Bill Clinton / Francisco Gil-White / Iran / Leftist betrayal / Serbia / US-Iran Alliance / Yugoslavia

U.S. & Iran: Friends or Foes? | Francisco Gil-White, HIR


Conference Presented by Francisco Gil-White

Raúl Baillères Auditorium, ITAM

Historical and Investigative Research – 7 Sep 2016, by Francisco Gil-White


Table of Contents


Acknowledgements and announcements

Main presentation



Impressed by the division of labor, integration, and functional articulation of their component human ‘cells,’ we have, for a long time, trotted out the body metaphor to analyze our institutions or corporations—the root ‘corpo’ comes from the Latin ‘corpus’ meaning ‘body.’ If the metaphor is productive, perhaps we should adopt also, from the medical doctor, the method of investigation whereby he pokes and prods to observe bodily reactions with which to evaluate the body’s health.

Professionals of ‘action research’ have taken this idea seriously. These are investigators who act upon—‘poking’ and ‘prodding’ our systems or social ‘bodies’—in order to produce an institutional response with which to evaluate and diagnose. They have been recruited to improve the performance of for-profit and non-profit organizations.

Whereas a traditional anthropologist will participate and observe seeking to understand but not to change, action researchers, like medical doctors, define the healthy direction of the institution under study—to which they, typically, belong—in order, with their research, to nudge it in that desired direction. Such is the influential program defended by Danny Burns in Systemic Action Research: A strategy for whole system change.

Without consciously seeking to, I became an action researcher when I proposed, in the context of the US academic system, new international relations hypotheses—in particular, about the goals of those responsible for state-level decisions in the United States. The reaction I produced forced me to reconsider my earlier hypothesis about the health of that academic system.

I used to think that in the United States—above and beyond the citizen liberties guaranteed in the Constitution—the ‘academic liberty’ of a professor and researcher was institutionally protected, for this is what academic handbooks expressly state. The explicit purpose, according to the same handbooks, is to protect the generation of new ideas, the challenge to the old, and an open debate, indispensable to advance scientific progress and therefore our understanding.

I discovered, however, as other academics also have, that in the field of political theory complete liberty does not exist in the United States. Certain theories are considered ‘taboo.’ If you propose them, the consequence is not a civilized and collegial effort to debate and refute; on the contrary, power is mobilized to censor and persecute. Those who do not buckle under the pressure of protected dogma may even pay with their employment.

After the same experiment in Mexico I reach a different conclusion. At least at ITAM, where I now teach, there is enough academic liberty to question the dominant theories in international relations. It is possible, here, to propose a minority hypothesis. This is what ITAM students have now demonstrated by inviting me—successfully—to present, in our institution’s most important auditorium, the hypothesis according to which the power elites in the United States and Iran are not enemies—as they publicly represent themselves to be—but allies (and for a long time).

I thank the student organization UNE for this invitation.

In order to propitiate a scientific debate—healthy for an academic institution—we reproduce below the text of my conference, presented in the Raúl Baillères Auditorium on Tuesday August 30, 2016.

Transcript of the Conference : “IRAN AND THE US: ¿Friends or Foes?”

Acknowledgments and announcements

Welcome. Thank you for coming to this, your conference. I would like, first of all, to thank the student organization UNE for inviting me, and Abraham Mercado for taking care of so many details, and for his original inspiration to organize this conference.

And I see here a few members of an organization called ‘Diálogos…’ I’d like to make the ‘plug.’ Um…, get in touch with Salomón Sacal, who is here (raise your hand, Salo), in case you are interested in joining an organization that puts together soirées to discuss interesting topics for young people, and adults, and older folk.

Um…, and I want to begin first with—before we get into it—with a couple of announcements.

First, I introduce you to my website, in case you find the themes you will hear today interesting and wish to know more, see more documentation. The web magazine is called Historical and Investigative Research and you will find it at You are not seeing here…—I forgot to put the address! But you will see it in the bottom part of all my slides.

Ah, and in this webpage, there, above that article that right now is the first, you will find tonight—or at the latest tomorrow—the text of this conference, with the documentation on every particular mentioned today. So, if you want to go check that documentation… And the more skeptical among you will want to go check because several times during my conference you will say, “No! That can’t be! It can’t be true!” So you should go, because you can examine the documentation and try and see if I told you any lies.

Ah, and also, in the same webpage, right below the text of the conference, starting tomorrow, at the latest, you will find this series called Psychological Warfare and Political Grammar, which discusses and documents many of the topics that we will present today.

Series Psychological Warfare and Political Grammar

Finally, if after listening to what I shall present today, and investigating a little bit further the additional materials, you are left with a desire for more, then I invite you to my course Antisemitism, and the Political History of the West, where we go deeply into all these topics that you will hear and many more.

Course “Antisemitism and the Political History of the West”

[In this course] we cover 2500 years of Western history in order to grasp the role of antisemitism in the political history of the West, and ah…, all of that as background to understand better today’s geopolitics. And we have lots of fun. It is a fun course. Some of you here have taken it already. It is open to the entire public; it is an extension course. So you don’t have to be an ITAM student. You can bring your parents, your aunts, your cousins, your friends from other universities—whoever you want. And we will begin this course in February, next semester. If you want, send me an email (I forgot to put the email there) but look for me in the ITAM system and send me an email if you want to sign up.

