Columnist Dan K. Thomasson accuses “a mob of Iranian thugs” of attacking the sovereignty of the United States by taking U.S. Embassy staff hostage in 1979. (Herald, Sept. 27)
Thomasson turns a blind eye to the historical fact that in 1953, the U.S. violated international law by using CIA thugs to overthrow Iran’s Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh — the first democratically elected government in the Middle East.
We then installed Shah Reza Pahlavi, who was a dictator every bit as ruthless as Saddam Hussein in his repression of political opposition. When students rose up in 1979 and the Shah fled for his life, it was said there was no one left in Iran who had not lost someone to his secret police, the SAVAK. The SAVAK was set up and trained by our CIA, with the help of Israel’s Mossad, in methods of kidnapping, torture and murder.
The Shah’s overthrow left a power vacuum because no opposition political organization existed throughout his 26-year regime. The only authority left in the country was the religious authority of the ayatollahs. They stepped into the vacuum to maintain order and remain in power today.
So, who attacked whose sovereignty?
Jim Stoffels, Richland