.net
(March 30, 2007) -- The US and Britain are already at war with Iran, have been at war with Iran for a number of years now and are funding anti-Iranian terrorist groups inside Iran in preparation for the fallout that will occur after overt military action is commenced.
Not my words, the words of high-ranking CIA officials, Defense department officials, former UN officials and retired US air force Colonels.
Iran's state news agency, IRNA today listed five previous violations of Iranian territory by British armed forces:
June 2004: An unmanned reconnaissance plane violated Iranian airspace in northeastern Abadan and was hit by Iranian anti-aircraft guns.
June 22, 2004: Eight navy personnel in three speed boats entered Iranian territorial waters and were arrested by Iranian coast guards; the arrested were released after three days.
November 1, 2006: Two helicopters, hovering at a height of 150 meters (492 feet), violated Iranian airspace for a total of 10 minutes.
January 27, 2007: A helicopter violated Iranian airspace over the mouth of the Arvand river and left the area after a warning from Iranian coast guards.
February 28, 2007: Three navy boats entered Iranian territorial waters in the mouth of Khor Mousa.
Can we believe Iranian state news? Is Britain and/or the US engaging in covert intelligence gathering in Iran? The answer is we don't have to believe Iranian state news because it is a well established fact that a covert intelligence war is already being waged with Iran and has been ongoing for many years now.
In an article entitled The US war with Iran has already begun, written back in June 2005, former UN weapons inspector in Iraq, Scott Ritter, addressed this very issue and described how intelligence gathering, direct action and the mobilizing of indigenous opposition is all being carried out already by CIA backed US special forces.
As with Iraq, the president has paved the way for the conditioning of the American public and an all-too-compliant media to accept at face value the merits of a regime change policy regarding Iran, linking the regime of the Mullah's to an "axis of evil" (together with the newly "liberated" Iraq and North Korea), and speaking of the absolute requirement for the spread of "democracy" to the Iranian people.
But Americans, and indeed much of the rest of the world, continue to be lulled into a false sense of complacency by the fact that overt conventional military operations have not yet commenced between the United States and Iran.
As such, many hold out the false hope that an extension of the current insanity in Iraq can be postponed or prevented in the case of Iran. But this is a fool's dream.
The reality is that the US war with Iran has already begun. As we speak, American over flights of Iranian soil are taking place, using pilotless drones and other, more sophisticated, capabilities.
The violation of a sovereign nation's airspace is an act of war in and of itself. But the war with Iran has gone far beyond the intelligence-gathering phase.
President Bush has taken advantage of the sweeping powers granted to him in the aftermath of 11 September 2001, to wage a global war against terror and to initiate several covert offensive operations inside Iran.
Ritter goes on to describe how Iranian opposition groups, including the well known right-wing terrorist organization known as Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), once run by Saddam Hussein's dreaded intelligence services, but now working exclusively for the CIA's Directorate of Operations, are carrying out remote bombings in Iran of the sort that the Bush administration condemns on a daily basis inside Iraq.
He also describes how to the north, in neighboring Azerbaijan, the US military is preparing a base of operations for a massive military presence that will foretell a major land-based campaign designed to capture Tehran.
Ritter is not alone in his assertions.
During an interview on CNN a year ago, retired US Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner claimed that US military operations were already 'underway' inside Iran.
"I would say -- and this may shock some -- I think the decision has been made and military operations are under way," Col. Gardiner told CNN International anchor Jim Clancy.
"The secretary point is, the Iranians have been saying American military troops are in there, have been saying it for almost a year," Gardiner said. "I was in Berlin two weeks ago, sat next to the ambassador, the Iranian ambassador to the IAEA. And I said, 'Hey, I hear you're accusing Americans of being in there operating with some of the units that have shot up revolution guard units.' He said, quite frankly, 'Yes, we know they are. We've captured some of the units, and they've confessed to working with the Americans,'" said the retired Air Force colonel.
The full seven-minute CNN segment can be viewed below:
Around the same time that Gardiner revealed this, RAW story ran an exclusive, which also revealed that, according to counterintelligence officials, covert operations were underway that included CIA co-option and use of right-wing terror groups:
"We disarmed [the MEK] of major weapons but not small arms. [Secretary of Defense Donald] Rumsfeld was pushing to use them as a military special ops team, but policy infighting between their camp and Condi, but she was able to fight them off for a while," said the intelligence official.