Okay… Without further ado, let’s get started.


According to an ancient Roman saying, “Where there is controversy, there is liberty.” I came here to promote controversy. Let us celebrate that, for it shows that here, at ITAM, we are still free. In Iran, one cannot speak freely. There can be no controversy there.

The question I wish to answer is the following: How to explain that, after four decades of US policy in the Middle East, the theocratic and Islamist Iranian state—part of the ‘Axis of Evil’ according to George Bush Jr.’s diatribes—is stronger than ever? That will be the topic of my conference today.

Title slide of the conference.

Philosopher Willard Quine says:

“The argument that sustains a paradox may expose the absurdity of a buried premise or of some preconception previously reckoned as central to physical theory, to mathematics, or to the thinking process. Catastrophe may lurk, therefore, in the most innocent-seeming paradox. More than once in history the discovery of paradox has been the occasion for major reconstruction of the foundations of thought.”[1]

Quine says ‘catastrophe’ ironically, for it is such only for the ideological ivy that grows around any tradition. A curious and creative mind welcomes a paradox as an invitation: it is there that my model of the Universe must be reformed and (how swell!) now I can go about it.

Beyond “physical theory, mathematics, or the thinking process,” paradoxes likewise surface in social theory, where they are likewise invitations to reform our models.

Here is a paradox: the Israeli premier’s speech last year before the US Congress, when he denounced—because he believes this prepares the destruction of Israel—the nuclear treaty that Obama soon after signed with the Iranians.[2]

Benjamin Netanyahu denounces the nuclear treaty with Iran before the US Congress.

The treaty, asserted Netanyahu, is entirely lacking in reliable mechanisms to verify compliance, even more so to punish violations. To boot, the treaty lifts the sanctions earlier imposed on Iran, opening the floodgates of large sources of capital for the nuclear weapons that—everybody agrees—the ayatollahs desire.[3]

And whatever do they want them for? They have loudly and publicly denounced the existence of Israel, demanded its destruction, promised its destruction.[4]

And the paradox? That lies in the relation between these events and a model of international relations so widespread and traditional that it is not even recognized as a hypothesis, and which supposes that US bosses are the best allies of the Israelis and worst enemies of the Iranians. This model predicts Iranian denunciations of pro-Israeli policies; since we got the inverse, we have a paradox.

Once the paradox has been spotted, we must first try to dissipate it without for that abandoning the model. And this is proper, because all manner of complexities might exist, and a model must not be thrown away before giving them due consideration.

For instance, one might argue that the Israeli premier is outrageously obstinate; the treaty, far from imperiling the security of his State, is the best tool to protect it, but he just won’t see it. He can’t understand.

One is inclined to suppose, however, given the motivation of Israeli leaders to properly evaluate the Iranian threat, that they must have read the text carefully; why then can’t they understand, as Obama insists, that the treaty protects them? New paradox.

But let us give this one a pass: let us pretend not to see it and grant that Netanyahu somehow cannot understand the treaty. The dominant model predicts that Washington will not sign with its worst enemies until it has satisfied its most important allies—so fearful, they, for their survival—that the treaty protects them. But the opposite occurred. President Obama, visibly offended with Netanyahu’s speech, signed with his worst enemies over the objections of his most important allies. Another paradox.

We may thus turn here and offer a different solution. Yes, the treaty with Iran is a great danger to Israel, but US bosses have a multitude of interests. Their alliance with Israel is but one of them. This time, other interests weighed more and this explains why the treaty was signed.

This solution has the benefit of asserting something that is undeniable: US bosses have a multitude of interests. The problem is that, even so, to sign an agreement with their worst enemies—one that their best allies say prepares the destruction of selfsame allies—renders paradoxical the labels ‘enemy’ and ‘ally.’ And perhaps also the notion of ‘interests.’

We are getting bogged down; a more radical solution is required.

Let us then propose that US bosses in reality are the best allies of the Iranians and the worst enemies of the Israelis. This solution evaporates the paradox. Now the description of events makes sense: Obama & Co. signed a nuclear treaty with their best allies, later denounced by their worst enemies.

But hold on. A new difficulty appears.

In public, and often with a fair measure of passion, Washington claims to be the best ally of Israel and the worst enemy of Iran. Under the new model, these public statements become paradoxical. Can we escape this problem?

One way out is to say that public claims about our ‘preferences’ are entirely lacking in information value; they may be ignored.

This solution receives much support from the work of economists. They study the manner in which people’s preferences affect their decisions under conditions of scarcity. Preferences cannot be observed; only inferred from behavior. But not all behaviors are equally informative. Mere speech, a mere statement that ‘I love this’ or ‘I hate this,’ is so inexpensive to produce—economists call it cheap talk—that falsification, whenever there is an interest, becomes profitable.

The general principle is the following: the more a person pays for something, the safer is the inference that they really prefer it. Spanish vocabulary votes in favor of this view, for ‘caro’ means ‘expensive’ and also ‘loved.’ [English behaves similarly, for ‘dear’ likewise means both ‘expensive’ and ‘loved’ – FGW]

Applying this perspective, economists produced a revolution in experimental behavioral science when they became psychologists, entering the lab to test the postulates and predictions of game theory.

Behavioral economists observe people paying real money (in opportunity costs) for what they prefer.

