[Marxism] re: Winning" and "losing" in Iran and everywhere
lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Aug 10 17:09:05 MDT 2006
>Getting to particulars about a protest by busworkers in Iran - Fact one:
>The busworkers were repressed by the Iranian regime and the revolutionary
>guards. Fact two: The Iranian regime and the revolutionary guards train,
>arm, and finance the only people who have rattled Zionism in 100 years.
>What do you think is more important? Better wages for busworkers, or a
>long-awaited sense of dignity and *victory* for people defending
>themselves who haven't seen anything approaching military success since
Why is there a need to set these two goals against each other? Were higher
wages for bus drivers supposedly a drain on funds that were meant to arm
Hizbollah? Actually, the impetus to keeping their wages down is the same as
it is everywhere under capitalism, to increase the profits of the bosses.
Furthermore, the "anti-imperialism" of the Islamic Republic of Iran is an
Bishara Bahbah, "Arms Sales: Israel's Link to the Khomeini Regime",
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, January 1987
As the Iranian drama rapidly unfolds, Israel's leaders are seeking to play
down the centrality of their role by stating that Israel sold all of the
arms, including American-manufactured weaponry, to the Khomeini regime with
U.S. knowledge and permission. Whether or not that is the case, Israel's
arms sales to the Khomeini regime, Israel's avowed enemy, date back to
1979, the year Israel's close friend and ally, the Shah of Iran, was dethroned.
Arms Sales to the Shah and Khomeini
In the time of the late Shah Muhammad Reza Pahlavi, Israel was one of
Iran's principal arms suppliers, riding the crest of the Shah's military
expansion program. Iran bought about $500 million per year in arms from
Israel at that time. Israeli ties to the Shah extended well beyond arms
sales, however, and included an ambitious $1 billion project to develop
jointly a surface-to-surface missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.
Close cooperation also existed between the intelligence services of the two
countries. Moreover, Iran was one of the very few countries publicly
willing to sell oil to Israel, since other producers in the area were
reluctant to defy the Arab oil boycott.
The Israeli press has reported that the cancellation of arms sales
agreements to Iran as a result of the internal turmoil that accompanied the
fall of the Shah cost Israel some $225 million in 1978 and a similar amount
in 1979. In fact, some Israeli arms manufacturers had to lay off thousands
of workers "because of the Iran revolution."
Only months later, however, a new and somewhat secretive relationship began
to emerge between the Khomeini regime and the Israeli government. The
Israelis were interested in restoring an important market for their arms
industry, and in the fate of Iran's 50,000 Jews. To do so they sought to
maintain ties with whatever Iranian military contacts had survived the
massive purges by Khomeini's revolutionary guards. An arms agreement was
negotiated in Paris between Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Mordechai
Zipori and representatives of the Ayatollah Khomeini. Ironically, the
agreement was signed in early 1980, soon after the execution of an Iranian
Jewish leader accused of spying for Israel. It provided Iran with a large
selection of Israeli arms at market prices, and Iranian Jews a guarantee of
protection and free departure.
CIA Aware of Israeli Arms Sales
During the Carter administration, the holding of American hostages in the
U.S. embassy and in the Iranian Foreign Minis-try in Tehran by the Khomeini
regime in no way hindered Israeli arms sales to Iran. ABC News reports that
the CIA, through intercepts, was aware of Israeli arms dealing with Iran as
early as October 1980. During that period, one military transaction
involved the sale by Israel of 250 spare tires for Iran's American-built
F-4 fighter-bombers for approximately $300,000. Other equipment sold to
Iran by Israel included artillery shells, small arms ammunition, mortars,
recoilless rifles, and Chieftan tank spare parts.
At the beginning of open warfare between Iran and Iraq in September 1980,
the Iranian military, weakened and demoralized by the successive purges in
its ranks, suffered serious losses in the face of well-armed and
well-organized Iraqi forces. Iran's inability to maintain its U.S.
equipment was compounded by the lack of spare parts. This created an
urgency which forced the Iranians to seek arms and spare parts on a large
scale, even from Israel.