According to still another intelligence source, the policy infighting ended last year when Donald Rumsfeld, under pressure from Vice President Cheney, came up with a plan to "convert" the MEK by having them simply quit their organization.
"These guys are nuts," this intelligence source said. "Cambone and those guys made MEK members swear an oath to Democracy and resign from the MEK and then our guys incorporated them into their unit and trained them."
The MEK were notorious in Iraq, indeed, Saddam Hussein himself had used the MEK for acts of terror against non-Sunni Muslims and had assigned domestic security detail to the MEK as a way of policing dissent among his own people. It was under the guidance of MEK 'policing' that Iraqi citizens who were not Sunni were routinely tortured, attacked and arrested.
The Just last month after a bombing inside Iran, the London Telegraph also reported on how a high ranking CIA official has blown the whistle on the fact that America is secretly funding terrorist groups in Iran in an attempt to pile pressure on the Islamic regime to give up its nuclear programme.
The claims were backed by Fred Burton, a former US state department counter-terrorism agent, who said: "The latest attacks inside Iran fall in line with US efforts to supply and train Iran's ethnic minorities to destabilize the Iranian regime."
John Pike, the head of the influential Global Security think tank in Washington, said: "The activities of the ethnic groups have hotted up over the last two years and it would be a scandal if that was not at least in part the result of CIA activity."
If this all sounds a little familiar, it's because it is. The fact is that the US has a long history of provocation and covert action inside Iran.
The In 1953 the CIA and MI6 carried out Operation Ajax (officially TP-AJAX), a covert operation by the United Kingdom and the United States to remove the democratically elected nationalist cabinet of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh from power, to support the Pahlavi dynasty and consolidate the power of Mohammed Reza Pahlavi in order to preserve the Western control of Iran's hugely lucrative oil infrastructure.
In planning the operation, the CIA organized a guerrilla force incase the communist Tudeh Party seized power as a result of the chaos created by Operation Ajax. According to formerly "Top Secret" documents released by the National Security Archive, Undersecretary of State Walter Bedell Smith reported that the CIA had reached an agreement with Qashqai tribal leaders in southern Iran to establish a clandestine safe haven from which US-funded guerrillas and intelligence agents could operate.
The conspiracy centered around having the increasingly impotent Shah dismiss the powerful Prime Minister Mossadegh and replace him with General Fazlollah Zahedi, a choice agreed on by the British and Americans after careful examination for his likeliness to be pro-British.
Zahedi was installed to succeed Prime Minister Mossadegh. The deposed Mossadegh was arrested, given a show trial, and condemned to death. The Shah commuted this sentence to solitary confinement for three years in a military prison, followed by house arrest for life.
"If there had not been a military coup, there would not have been 25 years of the Shah's brutal regime, there would not have been a revolution in 1979 and a government of clerics," Ibrahim Yazdi, a former foreign minister and leading member of a political party that traces its origins to Mossadegh's National Front, told the Christian Science Monitor on the 50th anniversary of the coup and installation of the Shah. "Now it seems that the Americans are pushing towards the same direction again. That shows they have not learned anything from history."
"For many Iranians, the coup was a tragedy from which their country has never recovered. Perhaps because Mossadegh represents a future denied, his memory has approached myth," Dan De Luce writes for The Guardian. "Beyond Iran, America remains deeply resented for siding with authoritarian rule in the region."
Alex Jones's latest film Terrorstorm covers the ousting of Mossadegh in depth.
After the Iranian revolution in 1979, the US again found itself sparring with Iran. Again we find a history of provocation and aggression. In particular, a fierce assault known as Operation Praying Mantis, is renowned. The operation began after a US warship had entered mined Iranian territorial waters in the Persian Gulf.
On April 14 1988, the guided missile frigate USS Samuel B. Roberts struck a mine while sailing in the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Earnest Will, the 1987-88 convoy missions in which US warships escorted reflagged Kuwaiti oil tankers to protect them from Iranian attacks. The explosion put a 25-foot hole in the Roberts' hull and nearly sank it. But the crew saved their ship with no loss of life, and Roberts was towed to Dubai on April 16.
After the mining, US Navy divers recovered other mines in the area. When the serial numbers were found to match those of mines seized along with the Iran Ajr the previous September, US military officials planned a retaliatory operation against Iranian targets in the Gulf.
The battle, the largest for American surface forces since World War II, sank two Iranian warships and as many as six armed speedboats. It also marked the first surface-to-surface missile engagement in US Navy history.