Psychologists had been asking their participants to make decisions about a few cents, or even symbolic points. That doesn’t work, said the economists; it’s the same as asking people to tell us verbally whether they prefer this or that. In order really to know what a person prefers, you have to observe them making decisions over significant sums. Thus, in the behavioral economics lab, participants can gain real money with their decisions—sometimes as much as three months’ salary are on the table. Thanks to these investigations, quite expensive, we have learned much in the last decades. And we are still learning.

I think the study of politics and international relations must adopt the same basic principle: verbal statements are cheap talk. Their production cost is so low, and the benefits of falsification so large, especially for politicians, that we may cast them aside.

It is quite cheap to yell, from one end, “Axis of Evil,” and from the other, “Great Satan.” If we really wish to infer the true preferences of the power elites—of those who make state-level decisions—then we must pay attention to the expensive behaviors, putting words to one side.

Bernadotte Schmitt, a historian of diplomacy, implicitly made this very recommendation when he observed:

“[even] diplomatic records… never tell the whole story of a diplomatic transaction, as Bismarck long ago avowed, for the motives of the negotiators are seldom declared.”[5]

If diplomats negotiating behind closed doors are averse to declaring their true preferences, even more so politicians speaking into the microphone, when it costs them nothing to make us happy. To understand them, then, we must pay attention to what does cost them something, for that is where the heart is.

If we accept this reasoning, then we must watch the nuclear treaty between the United States and Iran, whose cost of production is a great deal higher than appeasing Israelis with an ‘I love you.’

All right, but here comes the most important challenge.

The alternative model: US bosses are best allies of the Iranians and worst enemies of the Israelis.

We have chosen this new model of international relations—which supposes US leaders are best allies of the Iranians and worst enemies of the Israelis—in order to explain a particular event: Netanyahu’s 2015 speech and its context. But what about other events of similar or greater importance? Can it explain them too? Let’s be more precise: Is the new model also more consistent with these other events than with our previous model? That’s the question that must decide, in a scientific evaluation, whether we (provisionally) accept the new model or else we reject it.

A first and obvious question is: What happened afterwards? In other words, following the signing of the treaty, what did the Iranians do? And how did US bosses react?

After signing what Obama called “The Historic Treaty that will Prevent Iran from Acquiring a Nuclear Weapon,” Iran immediately tested new nuclear-capable missiles adorned with the phrase “Israel must be wiped out” (October 2015). What was the reaction? Obama presented no objection, and the UN lifted the sanctions earlier imposed on Iran (January 2016).[6]

A few gasps were heard in the US Congress, for Obama had promised to respond against the ayatollahs if they developed further their ballistic missiles. But Obama and his advisors huddled and in March presented an interpretation according to which the treaty denies the UN Security Council any authority to respond to Iran’s development of ballistic missiles. If that were not enough, in April, after Iranian complaints, Obama announced that he would also eliminate sanctions unrelated to the nuclear issue, giving the ayatollahs indirect access to the US financial system.[7]

This is all consistent with Obama’s announcements immediately after becoming president, the first time. In a speech directed at the Ayatollahs, he said to them:

“I would like to speak clearly to Iran’s leaders… My administration is now committed to diplomacy that addresses the full range of issues before us. …This process will not be advanced by threats.[8]

Obama, immediately after becoming president, addressed the Iranian leaders: we’ll solve it all without threats.

Obama in truth does not threaten, for when the ayatollahs do not comply, there are no consequences.

All of these events, paradoxical under the earlier model, fit quite nicely with the new one.

Can the old model be saved? Should we limit ourselves to this evidence, then yes. US leaders, we would then say, were traditionally the best allies of the Israelis and the worst enemies of the Iranians, but starting with President Obama these relations were inverted.

Now, however, if in reevaluating the earlier model for pre-Obama days we should find paradoxes there too, then we might have to push back the date when a pro-Iranian—and, by implication, anti-Israel—foreign policy began.

George Bush Jr.

The first question concerning the previous presidency should be: In Iran’s neighborhood, what was George Bush Jr.’s most expensive policy initiative? Without a doubt, this was the invasion of Iraq. According to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), by January of 2006 the invasion had already cost 630 billion dollars.[10]

About this invasion, there is a generalized opinion that it was one great gift to Iran. Long ago, in 2006, The Guardian expressed it thus:

“Iran is the true winner of that war. They only had to sit tight and smile as the West delivered on a golden plate all the influence Iran had always sought in the Middle East. The US and its allies will soon be gone from Afghanistan and Iraq, leaving Iranian-backed Shias dominant in both countries, their influence well spread across Syria, a chunk of Saudi Arabia and other countries for decades to come. Historic Iranian ambitions have been fulfilled without firing a shot while the US is reduced to fist-shaking. How foolish was that?”[11]

This newspaper is putting its finger on a paradox, for the dominant model does not predict that US leaders will spend billions of dollars to give Iran “all the influence Iran had always sought in the Middle East.” It predicts just the opposite. How to explain this result, then, without abandoning the dominant model?

What happens is that, in Washington, says The Guardian, they are all idiots.

That’s a solution? Now we are saying that the most powerful people in the world, whose vast resources include a first-rate diplomatic service and the best intelligence infrastructure, and who—in order to protect their global empire—pour themselves into the study of geopolitics, despite all this understand nothing. New paradox.

