The short answer is YES! A more complete answer becomes visible when we look at recent war signals. For insights on how war can be prevented, it is helpful to go back in history to when the governments of the US and Iran were the best of friends.

As the US war propaganda intensifies, I sometimes wonder what Iran and the Middle East would look like today if the CIA did not overthrow Iran’s democratic government in 1953?

A Timeline Worth Remembering

— 1950s & 1960s — In 1951, US and Iranian relations were so good that Mohammad Mossadeq was named Time magazine’s Man of the Year. To show his admiration of America’s democracy, Mossadeq made a high-profile trip to the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. In 1953, the US and Britain illegally overthrew Iran’s democratically elected government because Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadeq interfered with US and British oil interests. In 1967, Mossadeq died after many years of living under house arrest. Mossadeq’s comment on his arrest was “My only crime is that I nationalized the oil industry and removed from this land the network of colonialism and the political and economic influence of the greatest empire on Earth.”

— 1970s — In 1973, the US offered Israel a defense treaty after the Yom Kippur war. Israel rejected this offer because Israel would have to define its boundaries. Contrary to incorrect statements by President Bush, there is no defense treaty between the US and Israel. Why does President Bush now continue to say that the US has a defense alliance with Israel? In 1976 Chief of Staff Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld persuaded President Gerald Ford to approve offering Iran nuclear reprocessing facilities. Cheney and Rumsfeld stated that Iran needed a nuclear program to meet future energy requirements which is what Iranian officials are saying today. In 1979 US embassy personnel in Iran were held captive for 444 days and the Islamic revolution changed the balance of power in the Middle East. Iran’s current President Ahmadinejad was a leader of the student group that stormed the embassy.

— 1980s — In 1980, Iraq attacked Iran. The US initially provided weapons to Iraq but eventually sold weapons to both sides. Iraq ended up spending more on weapons than it earned from oil sales. The war ended in 1988. In 1980, President Reagan’s campaign manager and future CIA Director, William Casey, made a deal with Iran’s leadership to delay the release of the US embassy personnel until a few hours after President Jimmy Carter leaves office. For compensation, President Reagan arranged for Iran to receive $4 billion dollars and a letter stating the US would never attack Iran. Since the 1980s Iran has had anthrax and other weapons of mass destruction. In 1981, Israel destroyed the Iraqi Osirak nuclear facility. Israel’s attack, against international law, motivated Iran to disperse, bury and harden its nuclear facilities. Between 1984 and 1988, Iraqi air attacks damaged Iran’s Bushehr nuclear facility. In 1986, Pakistan began helping Iran develop nuclear weapons. Abdul Qadeer Khan transfers over 2000 components and by 1995, P-2 centrifuge components are transferred to Iran. In 1987 and 1988 US forces secretly attacked Iranian forces, including strikes on Gulf oil platforms. In 1988 the US cruiser Vincennes mistakenly shot down an Iranian commercial plane and 290 people are killed.

— 1990s – In 1995, Russia resumed work on the Bushehr nuclear facility. In 1996, China sold Iran a conversion plant and provided the gas needed to test the uranium enrichment process. In 1997, the Project For A New American Century, authored by Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and other neo-cons now in power, calls for preemptive attacks so that the US will remain the dominant power in the new century. A cornerstone of the strategy is to keep a rising China subordinate by denying access to resources in Central Asia and the Middle East.

— 2000 to 2002 — Sep 2001: Pakistan’s Khan network and assistance to Iran is shut down after the US threatens to nuke Pakistan and bring it back to the stone age. Jan 2002: President Bush, in his State of the Union address, described Iran, Iraq and North Korea as an “axis of evil”. Aug 2002: Iranian dissident, Alireza Jafarzadeh, revealed two previously undeclared nuclear sites: a uranium enrichment facility in Natanz and a heavy water facility in Arak.

— 2003 — Mar: The US illegally invaded Iraq. Aug: A confidential UN report revealed that Iran has developed two kinds of enriched uranium that are not needed for peaceful energy production. Dec: US sent humanitarian aid to Iran after earthquake kills up to 50,000 people in city of Bam. Dec or earlier: President Bush had the 1980 document stating the US will not attack Iran nullified because it was signed under duress.

