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Super Surprising Facts About 'Our Enemy' Iran Remind Us That We Don't Know Squat

26 basic questions about Iran with answers that might surprise you.

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7. Ruhollah Khomeini. ( Juan Cole; Engaging the Muslim World; Palgrave Macmillan; New York : 2009; p.201.)

-This wasn't a surprising statement to come from the leader of the 1979 Revolution as Israel had been a firm ally of both the U.S. and the Shah.

-According to Cole, Ahmadinejad quoted this statement in 2005 yet wire service translators rendered Khomeini's statement into English as “Israel must be wiped off the face of the map.” Yet, Khomeini had referred to the occupation regime not Israel , and while he expressed a wish for the regime to go away he didn't threaten to go after Israel . In fact, a regime can vanish without any outside attacks, as happened to the Shah's regime in Iran and to the USSR. It is notable that when Khomeini made the statement in the 1980s, there was no international outcry. In fact, in the early 1980s, Khomeini supplied Israel with petroleum in return for American spare parts for the American-supplied Iranian arsenal. As both Israel and Iran considered Saddam's Iraq a serious enemy, they had a tacit alliance against Iraq during the first phase of the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s. It should also be noted that Ahmadinejad subsequently stated he didn't want to kill any Jews but rather he wants a one-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. While Ahmadinejad's preferred solution is a non-starter, Israel 's refusal to pursue a comprehensive peace creates space for Arab hardliners whose agendas do not include a realistic peace with Israel .

8. True. Iranian television ran a widely watched serial on the Holocaust, Zero Degree Turn , based on true accounts of the role Iranian diplomats in Europe played in rescuing thousands of Jews in WWII.

( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJljqWQAqCI&feature=related )

9. Over 60%. ( M. Axworthy; A History of Iran : Empire of the Mind; Basic Books; New York : 2008.)

-In fact, many women—even married women—have professional jobs.

10. 1.4%. ( M. Axworthy; A History of Iran : Empire of the Mind; Basic Books; New York : 2008.)

11. True. In March 2002, the Arab League summit in Beirut unanimously put forth a peace initiative that commits it not just to recognize Israel but also to establish normal relations once Israel implements the international consensus for a comprehensive peace—which includes Israel withdrawing from the occupied territories and a just settlement of the Palestinian refugee crisis. (This peace initiative has been subsequently reaffirmed including at the March 2009 Arab League summit at Doha.) All 57 members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, including Iran , "adopted the Arab peace initiative to resolve the issue of Palestine and the Middle East ... and decided to use all possible means in order to explain and clarify the full implications of this initiative and win international support for its implementation." ( Norman G. Finkelstein; This Time We Went Too Far: Truth and Consequences of the Gaza Invasion; OR Books; New York : 2010; p. 42.)

12. The U.S. and Britain . ( Stephen Kinzer; All The Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror; John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; New Jersey: 2008.)

-According to Kinzer, Iranians had been complaining that the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) had not been sharing profits on Iranian petroleum with Iran fairly; and Iran's parliament (Majles) had tried to renegotiate with the AIOC. When the AIOC rejected renegotiation, Mossadegh introduced the nationalization act in 1951. In response, Britain and the U.S. organized a global boycott of Iran which sent the Iranian economy into a tailspin. Later, the military coup was orchestrated that reinstalled the shah. (One irony is that Britain itself had nationalized several industries in the 1940s and 1950s.)

 
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