And it ain’t the only one. As reported in the International Herald Tribune, as the US military invaded they bombed the Iranian dissidents, enemies of the ayatollahs, who had established their bases in Iraq. And then they chased the survivors on land.[12] And the ayatollahs, as reported in the Financial Times, exerted themselves mightily to assist—politically, materially, and militarily—that invasion.[13] Why? Because, said the Financial Times, they wanted to get rid of Saddam Hussein. Nobody doubts it. But they preferred to have their worst enemy, the world superpower, the mighty ‘Great Satan,’ across the border? More paradoxes.

The paradoxes dissipate if we suppose that Washington, in Bush Jr.’s administration, was already Teheran’s best friend. Thus, when the Iranians failed to defeat Saddam Hussein, their regional rival, the US bosses moved sand and earth to eliminate him.

Then they left, leaving Iraq ready to be swallowed as Iran’s westernmost province. And that’s a done deal, by the way, because early this year [CORRECTION: early in 2015] the Associated Press reported that Iranian officials had taken control of the Iraqi armies. And this, as the article also mentions, with the approval of US generals.[14] Iran, take good note, is inheriting all the military hardware that the US left on the ground in that country.

But if we may push the beginning of a pro-Iranian policy back into the George Bush Jr. presidency, it is reasonable to ask whether we can push it further back.

Bill Clinton and George Bush Sr.

The previous president was Bill Clinton. What happened there? What were his most expensive policies? Those would be two: the containment of Iraq and his military intervention in Yugoslavia, including the bombing of Serbia.

The containment of Iraq is a policy that lasted the entire Clinton presidency and was later continued by George Bush Jr. until he decided to invade. It involved restricting the military movements of Saddam Hussein with the famous ‘no fly zones’ in the northern and southern portions of his country, plus a naval blockade, arms inspections, and economic sanctions. According to the study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, mentioned earlier, the policy of containment was even costlier than that of invasion.

The main beneficiaries of that containment were the ayatollahs, for Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was the main obstacle to their regional ambitions.

To defend here the dominant model, one would have to see this as a secondary effect and never the intention of the policy of containment. The problem is that the containment of Iraq began, in fact, in the previous administration, that of George Bush Sr., and from the beginning it was conceptualized—explicitly—as a way to strengthen Iran.

After being sworn in, Bush Sr. received in 1988 a study from the Department of State that urged him to “strengthen Iran and contain Iraq,” and this study was included in State’s ‘transition book,’ which prepares all pertinent questions for the new president. The author was Zalmay Khalilzad.[15]

Zalmay Khalilzad urged Bush to “strengthen Iran and contain Iraq.”

In 1989 Khalilzad wrote an editorial for the Los Angeles Times detailing how the outcome of the Iran-Iraq war had left the Iraqis militarily stronger relative to the Iranians (45 divisions against 12). This asymmetry was undesirable, said Khalilzad, echoing his influential internal recommendation to “strengthen Iran and contain Iraq.”[16]

In 1990 Khalilzad was named assistant undersecretary of defense, in charge of the Pentagon’s policy planning. Almost immediately, after instigating Kuwait to provoke Iraq, the US assured Saddam Hussein—by way of Ambassador April Glaspie—that if Iraq responded militarily, in the US “we have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait.[17] When Hussein, perceiving the green light, invaded Kuwait, George Bush launched the Gulf War—which devastated Iraq—and later began to “contain” it. The consequence was, as Khalilzad desired, to “strengthen Iran.”

This policy to “contain Iraq”—designed to “strengthen Iran”—is the policy that Bill Clinton followed during his entire tenure. We may, therefore, on this evidence, push back the beginning of the pro-Iranian policy to the beginning of the Clinton presidency. But since this was originally a Bush Sr. policy, we may push it back a bit more.

But this is overdetermined, and we have yet to evaluate the other important evidence from Clinton’s tenure.

The other very expensive Bill Clinton policy was his intervention in Yugoslavia. This included the bombardment of Serbia, quite dramatic, but also many other—less obvious and less well known—activities to arm the enemies of the Serbs in Bosnia: Alija Izetbegovic and his followers.

Alija Izetbegovic, leader of Muslim jihadists in Bosnia.

As it turns out, Izetbegovic had published in the 1970s a book titled Islamic Declaration where he expresses his admiration for the Iranian regime of Ayatollah Khomeini and calls for the ethnic cleansing of non-Muslim populations in Bosnia. His objective was to create in Europe a purist Islamic state, under Sharia law, in imitation of Iran.[18] In 1983 the Yugoslav government had condemned Izetbegovic to 14 years in prison—later reduced to 5—for preaching civil war in Yugoslavia.[19] Barely out of prison, in the elections of 1990, when he competed for the Bosnian presidency, Izetbegovic republished Islamic Declaration as campaign platform. This was one of the main causes of the civil wars in Yugoslavia.

In that conflict, the most notorious cause célèbre of the international demonization of the Serbs was Srebrenica, where it is alleged that the Serbs committed a great massacre of Muslims. Examining the documentation—much of which barely saw the media light of day—some investigators, yours truly included, have concluded that what happened in Srebrenica were Muslim massacres of Serbs.

In this controversy the research published in 2002 by Cees Wiebes, tasked with putting together an addendum to the official Dutch report on these events, for which he received unlimited access to the Dutch intelligence archives, is of some moment.[20] Why Dutch? Because the UN blue helmets responsible for protecting Srebrenica had been Dutch soldiers.