— 2004 — Jun: The International Atomic Energy Agency claims to have found new traces of enriched uranium that exceeded the levels necessary for civilian energy production. Jul: Iran admited to having resumed production of parts for centrifuges that are used for enriching uranium, but insists that it has not resumed its enrichment activities. Sep: Iran refused to accept an unlimited suspension of uranium enrichment and says it will not stop manufacturing centrifuges. Sep: To facilitate military operations in Iran, the U.S. sent 4,500 smart bombs to Israel and built a staging base in Afghanistan near its border with Iran. Oct: The Iranian parliament passed a bill approving resumption of enrichment activities. Dec or earlier: Israel built a model of Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility to practice attacks on the facility.

— 2005 — Jan: Iran’s Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani indicated that Iran has a nuclear bomb. Shamkhani said, “we have rapidly produced equipment that has resulted in the greatest deterrent.” Feb: The book American Hiroshima is published and warns the US will attack Iran’s nuclear facilities and this will lead to Iran’s Qods Force attacking US nuclear facilities. Feb: The inner cabinet of Ariel Sharon, at his private ranch in the Negev desert, gave “initial authorization” to attack Iran. They agreed to coordinate the attack with the most supportive US administration since Israel was created in 1948. Feb: Iranian Information Minister Ali Yunessi confirmed that US spy planes have been spotted in Iran. The objective of these spy missions is to identify approximately 36 nuclear weapons-related targets that can be destroyed by an Israeli or US surprise attack. Feb: North Korea, secretly collaborated with Iran. North Korea declared it has nuclear weapons. Aug: President Bush made the first of several statements in which he refused to rule out using force against Iran.

— 2006 — Feb to present: The war propaganda, direct from the playbook of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, is repeated daily. The “battlefield of public perception” is prepared for war with statements from Donald Rumsfeld that Iran is the “world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.” Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist repeated the mantra “we cannot allow Iran to become a nuclear nation.” Richard Perle said “If we just let our vision of the world go forth, and we embrace it entirely and we don’t try to piece together clever diplomacy, but just wage a total war … our children will sing great songs about us years from now.” We also see Iran’s President repeatedly misquoted (e.g., he is quoted as saying military force should be used to wipe Israel off the map when President Ahmadinejad’s actual statement never used the words “wipe” or “off the map”). Feb: President Bush was asked if the United States would rise to Israel’s defense militarily, he said: “You bet, we’ll defend Israel.” Mar: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the US faces “no greater challenge” than Iran’s nuclear program. Apr: A report by Seymour M. Hersh in the New Yorker warns the US is planning a tactical nuclear strike against Iran. Apr: The Washington Post reports the US is studying military strike options on Iran. Apr: The Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported Iran’s military response to an attack is called Operation Judgment Day. May: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sends a letter to President Bush proposing new and peaceful solutions to their differences. This is the first communication between Iranian and US leaders in 27 years. May: The Physicians for Social Responsibility publish a report titled “Medical Consequences of a Nuclear Attack on Iran.” The report illuminates that millions of lives will be lost if the US attacks Iran. Jul & Aug: Israel responds to the kidnapping of soldiers with war. This is seen by many as an attempt to draw Iran into a direct conflict with Israel. As a result of Israel’s attack, Hamas and Hezbollah “near” enemies are subsequently less able to inflict harm on Israel when the “far” enemy of Iran is attacked. Aug: Former Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence Chief, Maj. Gen (R) Hameed Gul “predicted” that America will attack Iran and Syria simultaneously in October. Aug: War propaganda continues to ramp up with Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, and other prominent proponents for attacking Iran, stating Iran is 5 to 10 years away from having a bomb. The public is “sold” this ridiculous piece of information, especially given Pakistan’s previous direct assistance, to minimize concerns about what Iran can do to retaliate. In addition, as media commentators increasingly demand America attack Iran, there is no mention of Iran’s existing chemical and biological weapons. Aug: Iran started the “Blow of Zolfaqar” military exercise in the Persian Gulf. Aug: Iran rejected the US led UN Security Council offer to stop uranium enrichment. Aug: Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is interviewed by Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes and calls for peaceful dialogue. He subsequently offers to debate with President Bush. The White House rejects the offer. Sep: Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), “asked for fresh eyes” to review the existing U.S. plans to blockade two Iranian oil ports on the Persian Gulf. Sep: The Pentagon announced the extension of overseas assignments for US soldiers. Oct: A major naval strike force carrying nuclear weapons received surprise “prepare to deploy” orders to depart for the Persian Gulf. Oct: North Korea sees the US as preoccupied with attacking Iran and conducted a nuclear test. The US media ignores North Korea’s 2005 public announcement that it had nuclear weapons to reinforce the fiction that a new rogue state has become a nuclear power stressing the message “this is what happens if we don’t strike Iran.” Oct: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei held an AK 47 on October 13 to symbolized Iran’s readiness to repel an Israeli and US attack. Oct: The Defense Department started mandatory anthrax immunizations. Oct: Iran’s military forces are deployed to battle positions as the Eisenhower naval strike force entered the Persian Gulf. Oct: Respected US whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg warns the US is planning to attack Iran with H-bombs. An H-bomb, also known as thermonuclear bomb, can be over one thousand times more powerful than an atomic bomb. Oct: According to Muslim tradition, the “Night of Determination” (10/26-10/27) is when Allah determines the fate of the world for the coming year. An Operations Northwoods (i.e., a self-inflicted attack so that Americans will support attacking Iran) event increasingly appears likely, especially with US elections taking place in November.