The US also attacked and destroyed several Iranian oil platforms in a full out military assault. At the time the Chicago Sun Times reported:
US naval forces on Monday attacked Iranian targets in the Persian Gulf to show the Iranians that "if they threaten us, they'll pay a price," President Reagan said.
In fighting conducted over nine hours, the US forces knocked out two Iranian oil platforms, and then sank or disabled a fast-attack missile patrol boat, two frigates, and three speedboats when Iran attempted to fight back. ….
Hence the name 'Operation Praying Mantis' was a reference to the fanning of the wings used to make the mantis seem larger and to scare the opponent.
On November 6, 2003 the International Court of Justice dismissed Iran's claim for reparation against the United States for breach of the 1955 Treaty of Amity between the two countries. The court also dismissed a counter-claim by the United States, also for reparation for breach of the same treaty.
As part of its finding, the court did note that "the actions of the United States of America against Iranian oil platforms on 19 October 1987 (Operation Nimble Archer) and 18 April 1988 (Operation Praying Mantis) cannot be justified as measures necessary to protect the essential security interests of the United States of America."
The fallout of Praying Mantis also resulted in the US Navy guided missile cruiser USS Vincennes shooting down an Iranian civilian commercial airliner, Iran air flight 665, between Bandar Abbas and Dubai, killing all 290 passengers and crew aboard, including 38 non-Iranians and 66 children. The Vincennes was inside Iranian territorial waters at the time of the shoot-down.
The On the morning of July 3, the Vincennes crossed into Iranian territorial waters during clashes with Iranian gunboats. Earlier in the day, the Vincennes -- along with Iranian gunboats -- had similarly violated Omani waters until challenged by an Omani warship.
According to the US government, the Iranian aircraft was mistakenly identified as an attacking military fighter. The Iranian government, however, maintains that the Vincennes knowingly shot down a civilian aircraft.
According to the Iranian government, the shooting down of IR 655 by the Vincennes was an intentionally performed and unlawful act. Even if there was a mistaken identification, which Iran has not accepted, it argues that this constituted gross negligence and recklessness amounting to an international crime, not an accident.
Newsweek reporters John Barry and Roger Charles wrote that Rogers acted recklessly and without due care. Their report accused the US government of a cover-up. An analysis of the events by the International Strategic Studies Association described the deployment of an Aegis cruiser in the zone as irresponsible and felt that the expense of the ship had played a major part in the setting of a low threshold for opening fire.
George H.W. Bush, at the time Vice President said: "I will never apologize for the United States of America -- I don't care what the facts are" in reference to the incident.
The BBC later reported:
It took four years for the US administration to admit officially that the USS Vincennes was in Iranian waters when the skirmish took place with the Iranian gunboats.
Subsequent investigations have accused the US military of waging a covert war against Iran in support of Iraq. In February 1996 the US agreed to pay Iran $61.8 million in compensation for the 248 Iranians killed, plus the cost of the aircraft and legal expenses.
So we see that Britain and the US have a long history of covert action against and provocation of Iran in their bid to aggressively control the region. Nothing has changed. These facts and past precedents are exactly the reason why we should be questioning our own governments on the authenticity of the current seizure of the British marines by Iran.
Our governments have continually violated Iranian territory covertly for decades and then covered up the fact.
In January Republican Congressman and 2008 Presidential candidate Ron Paul stated that he feared a staged Gulf of Tonkin-style incident may be used to provoke air strikes on Iran as numerous factors collide to heighten expectations that America may soon be embroiled in its third war in six years.
Just last month, former National Security Advisor and founding member of the Trilateral Commission Zbigniew Brzezinski also tacitly warned that an attack on Iran could be launched following a staged provocation.
During a BBC Newsnight feature story this week, it was demonstrated that the Iranian footage of the capture of the British sailors was in large part likely faked and the commentators all but suggested the entire incident was staged or at least constituted "gross negligence" on behalf of the British.
Former British Ambassador Craig Murray and others are highlighting the fact that the maritime border between Iraq and Iran is contested, and the British have essentially manufactured a border to make it appear as if HMS Cornwall was within Iraqi territorial waters. The mainstream media has uniformly failed to address this issue.
It seems that we are once again witnessing the unfolding of ongoing covert military action by our governments against (whether you agree with it or not) a democratically elected foreign government in Iran.
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