Wiebes documented that the Muslim ranks in Bosnia overflowed with jihadi terrorists from other parts of the world, imported to Bosnia by agency of a joint operation put together by the Pentagon and the Iranian ayatollahs. These revelations caused such a stir in Holland that the Dutch government—implicated in these events, for they had been on the ground—resigned.[21]

The ranks of Izetbegovic’s fighters in Bosnia overflowed with jihadists imported by means of a joint Pentagon-Iran operation.

There is much food for further comment in all this (see here), but putting that aside, we must observe that these events are once again consistent with the hypothesis of a close alliance between US and Iranian bosses. And this justifies, aside from the evidence already considered, the interpretation that, from the beginning of the Clinton presidency, Washington was already Teheran’s best ally.

But, as we already said, we can push this back to the beginning of Bush Sr.’s tenure, whose Gulf War and policy of containment, according to chief planner Zalmay Khalilzad, were meant to strengthen Iran.

Arriving here, then, the obvious question is whether we cannot push back the usefulness of our new model to interpret President Ronald Reagan’s tenure, which coincided with the Iran-Iraq war.

Ronald Reagan

That war is one that Ayatollah Khomeini provoked when he sent weapons to Kurdish rebels in Iraq’s north and Shia rebels in its south, yielding the predictable consequence: Saddam Hussein sent his troops against Iran.

But Khomeini wasn’t ready because, after the Iranian revolutionary shootout, he was short on spare parts and ammunition for his military infrastructure. Who had these? ‘Great Satan’—object of Khomeini’s very public and emotional diatribes—for Khomeini had inherited his made-in-the-USA arsenal from the deposed Shah, ally and client of Washington.

As the New York Times explained,

“Iran at that time was in dire need of arms and spare parts for its American-made arsenal.”[22]

But if ‘Great Satan’—his worst enemy—would have to supply Khomeini with spare parts and ammunition, then why—never pausing in his barrage of insults against the United States—did he provoke a war with Iraq, whose military infrastructure was formidable? Paradox—another.

The new model dissipates the paradox. Casting aside—as always—public expressions of friendship or enmity, if we suppose that Reagan was Khomeini’s ally, then Khomeini was counting on getting US weapons shipments to fight Iraq.

Those shipments arrived, in fact, right on time.

IRAN-CONTRA : The CIA simultaneously armed the Iranian and Nicaraguan terrorists.

‘Iran-Contra’ became the biggest scandal of the Reagan presidency. Even as Reagan denounced in public the Iranian regime, the CIA had been sending billions of dollars in weaponry to the ayatollahs. When this became public, Reagan explained to his amazed citizenry that he had been entirely out of the loop, but those responsible, in any case, had acted in good faith.

How so?

In Lebanon, he said, the terrorist group Hezbollah had taken hostage a handful of US citizens; so, because Hezbollah is a creation of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, they had sent billions of dollars in clandestine weaponry to the ayatollahs, hoping they would in return lean on Hezbollah to release those hostages.

This explanation courts absurdity. But in any case, as a congressional investigation showed ten years later, it is inadmissible in principle. Why? Because the arms transfers to Iran began in 1981, but Hezbollah didn’t take its first hostage until 1982. So those transfers had nothing to do with releasing hostages.[23] What remains? Once again the pattern of alliance—a dramatic alliance—between US bosses and the Iranian ayatollahs.

We may then push back the origin of this alliance, on this evidence, all the way back to the inauguration of Ronald Reagan, which happened in 1981, when those arms transfers began.

Jimmy Carter

There is just one president left: Jimmy Carter. For it was during his tenure, in 1979, that Ayatollah Khomeini’s theocratic Islamist revolution triumphed, inaugurating the terrorist regime that to this day governs Iran.

It is quite interesting, here, that beyond having created the Shah of Iran’s military infrastructure, the United States had built also his intelligence and secret police operation: SAVAK. In fact, SAVAK was considered a franchise of the CIA, and Khomeini, when he was in the opposition, denounced it in those very terms: as Great Satan’s tool. The dominant model, consistent with the public expressions of enmity, predicted that Khomeini, after taking power, would get rid of SAVAK.

The opposite happened.

Khomeini baptized his own internal espionage and repressive apparatus with the name SAVAMA and tapped Hossein Fardust, a close friend of the Shah, and heretofore SAVAK’s number two, to lead it. And not only that. Practically all of SAVAK’s personnel remained to staff SAVAMA.

“They are the same!”, cried Al Tabatabai—press attaché at the Shah’s embassy in Washington—to the media, after the Islamist coup, right before a bullet silenced him in front of his home, in Maryland.[24]

Another paradox? But we can get rid of it too if we suppose that the Islamist coup in Iran was, from the beginning, US policy, and coordinated, most probably, with SAVAK’s own operatives—that is to say, with the CIA.

This hypothesis receives additional support if you consider Jimmy Carter’s creation of the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force (RDJTF), soon to become the US Central Command or CENTCOM. This is a gigantic investment—very expensive. CENTCOM’s mission is to protect, by means of military deployment, the interests of US bosses in an ‘Area of Responsibility’ (AOR) that includes the countries of the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia.

