The Long History of Lies about Iran

Muhammad Sahimi
April 4, 2013


Netanyahu: Iran War PropagandaThere was a flood of articles and analyses on the tenth anniversary of invasion of Iraq on March 19, most of which focused on the lies, exaggerations, and half-truths that the War Party told the American people and the world in the run up to the war. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq have died as a result of the lies. Tens of thousands of people have also died as a result of the NATO aggression against Libya, as well as the war in Syria that is backed by the United States and its allies in that region, namely, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey, with the carnage still continuing with no end in sight.

If the lies about Iraq have taught us anything, it is that we must pay due attention to the massive campaign of disinformation and lies that has been waged against Iran for over three decades, in order to “justify” a war with that nation. The campaign began with the hostage crisis after the U.S. Embassy in Tehran was overrun by Islamic leftist students on November 4, 1979, and is still continuing. There are still disinformation and one-sided stories about the hostage crisis, the latest of which is the film Argo. The biggest lie about Iran, which has been perpetuated since at least 1984, is that Iran is only a few months or a year or two away from a nuclear bomb, which has not materialized after nearly 30 years.

The campaign is separate from the secret war that has been waged on Iran for at least a decade, consisting of assassination of Iran’s top nuclear scientists, killing of many innocent people by terrorist groups, such as the Jundallah, and waging a cyberspace war against Iran’s nuclear facilities that even a recent NATO study recognized as being tantamount to the use of force and illegal. The campaign of lies about Iran is much deeper and broader than the Iraq campaign, far better organized, and much better funded, with the funding provided by not just the American administrations – such as $400 million provided by the GW Bush administration for destabilizing the Iranian regime – but also the Israel lobby and the War Party. The campaign also includes demonization of Iran by Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who has likened Iran to the Nazi regime, our era to 1938, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Adolf Hitler, an outrageous claim that has been criticized even in certain pro-Israel circles.

Stephen Walt has already listed top ten media failures about Iran. Here is a list of some of the most outrageous lies about Iran, but the list is by no means complete.

1981: One of the most brazen lies is that the U.S. does not interfere in Iran’s internal affairs. From the CIA coup of 1953 that overthrew the democratically-elected government of Prime Minister Dr. Mohammad Mosaddegh and installing and supporting the dictatorship of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi for 25 years, to the aforementioned Bush budget for destabilizing Iran, the U.S. has always tried to interfere in Iran. On January 19, 1981, Iran and the U.S. signed the Algiers Accord to end the hostage crisis. In the Accord the U.S. promised that “it is and from now on will be the policy of the United States not to intervene, directly or indirectly, politically or militarily, in Iran’s internal affairs,” and that it will remove all of its sanctions against Iran. Not delivering on legally-binding promises is by itself a terrible lie.

Read the full article–The Long History of Lies about Iran