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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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   In the 1970s, GE and Westinghouse won contracts to build eight nuclear reactors in Iran . The shah intimated that Iran would seek nuclear weapons, without facing any adverse consequences beyond some reprimands from the U.S. or Western Europe . In contrast, Khomeini was horrified by the idea of using weapons of mass destruction, and he declined to deploy chemical weapons at the front in the Iran-Iraq War, even though Saddam had no such compunctions and extensively used mustard gas and sarin on Iranian troops. ( Juan Cole; Engaging the Muslim World; Palgrave Macmillan; New York: 2009)

19. Martin van Creveld: Distinguished professor of military history and strategy at Hebrew University in Jerusalem . ( )
-It should not be surprising that Creveld would deem it rational for Iran to want nuclear weapons. "For more than half a century, Britain and the US have menaced Iran . In 1953, the CIA and MI6 overthrew the democratic government of Mohammed Mossadegh, an inspired nationalist who believed that Iranian oil belonged to Iran . They installed the venal shah and, through a monstrous creation called SAVAK, built one of the most vicious police states of the modern era. The Islamic revolution in 1979 was inevitable and very nasty, yet it was not monolithic and, through popular pressure and movement from within the elite, Iran has begun to open to the outside world – in spite of having sustained an invasion by Saddam Hussein, who was encouraged and backed by the US and Britain.
At the same time, Iran has lived with the real threat of an Israeli attack, possibly with nuclear weapons, about which the ‘international community' has remained silent.” ( )

20. 20%. ( Juan Cole; Engaging The Muslim World; Palgrave Macmillan; New York : 2009; p.197.)

21. 75%. ( Juan Cole; Engaging the Muslim World; Palgrave Macmillan; ( New York : 2009); p.197.)

-One wonders what the percentage of Canadians—or Americans—held the same view?

22. According to the Washington Post, “Just after the lightning takeover of Baghdad by U.S. forces … an unusual two-page document spewed out of a fax machine at the Near East bureau of the State Department. It was a proposal from Iran for a broad dialogue with the United States , and the fax suggested everything was on the table -- including full cooperation on nuclear programs, acceptance of Israel and the termination of Iranian support for Palestinian militant groups. But top Bush administration officials, convinced the Iranian government was on the verge of collapse, belittled the initiative. Instead, they formally complained to the Swiss ambassador who had sent the fax with a cover letter certifying it as a genuine proposal supported by key power centers in Iran …” ( )

23. True. According to Ali M. Ansari, Professor of Iranian history at the University of St. Andrews, “[K]hatami, moved quickly to offer his condolences to the US President [after the 9/11 attacks]. … [T]he Iranians soon recognized the opportunity that now confronted them. The United States was determined to dismantle Al Qaeda, and in the face of Taleban obstinacy decided on the removal of the Taleban. Nothing could be more amenable to the Iranians, who had been waging a proxy war against the Taleban for the better part of five years. … The collaboration which took place both during and after the war against the Taleban seemed to inaugurate a period of détente between Iran and the United States … It came as something of a shock therefore to discover that President Bush had decided to label Iran part of the ‘Axis of Evil' … Now it appeared that the [Iranian] hardliners within the regime had been correct after all; the United States could not be trusted …” ( Ali M. Ansari; Modern Iran: The Pahlavis and After Second Edition; Pearson Education; Great Britain: 2007; pp. 331-332.)

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