CENTCOM’s ‘Area of Responsibility’

The New York Times explains that

“The origins of the Central Command go back to 1979 when the Shah of Iran was overthrown and his country was in turmoil as a result of the Islamic revolution…

To provide a military capability to back up President [Carter’s] policy in the Gulf, [in 1980] a command designated the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force, which was to be a precursor of Centcom, was formed. Paul X. Kelley…[its] first commander…was told to draw up plans to defend Iran against a Soviet invasion…”[25]

So, from the very moment that Ayatollah Khomeini’s regime began, Washington became its protector. This is interesting because everybody recognizes that the previous ruler, the Shah of Iran, had been a US ally, but CENTCOM was not created to protect the Shah, but to protect Khomeini’s theocratic and terrorist regime.

Support for Ayatollah Khomeini’s regime, therefore, began with Ayatollah Khomeini, during Jimmy Carter’s presidency.

Calling the shots: Bush Sr., Obama, Bush Jr., Clinton, and Carter ( only Reagan, already deceased, is missing).

To summarize, Washington powerbrokers have not been erratic but deadly consistent in their support for Iran. From Carter to Obama, Democrat or Republican, they have all followed a pro-Iranian policy.

But what about Israel?

It’s time we returned to the question of Israel. If we suppose that Washington powerbrokers are not only consistent, but also rational and logical, this is bad news for Israel, for the ayatollahs, so favored by US policy, promise out loud to destroy the Jewish State.

Let us ask, then: Aside from the nuclear treaty with Iran, what has been the dearest policy of these US bosses toward Israel?

Without question, this has been what they call the ‘Peace Process,’ or the ‘Oslo Process,’ after the city where the accord was negotiated that set events on the path toward the ‘Two-State Solution,’ one for Israel, and another for the Palestinians in the territories of Judea and Samaria (‘West Bank’). Though the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993-94, from Jimmy Carter forward all presidents have pushed in this direction, with threats against the Israelis whenever deemed necessary.[26]

Let us evaluate the context.

First. These are territories that Israel acquired in 1967, after defeating a Muslim coalition whose announced purpose—according to the main instigator, Gamal abd el Nasser of Egypt—was the destruction of Israel.[27]

Second. When the dust cleared, the Pentagon conducted a secret study—since declassified—concerning Israeli security, according to which, without the territories of Judea and Samaria, Israel cannot survive a Muslim world determined to destroy it.[28]

Pentagon Study (1967) : The areas marked in black are considered indispensable to Israeli survival.

Third. The beneficiary of US presidential diplomacy, and presumed future government of any Palestinian State, is Yasser Arafat’s and Mahmoud Abbas’s PLO/Fatah, now better known as the ‘Palestinian Authority.’

Fourth. PLO/Fatah, in 1974, elaborated a document called the ‘Plan of Phases,’ according to which they would promise peace in order to enter negotiations and would then utilize any territory thus acquired to destroy Israel.[29]

Fifth. Even though few now remember this, it was explained on the front page of the New York Times in 1979: PLO/Fatah armed and trained Ayatollah Khomeini’s guerrillas, the same that fought the Islamic revolution of 1979. Then, PLO/Fatah assisted with the creation of SAVAMA (Khomeini’s intelligence infrastructure) and also the Revolutionary Guard. Together, Arafat and Khomeini promised to destroy Israel.[30]

Arafat and Khomeini in Teheran, from which city they promised to destroy Israel together.

Sixth. The relationship between PLO/Fatah and Iran remains very close. To cite one piece of evidence, right as the nuclear deal between the US and Iran was about to be signed, the official Iranian press office announced, in August of last year, that PLO/Fatah and Iran had signed an agreement for “all out cooperation.”[31]

It follows, does it not, that the US has insisted in giving Judea and Samaria—territories indispensable to Israeli security—to Iran, the State whose entire mission in life is to destroy the Jewish State.

It seems fair to conclude that the policy of the US presidents has been radically pro-Iranian and, in consequence, radically anti-Israeli. On this basis I believe we should replace our model of international relations.

If we wish to predict what is going to happen in the following months and the following years—instead of finding ourselves totally staggered, astonished, and amazed by every new headline—well then we need a model that does match the events of the last four decades, rather than insist with a model that produces only paradoxes when we cover the length of those four decades.

Many thanks for your attention.

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Footnotes and Further Reading

[1] Quine, W. V. 1976[1966]. The Ways of Paradox and Other Essays: Revised and Enlarged Edition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. (p.1)

[2] Complete Transcript of Netanyahu’s address to Congress. Washington Post. 3 March 2015.

[3] In order to evaluate Netanyahu’s statements about the nuclear treaty, one must read and analyze the text of the treaty. The following article analyzes the content of the treaty and provides links so that anyone interested can read directly the text of the same.

“A Bad Deal”; Times of Israel; August 2, 2015; by Nevet Basker.

[4] Iranian leaders, with great consistency, have been calling for Israel’s destruction over the years, ever since Ayatollah Khomeini insisted that “[Israel] should vanish from the page of time.” Their intent is clearly genocidal. Here follow three more recent examples, and then a link to a source that lists many more incitements by Iranian leaders.


“the Iranian President [called] for Israel to be ‘wiped off the map’…”

This is a reference to a statement made by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, at the time President of Iran.