Arms Sales Resume in 1981
When the Carter administration protested Israel's sales of military
equipment to Iran at a time when the U.S. had imposed an arms embargo on
that country, Israel apparently temporarily halted the arms flow to the
Khomeini regime. However, once the U.S. hostages were released in January
1981, Israeli arms sales to Iran resumed in full force."The initial surge
of arms sales during this period alone amounted to some $70 million. The
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) reported that
during that period Israel shipped to Iran, through a British arms dealer,
quantities of ammuni-tion, refurbished jet engines, spare parts for
U.S.-built M-48 tanks, and additional aircraft tires.
In July 1981 an Argentine cargo jet crashed in Soviet Armenia after
delivering Israeli-supplied spare parts for U.S.-made tanks to Tehran. With
world-wide attention once again focused on Israeli arms sales to the
Khomeini regime, it was soon discovered that this was Israel's third such
load of arms already delivered to Iran that year. Later in the year, the
British press documented reports the Defense Ministry of Iran had signed
another $135,800,000 contract to purchase Israeli-supplied arms. These
arms, which were to be shipped to Iran via Rotterdam/Antwerp, were to
include 50 Lance missiles, 68 Hawk missiles, 3730 Copperhead shells with
laser guidance systems, and 40 155-mm field guns among other equipment.
In another unusual revelation, Leslie Gelb of the New York Times wrote in
the March 1982 issue of the International Her-aid Tribune that, according
to documents in his possession, Israel had sold about half of all the
weapons that had arrived in Tehran throughout the previous eighteen months.
Arms Sales Discussed at High Levels
In May 1982, then-Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon publicly admitted
the military relationship between Israel and Iran. Later that year,
then-Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Moshe Arens confirmed in an interview
with the Boston Globe that Israeli arms shipments to Iran had included
spare parts, a clear violation of U.S. laws. Arens stated these sales had
been discussed with U.S. officials "at almost the highest levels." In 1982,
according to the Jerusalem Post, Israel also sold to Iran ammunition for
Israeli-made weapons systems that had been sold to Iran during the time of
the Shah. During that period Israel also sold Iran Hawk anti-aircraft and
TOW anti-tank missiles, and aircraft spare parts.
During 1983, Israeli arms sales to the Khomeini regime were valued at $100
million. According to Aaron Klieman of Tel Aviv University, that brought
the total value of Israeli arms sales to Iran between the September 1980
outbreak of the Iran-Iraq war and the end of 1983 to nearly half a billion
"Israel is Iran's Most Reliable Arms Supplier"
In 1984 West German sources reported Israeli plans to deliver to Iran
badly-needed supplies of anti-tank weapons. In October 1984, the Iraqi News
Agency, citing documents obtained from the Iranian opposition, described
arms shipments to Iran by El Al, Korean Airlines, and South Korea Air. Also
in 1984, Saudi Arabian radar tracked frequent flights between Israel and
Iran, suggesting that the arms traffic was continuing. The London-based
Observer reported on 29 September 1985 that "Israel is Iran's most reliable
arms supplier with a trade valued at between $500 million and $800 million
The Israeli sales to Iran reported above pre-date the U.S.-authorized
shipments by or through Israel currently under scrutiny. The reputed
Israeli proposals that the U.S. ship arms to Iran, therefore, seem to have
been an attempt to implicate the U.S. in a lucrative arms traffic that
Israel was reluctant to halt. The Israelis may also have been responding to
pressure from the Khomeini regime to convince the U. S. to sell Iran
much-needed supplies as well as $300 million worth of undelivered military
equipment ordered by the Shah. Iran particularly needed to strengthen its
air force, in order to challenge current Iraqi air supremacy. Most of
Iran's U.S.-made jet fighters have been grounded for some time due to poor
maintenance and lack of spare parts.
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