If The US Attacks Iran, What Happens? On April 27, 2006 the Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported Iran’s military response to a US and Israeli attack is a plan called Operation Judgment Day.

The attack has several components. The final component is the American Hiroshima attack.

  1. A missile strike directly targeting the US military bases in the Persian Gulf and Iraq, as soon as Iranian nuclear installations are hit.
  2. Suicide operations in a number of Arab and Muslim countries against the US and US allies.
  3. Stepped up attacks by the Basij, the Revolutionary Guards and Iraqi fighters loyal to Iran against US and British forces in Iraq.
  4. Hezbollah launches hundreds of rockets against military and economic targets in Israel.

The final Judgment Day component is for Iran to give the al Qods Brigades the go-ahead for more than 50 terrorists cells in Canada, the US, and Europe to attack civil and industrial targets in these countries. This could lead to an American/global Hiroshima attack to maximize civilian casualties by attacking nuclear and chemical facilities.

Is component 1 why the anthrax vaccinations of US military personnel started in October? Components 2 and 3 are already happening. Israel attempted to minimize component 4 with the July and August war with Hezbollah in Lebanon.

A detailed explanation of why this is happening and how it can be prevented is the subject of the American Hiroshima book.

While War With Iran Is On The Horizon – Choose Hope! Iran may or may not have developed the “greatest deterrent.” In the 1960s, it was unknown to US intelligence that the Soviet Union had almost 100 nuclear weapons in Cuba at the time of the 1962 missile crisis. Regardless of Iran’s status as a nuclear weapons power, Iran’s Qods Force has been capable of attacking US nuclear power facilities for over a decade. Therefore, the issue is really not Iran’s nuclear program but how can we return to the friendship that existed in 1951?

A first step would be for President Bush to acknowledge that the US was wrong to overthrow Iran’s democratically elected government in 1953. Regardless of what President Bush elects to do, we must choose hope and work to prevent war. History has shown us that a peaceful future is possible. In 1962 the US and the Soviet Union were on the brink of nuclear war and yet the Cuban Missile Crisis was solved without war.

As Martin Luther King, Jr. said “We still have a choice today: nonviolent co-existence or violent co-annihilation. History will record the choice we made. It is still not too late to make the proper choice. If we decide to become a moral power we will be able to transform the jangling discords of this world into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. If we make the wise decision we will be able to transform our pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of peace. This will be a glorious day. In reaching it, we can fulfill the noblest of American dreams.”

Americans bear a special responsibility for preventing war with Iran. I challenge my fellow citizens and people around the world to work to save lives in the Middle East and around the world. When we accept our share of the responsibility for a better world, everyone will be more secure. Please share this information with your political leaders. Please take action now so that we can create a groundswell for peace that is too powerful to be set aside.


David Dionisi is the author of American Hiroshima, the Northern California Representative for the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, and the National Awareness Officer for Freedom From War.