One of Iran’s most influential ruling cleric [sic] called Friday on the Muslim states to use nuclear weapon against Israel, assuring them that while such an attack would annihilate Israel, it would cost them ‘damages only’.

‘If a day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the arms Israel has in possession, the strategy of colonialism would face a stalemate because application of an atomic bomb would not leave any thing in Israel but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world,’ Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani told the crowd at the traditional Friday prayers in Tehran.

Analysts said not only Mr. Hashemi-Rafsanjani’s speech was the strongest against Israel, but also this is the first time that a prominent leader of the Islamic Republic openly suggests the use of nuclear weapon against the Jewish State.”

We point out that Hashemi Rafsanjani is not merely “one of Iran’s most influential ruling cleric[s],” but the very father of the Iranian nuclear program.



“Israel… has no cure but to be annihilated.”

This is a message that Iranian ‘supreme leader’ (it’s an official title) Ayatollah Ali Khamenei sent on his Twitter account in November 2014.



If you have the stomach for it, and would like to consult a longer list of documented incitements to genocide against the Israeli Jews, you may do so in the following sources:

[5] Schmitt, B. E. (1936). Review: American Neutrality, 1914-1917. The Journal of Modern History, 8(2), 200-211. (p.203)

[6] We give a detailed, documented account of this sequence of events in the following article:


“Introduction: The Iran Deal: What does it teach us?”; from PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE & POLITICAL GRAMMAR; Historical and Investigative Research; 31 August 2016; by Francisco Gil-White

[7] We give a detailed, documented account of this sequence of events in the following article:

“Introduction: The Iran Deal: What does it teach us?”; from PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE & POLITICAL GRAMMAR; Historical and Investigative Research; 31 August 2016; by Francisco Gil-White


[10]   “War in Iraq versus Containment”; Prepared for the CESifo Conference on “Guns and Butter: The Economic Causes and Consequences of Conflict,” held in Munich, Germany on December 9 and 10, 2005; by Steven J. Davis, Kevin M. Murphy, and Robert H. Topel. (All are scholars at the University of Chicago School of Business and the National Bureau of Economic Research.)

[11] Comment & Debate: No more fantasy diplomacy: cut a deal with the mullahs: Iran cannot be prevented from developing nuclear weapons, only delayed. We must negotiate not ratchet up the rhetoric,  The Guardian (London) – Final Edition, February 7, 2006 Tuesday, GUARDIAN COMMENT AND DEBATE PAGES ; Pg. 31, 1095 words, Polly Toynbee

[12] “U.S. Bombed Bases of Iranian Rebels in Iraq”; International Herald Tribune | New York Times; Thursday 17 April 2003; by Douglas Jehl

[13] “War Sirens Herald Iran’s Hour of Revenge”; Financial Times; March 24, 2003, Monday Usa Edition 1; Section: Comment & Analysis; Pg. 17; Headline: War Sirens Herald Iran’s Hour Of Revenge; By Khairallah Khairallah

[14] “Two to three Iranian military aircraft a day land at Baghdad airport, bringing in weapons and ammunition. Iran’s most potent military force and best known general — the Revolutionary Guard’s elite Quds Force and its commander Gen. Ghasem Soleimani — are organizing Iraqi forces and have become the de facto leaders of Iraqi Shiite militias that are the backbone of the fight [against ISIS]. Iran carried out airstrikes to help push militants from an Iraqi province on its border.”

FUENTE: Iran Has Never Been More Influential In Iraq”; Associated Press; 12 January 2015; by Hamza Hendawi Qassim Abdul-zahra.

“Asked [by reporters] about Iran’s military operations in Iraq,” Army General Martin Dempsey—nothing less than the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—expressed: “ ‘I think Iranian influence will be positive,’ ” and he celebrated that “ ‘the two countries [move] more closely together economically or even politically…’ ”

FUENTE: “Dempsey: US eyes new ways to aid Iraq forces”; Daily Mail; 8 January 2015; by Associated Press

[15] “Mr. Bush and his aides were urged to rethink Persian Gulf policy from the moment they took office. Shortly after Mr. Bush won the Presidency in November 1988, a State Department strategist drafted a paper for the President-elect urging that the United States take a fresh approach to the region.

Mr. Khalilzad advised in the paper that America’s new policy should concentrate on strengthening Iran and containing Iraq. The paper was included in the State Department Policy Planning Staff’s official ‘transition book,’ which reviewed all the foreign policy issues the new President would soon have to confront.”

SOURCE: THE 1992 CAMPAIGN; Bush’s Greatest Glory Fades As Questions on Iraq Persist, The New York Times, June 27, 1992, Saturday, Late Edition – Final, George Bush, Section 1; Page 1; Column 5; Foreign Desk, 2554 words, By ELAINE SCIOLINO with MICHAEL WINES, Special to The New York Times, WASHINGTON, June 26

[16] “Iran Future As A Pawn Or A Gulf Power”; Byline: Zalmay Khalilzad; Los Angeles Times July 16, 1989, Sunday, Home Edition Section: Opinion; Part 5; Page 2; Column 4; Opinion Desk

[17] To see the documentation on how the US instigated Kuwait to provoke Iraq, read the section titled “The US ordered Kuwait to provoke Irak” in the following article:

“Why Bush Sr.’s 1991 Gulf War? To Protect Iranian Islamism: Like father, like son: this is also the purpose of Bush Jr.’s war.” Historical and Investigative Research; 20 Dec 2005; by Francisco Gil-White

To see the documentation on the exchange between ambassador April Glaspie and Saddam Hussein—object of a sharp controversy in the United States after it was published by the Iraqi government—visit:

“CONFRONTATION IN THE GULF; Excerpts From Iraqi Document on Meeting With U.S. Envoy”; The New York Times; 23 September 1990.

