[Marxism] The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States

Paula Paula_cerni at msn.com
Thu Oct 4 00:18:07 MDT 2007

John wrote:

> Actually, your original question (or claim) was that Iran was
> imperialist. China was not part of the original statement.

John, my original claim goes back several months (perhaps you are not aware) 
and concerns not China or Iran in particular, but, more generally, the 
following question: can the economic, political and military rise of the 
'South' over the last few decades be understood in terms of the classical 
Marxist theory of imperialism? I tried to answer this question in an article 
published about a year ago 

My argument, simply put, is that economic development in the imperialist 
epoch is turning nations that were once part of the 'periphery' into 
emerging empires. The article contains a specific case study of China, the 
clearest example. But there is no reason, in principle, why this argument 
may not apply to others too - Russia, India, Brazil, Indonesia, Turkey, 
Iran, etc.

Now, I don't know as much about Iran as I do about China, but what I do know 
leads me to believe that Iran also is an emerging imperialist nation, though 
obviously on a smaller scale.

> The alleged assistance Iran gives to Islamic
> militants and Palestinian groups does not qualify. If simply providing
> military aid to sympathetic groups was *in itself* sufficient, we would
> have to accuse Cuba of imperialism in Angola in the struggle against
> Apartheid. Clearly this would be a sorry distortion of the term
> imperialist.

I agree that it is not sufficient. But remember that imperialist powers 
sometimes support progressive nationalist forces for their own purposes (eg, 
the Eisenhower administration backed Nasser against Britain and France). So, 
that kind of assistance *could* qualify.

In any case, Iran assists foreign groups that don't seem to have anything 
progressive about them. Here is what this article in today's Asia Times 
Online says about the Revolutionary Guards Corps (full text at 

"in both Bosnia-Herzegovina during the early and mid-1990s and more recently 
in Afghanistan after September 11, 2001, the US military and the IRGC 
interacted positively. In Bosnia, invited by the Bosnian government under 
siege, the IRGC trained and armed Bosnian fighters, with the tacit blessing 
of the White House. They continued to provide humanitarian support even 
after their military role ended shortly after the signing of the Dayton 
Peace Agreement, which called for the exit of foreign forces.

"Similarly, in Afghanistan, where the IRGC played a prominent role in 
supporting the anti-Taliban and anti-al-Qaeda Northern Alliance led by the 
late Ahmad Shah Masoud long before the US cavalry arrived in 2001, US and 
IRGC commanders met repeatedly both before and after Kabul's fall into the 
hands of the Northern Alliance".

> If Iranian support successfully brought about pro-Iranian
> regimes in say Iraq, Lebanon or Palestine, and then Iranian companies
> moved into those countries, we might then say that Iran was becoming an
> imperialist country. Until something like that happens, I think any such
> claims are on shaky ground.

A few months ago I mentioned this article detailing Iranian economic 
influence in Afghanistan, ie, the country where the IRGC 'played a prominent 
role' in supporting the Northern Alliance:


So, perhaps nurturing sympathetic regimes in foreign countries where its 
firms do business is something that Iran is already doing (it would be very 
interesting to know how much of this is going on in Iraq). And perhaps that 
is why the US has this contradictory policy, whereby on the one hand it has 
to adapt to growing Iranian economic, political and military influence, and 
on the other it very much resents it (to put it mildly).

I hope this helps answer J's question of a few days ago. I realize this 
evidence is by no means conclusive and that a lot more investigation needs 
to be done. I will send in more information as and when I find it.



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