[18] I analyzed here the translation to the French, which is the version that I originally consulted:

Izetbegovic, Alija. 1999 [1980]. Le manifeste Islamique (original title: Islamska deklaracija). Beyrouth-Liban: Éditions Al-Bouraq. (pp. 75-76; 81-82; 105; 118; 132)

The English translation may be read online here:

[19] “…The court found the accused guilty because it held that their activity had been directed against brotherhood and unity, and the equality of our nations and nationalities with a view to destroying Bosnia-Hercegovina as a Socialist Republic and thus of undermining the social order of the SFRY.

For the criminal act of association for the purpose of enemy activity and counter-revolutionary threatening of the social order Alija (Mustafa) Izetbegovic was sentenced to 14 years’…”

SOURCE: Copyright 1983 The British Broadcasting Corporation, Bbc Summary Of World Broadcasts, August 22, 1983, Monday, Part 2 Eastern Europe; B. Internal Affairs; Yugoslavia; Ee/7418/B/1; , 372 Words, Muslim Nationalists Convicted, (A) Yugoslav News Agency 1555 Gmt 12 Aug 83 Text Of Report Belgrade Home Service 1700 Gmt 20 Aug 83

[20] Wiebes, C. (2003). Intelligence and the war in Bosnia 1992-1995: The role of the intelligence and security. Amsterdam: Netherlands Institute for War Documentation.

[21] Dutch Report: Us Sponsored Foreign Islamists In Bosnia”; By Richard J Aldrich; The Guardian (LONDON); Monday April 22, 2002

To read the Guardian article, go to “Dutch Report: Us Sponsored Foreign Islamists In Bosnia”:

[22] The New York Times, December 8, 1991, The Iran Pipeline: A Hidden Chapter/A special report.; U.S. Said to Have Allowed Israel to Sell Arms to Iran, By Seymour Hersh

[23] The arms transfers, explained the New York Times, began “in 1981,” which is to say, “before the Iranian-sponsored seizure of American hostages in Lebanon began in 1982…” (my emphasis). Astonishingly, instead of putting the obvious hypothesis on the table—that the US had a policy, even then, to strengthen Iran—the New York Times ducked: “No American rationale for permitting covert arms sales to Iran could be established.” So they sent the weapons… just because?

SOURCE: The Iran Pipeline: A Hidden Chapter/A special report.; U.S. Said to Have Allowed Israel to Sell Arms to Iran, The New York Times, December 8, 1991, Sunday, Late Edition – Final, Section 1; Part 1; Page 1; Column 1; Foreign Desk, 2897 words, By SEYMOUR M. HERSH,  Special to The New York Times, WASHINGTON, Dec. 7

[24] “If the Ayatollah Khomeini was an enemy of the United States ruling elite, why did he adopt the CIA’s security service?”; Historical and Investigative Research; 23 February 2006; by Francisco Gil-White

[25] The New York Times, July 22, 1988, Friday, Late City Final Edition,  Section A; Page 9, Column 1; National Desk,  1220 words,  WASHINGTON TALK: THE MILITARY; Now Chiefs Fight for Command Nobody Wanted,  By BERNARD E. TRAINOR, Special to the New York Times,  WASHINGTON, July 21

[26] “US foreign policy in the Arab-Israeli conflict”; from PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE AND POLITICAL GRAMMAR; Historical and Investigative Research; May 2016;

[27] Howard Sachar, A History of Israel: From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time (New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1979) p. 616


This Pentagon document was apparently declassified in 1979 but not published until 1984 in the Journal of Palestine Studies:

“Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense”; Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 13, No. 2. (Winter, 1984), pp. 122-126. This file is especially useful because it shows a map with the “minimum territory needed by Israel for defensive purposes”

It is also published as an appendix in:

Netanyahu, B. 2000. A durable peace: Israel and its place among the nations, 2 edition. New York: Warner Books. (APPENDIX: The Pentagon Plan, June 29, 1967; pp.433-437)

[29] “Shortly after signing the Declaration of Principles and the famous handshake between [PLO leader Yasser] Arafat and [Israeli prime minister] Yitzhak Rabin on the White House lawn, Arafat was declaring to his Palestinian constituency over Jordanian television that Oslo was to be understood in terms of the [PLO’s] Palestine National Council’s 1974 decision. This was a reference to the so-called Plan of Phases, according to which the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] would acquire whatever territory it could by negotiations, then use that land as a base for pursuing its ultimate goal of Israel’s annihilation.”

FUENTE: Levin, K. 2005. The Oslo syndrome: Delusions of a people under siege. Hanover, NH: Smith and Kraus. (p.ix)

[30] “PLO/Fatah and Iran: The Special Relationship”; Historical and Investigative Research; 25 May 2010 [revised and improved, 8 September 2010]; by Francisco Gil-White

[31] “PLO figure: Iran, Palestine in deal for all-out cooperation”; IRNA; 11 August 2015.

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